Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ultra Training thus far: OR: What am I THINKING??!

I am pleased to say that for the most part my Ultra training is going quite well. On a side note, i believe that from now until race day I am going to refrain from calling this race an ultra and simply call it a 50K. To me, 50K sounds worse. To most (or so it seems) an ultra needs to be at least 50 miles. I'm doing an ultra-lite, haha! That's enough for me thank you!

Indeed, race training is marching along. Less than 3 weeks to go and I am still sound, sane (for the most part) and thinking that this cycle of ultra training could happily continue into fall marathon season.

Well. I was thinking that until this Sunday's long run of death and horror.
It had to happen. All my long runs have been in 62 degree weather- I kid you NOT! I had a feeling that on the first day that my multi hour run fell on an 85 plus degree day that I was going to eat shit.

I knew it was going to be hot so I pre planned, ate right, got hydrated, set up aid stations and pledged to never even INCH above a 9:30 pace.

The best laid plans.... 

Getting ready. Thank you Eric for this *amazing pic*

How I felt about this particular photo montage. Heehee.

I was a little sad to discover that I did not have ANY of my favorite outfits clean and ready to go..
Oh well... I knew I'd just sweat on and destroy this one anyway!

Being a glamourous weirdo, per the norm... *sigh*

And then... I WAS OFF!!!!!
If this run had finished at 2 hours I would have proclaimed that it was perfect! I ate and hydrated properly (until I ran in to start lap 2.) My legs felt great, my mindset was perfect and I was convinced that I was going to dominate this long run like a boss! Of course, I also noticed that the air was HOT, like hot to even breathe- and there was not a breath of wind. I was sweating so much that I pulled off my tank at mile 13 (my rest stop/lap 2 point) and mopped my face and disgustingly wiped my nose on it. Eww. The good news was that lap one had really gone according to plan: good hydration, good nutrition, good slow as molasses pace.

                                        Running into mile 13 and my turn around for lap 1.
                                             I was shooting for about 23-24 miles. UGH.

This is the point when I think I made a critical error. I had been consistently sipping water and gatorade, and having my normal running snacks. I was feeling like the fricking Sahara desert at this point to I made a terrible choice, chugged about 20 ounces of gatorade and chased it with a hefty dose of water. At this point, I also decided to carry along a water bottle even though doing so drives me crazy, and I had another aid station a few miles away (the choice to carry the h2o is an important detail for later.)

One mile into lap 2 terrible things began to happen. WHO knows why!!! My stomach became disgustingly sloshy with the 20 ounces plus of ill advised hydration slopping around. Very shortly thereafter I began to experience some most unpleasant hiccups which varied between being heinously painful and charmingly vomity. So awful. By the time I was 5 miles away from home I was fairly certain my day was done but tried (and tried, and tried) to shake it off and talk myself thru the tough moments. That is what long distance sports are all about after all.

I carried on in this truly horrible condition for quite some time. I was really ready to man the fuck up and get this run done! I tried to eat (failed) tried to drink more (drank maybe 10 more ounces of my water bottle- again, important detail...)

I think I was due for a horrid long run. THIS WAS IT. It could NOT have been worse.

I stopped counting miles and counted steps. I was rather annoyed because until mile 15 or so I had really been enjoying myself and feeling strong! The weather continues to be hot, humid, airless and stale. I wished I had my phone because by mile 18 I was struggling every step- and for someone who ran 20 2 weeks ago like it was NBD this isn't a great feeling.

At mile 20 I looked up, groggily, to see a large light colored dog running at me, barking ferociously. Over the din I could hear his owner's panicked cries and when I looked at the dog bearing down on my I knew why. I was about to get fucking killed... I had no idea what to do and I knew I didn't stand a chance if he really meant business. Without even thinking (and literally- as I felt his breath ON ME) I squirted my water bottle in his eyes. I was just enough to startle him and he swerved slightly. As he rounded back on me I bashed him in the face with said-super-hero-water-bottle and squirted him again. Bottom line, I can't play the quick thinking tough guy here. If this dog had REALLY wanted to bite me he would have. I was lucky. And scared shitless. And I will ALWAYS carry mace from now on, and I'm not scared to use it!

The owner was quite upset. As she should have been. The dog had been tied but broke his run when he saw me. she openly admitted that he was a dog who is dangerous and unfriendly to passers by but still "a good dog." I'm a dog lover but I'm not quite sure that being that unfriendly is a good trait.

I borrowed her phone and called for rescue. I had had enough of the whole experience!

Done. UGH.

I was pretty destroyed for a couple hours. Lots of complaining about how disgusting I felt.
 If I learned anything from last years summer marathon training (which is debatable since I swore never to do it again- yet here I am...) it was that one horrible long run doesn't affect the outcome of the race. I did wake me up to the need to re-think (AGAIN. again, UGH AGAIN) my hydration on hot days. If it's 60 degrees and raining I have this shiz down to a science but I'm not well practiced this year for the hot temps. With only a couple weeks to go it might not happen.  Since the weather is out of my hands I'm not going to stress, because what can I do? I'm just going to wrap up my final weeks of training and I'll see all of you crazies at the start line. I have no idea what is going to happen on race day (but who does?) Honestly, if it is that hot I might be chugging along in survival mode. Or turn into a spectator at mile 8, HAH!
2.5 weeks to go.... We shall see what happens.

(A quick housekeeping note as well. you can find me on Bloglovin, along with the rest of the blogger world apparently!)


  1. I hate that a dog attacked you. But I know you are going to be FABULOUS at GCI. Hey - at least you can run! I'm banned from running right now - I don't even think GCI is reality for me at the moment. I did get permission to do early start though....maybe I'll run/walk it and do cartwheels. Wanna join me for a lap to two?

  2. I hate running in hot weather! I only make it a few miles before I begin to feel sick. My body does not adjust well at all. I had to stop drinking gatorade years ago cause all it did was give me a gross gut and make me stop for potty breaks constantly.

    But you will do fine in your 50K. Even if you feel like shit you will power through cause that's how you roll. No fear.

  3. Ech - a dog went for me the other day. Did not break skin! It's so hard to run in these hot days of summer. Good luck on your training!

  4. You are totally going to rock this you always rock anything ever. Ha. I would have freaked out about the dog also. I probably wouldn't have been quick thinking at all and turned my bottle into a weapon. I can't wait to hear how your race goes.

  5. Ahhh that is scary! I am not sure I would have been smart enough to spray the dog. I'm so happy you're OK. And you're right - this long run won't affect the race. But thankfully you can learn from it before the race. Sounds like sipping water is the way to go. I can't wait to hear how the 50k goes!

  6. Anything over a marathon distance is an ultra. You claim it! And that is AWFUL about the dog. I would have been scared out of my mind. That owner is nuts that it is a good dog.

  7. dogs are no joke! its a good thing he didnt bite you, i cant imagine the fury you would have unleashed! youll do great at GCI, keep your head up. and ps, you are freaking jacked!