Weekend Recap, Podcasts, Book Review

My friend Shelly, from Houston, finished her first 100 mile race at Brazos Bend in December, and her name appears in this month’s Ultra Running Magazine. She is amazing. 

While I was in Houston in January for the Houston Marathon, I had a few minutes to talk to her about her race and get some tips for finishing my first 100. I wanted to know every training secret and figure out what I could do to get to the finish line at Umstead

Here are a few tips she gave me:

  • Find running partners
  • Join long run groups
  • Run after work and into the night (with someone)
  • Get up and run at 3 a.m. for a few hours
  • Listen to podcasts and books while running

As soon as I got home I joined Facebook groups and vowed to find people to run with. I have tried to run after work but I’m too tired and it’s too cold. I haven’t woken up at 3 a.m. to run either. And, I pretty much always run alone. 

However, today as I was running for hours on the treadmill I decided to look at some podcasts and take Shelly’s advice since my music wasn’t motivating me and all the TV channels were talking incessantly about coronavirus. 

I started listening to Motivation vs. Discipline from Trail Runner Nation because I’ve been having some problems with motivation and discipline lately. 

I’ve also been having recurring pain in my legs as my mileage increases; I’m thinking from my prior injury. 

I’m a mess. 

I decided to start listening to this podcast to force me to stay on the treadmill and finish the workout. I don’t listen to podcasts because they become cringeworthy to me, and it’s feels like I’m listening to a reality show that I want to turn off when everyone starts talking over each other. Today, I decided to give podcasts another shot and listened to this entire podcast.

The biggest take away from Motivation vs. Discipline was the discussion about the ultra running community and how at races people ask “what was your experience” not, what was your time. These runners care about having a great experience. And this is what needs to motivate my running. Another discussion topic is about how motivation is needed at the beginning of learning a new distance versus discipline; however motivation and discipline fuel each other. My favorite discussion point in the podcast: listen to your body.

If you only go out and exercise when you feel great you are not going to reach your goal.” It seems like my legs are always tired. When I do my long runs they are so tired during most of it. I acknowledged that it is good training to run on tired legs, but why are they ALWAYS tired? This podcast really motivated me to keep going. 

Then, I looked for another podcast to help me fight longer on the treadmill. 

However, as I walked for a bit on the treadmill I decided to find the Libby App for the library and find a good book to listen to.

But my mind moved back to a point from the podcast, Motivation vs. Discipline, that I should use Training Peaks to plan my week because seeing a red workout (meaning not completed) would help motivate me. So I tried to Log In to Training Peaks.

It all helped pass the time and I kind of, sort of, finished my workout.

I need to do more of Shelly’s recommendations since it’s now just about 6 weeks to race day. Training is not going as well as I’d like, but I’m doing it. 

“Individuals on the path of mastery are driven from within.” The Passion Paradox

Reading The Passion Paradox is helpful too. The idea of mastery and a goal of getting better, has helped me realize that I’m in this for the long-haul. I really want to finish a 100, get better at figuring out what my body needs to go long [successfully], and try other distances and endurance sports. The only way to do this is to learn more about what will cure all my aches and pains, get better at nutrition and recovery, and to figure out what truly motivates me. After 17 years of training and racing endurance sports you would think I’d have figured it out. 

Maybe this is what keeps me motivated: there is always so much to learn.

The Passion Paradox, Run 33 Miles

Another Saturday morning and it’s time to head out on a long run. Today I must run 33 miles. It’s cold outside; about 4 degrees. I’m procrastinating. I’m drinking coffee and refreshing weather.com every five minutes. I will run all  33 miles today. Not only do I have to, I want to.

However, the caveat, the but, the …… I’m not going to be able to do it all at once. And, I’m okay with that. 

Today I will do a few trail miles with Winnie-dog. Then I will run until I need to meet my friend for a walk and dinner. Then I will finish the miles later in the evening. I will get all my miles in. 

