Leadville 100 Training, Week 11 update

Just 26 miles this week. Yickes. I spent the weekend in Maryland supporting Mark during his Eagleman 70.3.

Cambridge, MD
My favorite Instagram Story from the Portside Restaurant where dogs are allowed and the crab cakes are freaking awesome!
Mark, Ironman Crab
I love the crab crawling up the MDot.

Maryland is beautiful and we got to discover Easton and Cambridge on the Chesapeake Bay. It was great to come south and see this gorgeous landscape. But now it’s time to get back to reality.

I’m a bit behind on my training heading into Week 10 of the 100 mile training plan but seeing the athletes on the Eagleman course is truly inspiring; all ages and body shapes. I actually have been thinking about, maybe, doing an Ironman next year. Maybe. Ironman just announced they are bringing back Ironman St. George that ended many years ago due to dangerous swim conditions in the reservoir. I had such a great time at St. George 70.3 (two-times) despite hot conditions the first time and frigid conditions the second time. Or maybe Lake Placid, since it’s so close.

I’m actually more excited about off-road triathlons and I’m thinking about Mont Tremblant Xterra in September. Maybe. I just get so excited about all the racing possibilities. Back to ultra running……

This week I’m going to try to get some miles on my feet and bike before flying to Denver on Friday. I can’t wait to see how my body responds to 10,000 feet and to hang out with Mary, Whitney and George! I really have missed Colorado!

I WILL be Leadville Tough!

Leadville Training – Week 12 Recap

I didn’t write a weekly recap last week, Week 13 since I did a race report for Pineland. So here is the update on training for Leadville that is in – OMG – 12 weeks!

This week I’ve been thinking about my first 50 mile finish and what was going through my brain as I sat on the picnic table at the finish line. I thought for the first time that maybe, just maybe, I will finish the 100 mile race. I felt like my body adapted well to 11 hours of hilly running despite nagging knee pain during most of the race. I liked having a pacer, which I’ve never had before. I really think that as I build up mileage in this next weeks, I might just do this.

I took it easy this week and had no expectations of mileage despite knowing I should try to run 47 miles according to the training plan. I really wanted to give my knee a break so I limited running and added more biking and hiking. The plan worked because today, Sunday, I have no more knee pain.

One of the things I needed to start doing to really prep for Leadville was running with poles.  I ran on June 1 with poles for the first time when run/hiking Whiteface. The poles got in the way a lot but they helped take some pressure off my knees. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Another thing is I need to start running at night and I’m not looking forward to that.

Next week I’m going for a 40 miles week versus a 60 mile week since I want to taper a little bit for the Leadville Marathon on June 15, then it’s 3 weeks of 70 mile weeks. I seriously can’t wait for these high mileage weeks:

I’m also mountain biking more to work my core and to make the legs stronger. It’s also great for cross training. And, oops, I got a bit sign up happy and registered for the Top Notch Triathlon in August in Franconia Notch. (see the picture of swimming in Echo Lake in the top photo) I wanted to do the triathlon for so long. I didn’t have a mountain bike so I couldn’t sign up for the last two years. Now, I can do it.

I heard about this race from a novel, Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. I read his book in 2006 when I lived in Colorado. The story is set in northern New Hampshire about a family that spends their summers near Franconia Notch. The book is about complicated families and the ramifications of bad decisions and accidents. But what has stuck in my head is the ending that takes place on the slopes of Cannon Mountain as the family members compete in the Top Notch relay triathlon. I have never forgotten that story and how Bohjalian chooses to end the story on top of a New Hampshire mountain. It’s a story about forgiveness and acceptance – something I still need to figure out with my complicated family.

Miles this week: 28 with hiking

Vertical: 4,366

Average resting heart rate: 47

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



Week 19 Recap

The most mileage yet and I’m feeling it. 38 miles this weekend!

I hope after the last few week I’ll be ready for the first race of the year – next Saturday. The race is a 50K on trails.

This week I am back on track with weight training and stairs. I’m up to 1,200 stairs on the stair climber. I slept well all week except for Saturday night. However, I wasn’t too stiff/sore when I woke up on Sunday to run 12 miles. I feel like my knee is 100% back to normal after Saturday long run that was mostly on trails. It didn’t hurt at all on Sunday’s run. Icing and ibuprofen really worked well.

One note about Saturday’s 25-mile run. I started running at 10:30 which is really late to start a 25 mile run. It was also the hottest and most humid day of the year so far. I wasn’t prepared for the heat and overdressed; and ran out of water when I was about two miles from the house. Also by starting late, I ran into more people on the Concord Trail system. There were a lot of dogs too; all very well behaved!

But since it was the first warm day, I also saw more people outside their homes on the routes I usually run super early. When you run at a different time, the typical run routes are like a new world.

I’m excited for tomorrow’s rest day and will not mind the rain that is in the forecast.

Average Weight: [I’m just going to remove this category on future posts]

Average Resting Heart Rate: 48

Total Vert: 6,229 ft elevation gain (woot woot – high score)

Miles: 58 (includes hiking)

Week 20 Recap

This is the second recovery week since I started training. What a strange week this has been.

As a recovery week, the mileage during this week was really low and I took a few more days off due to knee pain. I think I figured out what happened with my knee: the fall, over use, stress and putting on too many miles. I’m following a plan that has gradual mileage increases but it still wrecked my body. I think, too, that I stopped weight training and that didn’t help. I did everything right this week, well, maybe not everything right but I iced, rested, elevated and got my legs stronger. Since I had pain in the adductors weeks leading up to the knee injury, I think that part of the knee pain was coming from the weak adductors.

Now, I will get back to weight training and do my core exercises every day. I remember reading that the most important think about ultra running is arriving to the start healthy and injury free. The miles have been a struggle on my aging body and now I understand that I have to do everything I knew I had to do to stay healthy and injury free.

Lesson Learned.

I will do yoga a few times a week and weight training. I will hike and run at night.

Next week is Week 19 – the biggest week yet.

I’m excited for the week and to be strong and healthy.

132 days to Leadville.

Average Weight: [I don’t want to talk about it]

Average Resting Heart Rate: 44

Total Vert: 2,273

Miles: 23.9 (includes hiking)