Training Recap, Week 18

The TARC Spring Classic 50K on Saturday was painful and I battled negative thoughts during the first two loops.

Half way through the first loop I hit a rock or root and fell, hard, to the ground and into bushes landing on my right shoulder. I got up quickly and realized that I wasn’t injured but cut my left hand. Since it was raining I had all kinds of wet vegetation on me. I was more embarrassed than hurt. I started running and the only thing that hurt was my hand. Thank goodness. If I fell on the first loop when my mind was working well, I better pay attention on the future loops.

The race was so well organized. The food was good. I ate PB&J and grilled cheese on every loop. The water bottle fillers were awesome and helpful; very friendly. I loved that the aid station at every loop had my drop bag waiting for me. I ran pretty light and didn’t carry much water or my soft flasks because I knew every 10K I would have Tailwind and water. I didn’t use Perpetum until the 4th loop and it really help my energy level because during the third loop I realized that I might not make the cut-off and didn’t even know what the the cut-off was. My mind was so out of it that I couldn’t figure out how long each 10K loop took me. Was it an hour? 90 minutes? I couldn’t do the math. At the aid station before heading out on the 4th loop I found out that I had to start the 5th loop by 2:15. It was 12:15. Could I do one loop in 2 hours. My mind couldn’t figure it out so I headed out on the 4th loop to go as fast as I could.

While running the 4th loop I realized that I hate it when people have to wait for me; I hate inconveniencing people. If I barely meet the cut off, the race director and all his people would be waiting for me to finish and that makes me feel bad. I thought that if I was cutting it too close I just wouldn’t go out on the final loop. As I got closer to the end of the loop I realized each loop took about 90 minutes to finish.

I came into the aid station at 1:45 (phew!) and headed out on the last loop; everything hurt so much. Now I just wanted to finish as fast as I could so I didn’t keep race volunteers from leaving and get my 31 training miles in.

I don’t fully understand why I felt so weary most of the run. It wasn’t super hilly, the total elevation gain was just under 1,000. It could just be that I was still tired from a running 38 total miles last weekend.

As I ran this race I thought about all the things I need to do for the next 5 weeks before my 50 miler: more weights, more stairs and more time on my feet.

Gear Note: I wore the Lone Peak shoes and SmartWool socks. By the 2nd loop they were pretty soaked from the rain showers and I thought I would stop and change shoes but by the time I got back to the aid station an hour later, my feet seemed dry. Amazing. So I didn’t waste time changing shoes, I wore them the entire 31 miles.

The week of training was good. No knee pain and while the total mileage this week was less than last week, I’m okay with it knowing I pushed a little harder than I normally would on Saturday. Next weekend I’m going to try for more elevation gain and get the mileage back up where it should be. Weights, night running and stairs are all in my plan this week!

Average Resting Heart Rate: 51

Total Vert: 2,100

Miles: 51.3 (includes hiking)

This Week’s Plan



Getting Ready For BIG Miles

Tomorrow is the TARC 50K in Weston, Ma. I’m excited for this race. It’s not really a race but a training milestone. I pretty much just need to finish and beat the cut-off times.

Then on Sunday, run 10 miles.

I’m ready.

Marjory Swope Trails today.

Today, Friday is a recovery day so I hiked with Winnie this morning and took her on a few long walks during the day. This morning it was sooooo humid.

91% Humidity – geez.

I’m going to bed early and then heading south of the border, the New Hampshire border.

Race report to follow shortly.

Training Week 28 Recap – The Road to Leadville 100 Run

The Road To Leadville

This week I did every run on the training plan. It’s not the official plan since the Official 25 Week Leadville 100 Run training plan doesn’t start for 3 weeks but I’m getting the disciplined training down.

After running twice on the treadmill this week due to icy road and trail conditions it was great to run outside on Saturday and Sunday despite the frigid temperatures that forced me to wear a balaclava.

The treadmill is just so boring.

This week I did three weight room training sessions for the first time. This is week 4 of weight training and I started slowly with two times a week. I do feel stronger and pushups are much easier. I’m gradually adding different options and getting advice from the trainers.

I’ve been thinking that I may plan a trip to Colorado in June for the Leadville Marathon in addition to going out in July to hike Pike’s Peak with my Colorado friends. It would be good altitude training for the August 100 miler.   

The next few weeks of running look like this:

Each run during the week has a purpose:

Tuesday: Hills
Wednesday: Speed Work/Temp
Thursday: Recovery Run


I do have a little issue with my low resting heart rate and low blood pressure again. I am monitoring it and salting all my food. I just need to stay healthy and get stronger; I can do this!