As I wait, I start reading the book that I bought: The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. I’ve read book reviews and excerpts, and a ton of articles by Stulberg, and I follow him on Twitter. I kept writing down lines I liked and referencing his articles, so I decided it was time to buy the book, and their other book, Peak Performance. [Peak Performance hasn’t arrived yet.]

What I like about the book is how they use science and philosophy to talk about the dark side of passion and then suggest tools to help find a balance. Passion can help you be successful but it also can break you, they write.

I’m on Chapter 1: Passion Must Be Handled With Care. 

I can’t wait to keep reading because I have big goals this year. I always have big goals. And I always go through dark times and feel lost because I can’t get training in or I sleep in or make bad life decisions. I know that I don’t push myself hard enough some days and some days I overdo it. [I seem to only remember that I don’t push myself hard enough.] 

Trying to balance big goals and still wake up in the morning to get things done can be difficult but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

This is a quote I’ve kept on my phone from over five years ago; I’ve always felt this to be true.

One of the lines at the beginning of The Passion Paradox states: People who are passionate about their lives and put “tremendous passion into everything they do” cannot be content. And, alas, this is my problem – I’m never satisfied, I always want more. I can finish a race, whether it is an Ironman or 50 miler, regardless of the challenge, after I cross the finish line I ask myself –  What’s Next? 

Maybe this is healthy, maybe it’s not. I’ll find out as I continue reading. 

Okay, now it’s time to get outside and RUN. It’s now 19 degrees!!

Sunday Long Run, Procrastination

I love this quote from Beatrix Potter because I feel that way about most of my writing and especially writing this blog. Sometimes I write a few sentences in a doc and then paste it to WordPress and just see where it goes. 

Today I read a blog post from Heather, Relentless Forward Commotion. The first line of her post, Look Up, is this:

Once, I gave up drinking alcohol for forty days.

Talk about first words of a story and wondering where they will take you. I love reading her truth and so much of her post I can relate to. 

And this hits home too: 

We often hear the term “step out of your comfort zone’. But what happens when the uncomfortable becomes your comfort zone? When suddenly the mundane, “normal’ stuff is what makes you uncomfortable?

It’s 9:04 a.m. and I’m procrastinating. I have to run 28 miles today. I’m doing laundry, cleaning the house, writing this blog post and charging my watch – all while knowing I have to put on the running shoes and head out soon, very soon. I think it will take me about 5-6 hours. My adductor injury is acting up and I know this run is going to be painful and not fun. 

But the interesting thing is I’m still excited to run. I’m not exactly sure what route I will take although I know I will do an out and back, come back to the house, get more supplies and head out again in a different direction, all to get in 28 miles.

I’m excited to run because I can’t wait to see Marathon #2 on my Strava in my attempt to run 52 marathons this year. Meaning that I just need to run, all at one time, 26.2 miles, 52 times in 2020. 

I’m excited to run because I have some new songs on my playlist that I like to listen to. Some favorites include: Obstacle 1, Fix You, My Body, some Alanis Morissette and, don’t laugh, Dido. 

I’m excited to run because Heather’s blog post is giving me something to think about for a few hours and she reminds me that change is good.

Trying all things

I love this quote from Charlotte Bronte. I had this quote on my refrigerator in almost all the houses I’ve lived in the last ten years. It reminds me that I need to keep trying, keep searching to find the best people, the best places, and to not give up or settle for second best in anything I do.

Last year was good but this year it going to be epic. 100 miles. 3-Day Stage Race. Ironman. 4,000 Footers.

Training for 100 Mile Trail Race

What Not To Do:

  • Forget to set your alarm the night before
  • Not have a training plan
  • Get a new puppy
  • Forget to add weights and core strength to your plan

What To Do:

  • Foam roll
  • Mental training
  • Run at night
  • Hill repeats
  • Speed work
  • Back-to-back long runs
  • Strength training
  • Walk a lot
  • Volunteer at a 100 mile race

5 articles with great tips about training for 100 mile race.

Relentless Forward Commotion

Courtney Dauwalter is awesome

No Meat Athlete

Ultrarunning Magazine

Inov8