Friday, April 4, 2014

2 weeks + 1 day.

My new Altra Zero-Drop trail shoes. Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

It is just two weeks + one day until my 50K ultra-marathon and, I'll admit, I'm starting to get nervous. Yes, I've done ultras before but, this time around, my training has been so different and, until I actually do this race and finish it, I won't be able to say whether or not my training was adequate.

Here's the thing, though. I know that my body can complete this race. I just hope my mind is ready.

This might sound crazy but I believe the mental aspect of ultra-marathoning is much more difficult than the physical aspect. Yes, there is a very important physical training component to running long distances but that training will only take you so far. You must be mentally ready to deal with and then overcome the pain and discomfort that you will definitely feel when you physically push your body to its limit.

The summer before Lee and I were married, I did three ultra-marathons. Two of them were 12-hour timed events where I ran as many 8ish-mile loops as I could within the allotted time. For the first race, I ran 42 miles and for the second, I ran 48 miles. And the third ultra-marathon that I ran attempted to run that summer? The famed and feared Wasatch 100-mile Endurance Run.

We all know how that race turned out for me.

I didn't train properly to even come close to finishing that race but I also wasn't at all mentally prepared to take my body through all 100 miles. By mile 38 (after I had been stung by a bee on my hamstring), I was beyond ready to quit. And the only reason I continued on and made it to just over halfway was because my wild and crazy family boosted my confidence and encouraged me to keep going when I saw them at the Big Mountain aide station at 39.4 miles into the race.

And then when I got to Lamb's Canyon at 53.1 miles, with blistered feet and exhausted legs, there was no amount of encouragement that could've gotten me to go any further. I had mentally checked out of that race miles before. But, to be fair, so had my body.

Here's to hoping neither my mind nor my body checks out during those 31.1 miles on April 18th.

Weekly Workouts: Monday - CrossFit! Skill: Handstand walk. Weights: Heavy 3-position clean & jerk (85lbs). WOD: 5 RFT of: 10 pull-ups (red band) + 5 cleans (85lbs) + 10 front rack alternating lunges (85lbs) + 1 min rest. Tuesday - Run! 5.4 miles/47 minutes/407 feet elev gain, pushing Alice (my last mile was in 5:52!!). Wednesday - CrossFit! Skill: Double-unders. Weights: 3RM bench press (90lbs). WOD: 5K row. At 5 min do 5 burpees. At 10 min do 10 burpees. At 15 min do 15 burpees. At 20 min do 20 burpees. At 25 min do 25 burpees = 26:34. Thursday - CrossFit! Skill: Ring muscle ups (ha!). Weights: Heavy snatch balance (wimpy 55lbs). WOD: AMRAP max effort reps of: 3 min clean & jerks (85lbs) + 3 min wall balls (14lbs) + 3 min kettle bell swings (35lbs) + 3 min double unders = 222 reps (2 min rest between movements). Friday - Loooooooong trail run. 20 miles!!/3:40/2,198 feet elev gain.

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