Oh Canada, I love your politics, your people and your landscape

I just got back from a long weekend trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

Oh, how I love Canada – my friends to the north. Loved traveling through your countryside. However, Montreal, your highway is a bit of a mess. 

About a year ago I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant thinking what a great location for a race. I’d never been west of Montreal.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking that Mary wanted to go and Mark followed suit. Why the heck not. I can drive to the race and not fly. With my bike in the car I could bring all the gear I needed. My plan was to train like heck on the hills in Concord and run all the hills in the mountains. 

Sweet!

Heading into the weekend I thought I was prepared. Kind of. Well…….. hmmm. I’m not sure…. Some things didn’t go as planned such as motivation and sticking to a training plan. I forget that when it comes to my plans and future goals  – it  is truly a crapshoot.

Crapshoot definition: a risky or uncertain matter.

Yep sounds like my life. And I’m okay with it. Really, really I am. 

Okay – truth: I’ve DNF my last two big races in the last 12 months leading up to the weekend in Mont Tremblant. Ego wise – I needed to finish the %^&$#@%^ thing and retire from Ironman.

Again ….. Well …… I didn’t finish this race, but I had a wicked, awesome vacation and swam 2.4 miles and biked a crazy, hilly 56 miles (I still can’t convert to metric despite loving me some Canada). Holy schnikes Batman, those hills were obscene. I admire every single person who crossed that finish line. Well deserved kudos to every… single …. one!

I’m breaking up with Ironman. I have fallen out of love with you  Ironman – it’s not you, it’s me.

Mont Tremblant had a little to do with it but I was not in love with the bike course. However, I do have to call out the race director, who hugged me and told me how I have to come back soon, after I crashed the finish line with the pros.

Here are the highlights of the road trip north with some pretty cool people. I’d say I’d try it again but I’m retired.

Marianne & Richard – Two peas in a pod. Fun. Adventurous. Kind. Thoughtful. Silly. Richard is a comedian and Marianne gets punchy at 10 pm. They helped me turn the DNF into sherpa-ing and, seriously, it was probably easier to finish the race. 


Mark #13 Ironman. Headed to Kona. Driven. Kind. Accomplished. Steadfast. Travel Buddy. Friend. I admire Mark’s tenacity and his single minded pursuit of a goal. 

The village at Mont Tremblant – so European and beautiful. Am I in Paris or Mont Tremblant? You decide.

Prep for North Face Endurance race Massachusetts

North Face Endurance Challenge MA

Today is the day before the big race that will define the next 3 years.

No pressure.

This North Face Endurance race in Massachusetts is touted as one of the toughest trail runs, meaning that the DNF percentage is pretty high due to terrain and elevation change. A few months ago I was thinking that I would start and just do what I can. If I didn’t finish, at least I will start – no matter what.

Now, since my training has gone well and I feel good I really want to go ALL IN. I’m going to finish – no matter what.

I want to do the races that I’ve been dreaming about and planning for since 2014 – ultra distances culminating in the biggie – 100 miles.
Tomorrow’s race is now about how to pace and finish a tough trail run at a shorter distance – 26.2 miles*.

I’ve tried over the last few years to sign up for 50 miler and that will force me to train for it; and that just hasn’t worked. It worked for Ironman but a 50 miler was so intense and I couldn’t do the training miles.

So much has changed this year.

I’m highly motivated and my training is going well. I’m 100% vegetarian and 80% vegan (darn pizza and ice cream, but I’m working on it). I feel like I recover better from hard training and I’m a bit lighter (still working on that too). While I’m not living in the mountains (like in Colorado) or surrounded by mountains (like in Tucson) I live in a hilly place and the mountains are 45 minutes away.

I’m working it.

Since I’m not on social media anymore I don’t follow the ultra runners to stay motivated like I used to do. Now, I  watch a lot of YouTube videos and subscribe to newsletters and magazines. But the key is doing the training, following the training plan and staying focused.

Today, one day from race day, I am going to walk and hike but no running. I’ve been tapering all week so I’m going into tomorrow’s race well rested. I’m going to finish this darn race: 26.2 hard trail miles at Wachusett Mountain Resort.
I have all my post-race food ready for me and on Sunday, my recovery day, Mark arrives for week! Woo hoo! He will be training on some hills in Concord all week and hopefully escaping the heat and humidity of Houston. Temps and humidity percentages looks good so far.

Concord NH Temp June 2018

Our next race is Ironman Mont Tremblant.

Here we are back in 2014 in St. George, Utah after Ironman 70.3 St. George.

Kristen Mark IM St George

*Race report will be posted upon completion. 

Here’s the unfortunately report: DNF