Torture Report: Keeping Focus

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(G): It’s easy to start to lose your focus when the last race of the year is near. I always feel like I want to coast a little. I start to get tired of long distances on Saturday and Sunday and instead want to do other things with my energy. Especially if you have big plans for chilling out and resting up for the remainder of 2016.
After this last week of training, I hear the sofa and Netflix calling my name.
Despite the temptation, I maintained consistency… for now. I kept my usual Tuesday hill work appointment and let it have its way with me. I continue to be surprised week after week when it never gets easier. Why am I still surprised?

Wednesday, I ran a hard 8 miles. It was intended to be a 10-miler but I ran out of time and mojo so I decided eight was plenty.
Thursday I wound down to six miles because I knew I had some fairly substantial mileage for the weekend and it’s always nice to go into it fresh.
Saturday, I ran a 10-mile tempo run. That’s code for run hard for a middle distance to make yourself feel like puking would be a relief. OK, I am kidding. Well, at least a little.

I was just working my way to the crown jewel of the week and I needed reinforcements. Swaggy J joined me for a planned 20-miler.
It was gorgeous on Sunday. The sun was out, it was warm for late October and we had a great day.

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We paced it nice and steady and by mile 15 we were feeling pretty good.
But as 20 miles always proves — it packs a wallop at the end. By some miscalculation on my part we finished with a distance of 21.21. A little over on the mileage but, I never could’ve worked 21.21 on purpose. Surely it’s a good sign.

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We were tired at the end but it felt good to have a respectable distance in roughly two weeks out from the 50K.
What didn’t feel good was our glutes and our feet.
We are typically trail runners so this extra time on the pavement leaves you a bit more beat up.
And well, the glutes, they always protest a 20-plus miler.

But it’s never anything a good epsom salt bath can’t cure. I took yesterday off after my 30-ish mile weekend and back to it today. Aaaah, it’s hills again?!?!

(L):  I would like to say I was feeling so much better that I ran 30 miles this weekend, but that did not happen.  On Friday, I finally attempted a little running/walking and between the sinus pressure and coughing I made it a whopping mile.  I am pretty sure it took a whole 15 minutes to actually get air into my lungs after that.  Not exactly the place I wanted to be 2 weeks out from my 50K.

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I had planned for 15 miles on Sunday, but life threw some curves balls and I had to quit after 6 despite the beautiful weather.  Between the pressure in my head and the constant drainage I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spit or beat my head against a tree.  So far my last ditch training has gone about as well as my normal training; not so great.

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Monday, was the first day that I actually felt mostly human and that I might still be able to get my 15 miles accomplished.  I underestimated this cold.  I still couldn’t do it, but TODAY is the day.  I am going to the trail and rain, shine, sinus pressure, coughing or  vomiting I am getting it done.  For my own mental sanity I need to do at least 15 to feel good about the 50K.  The most I trained for the 50 miles was 20 and while that was still the hardest thing I have ever done, I did it.  So, while you are getting your kids off to school and having your morning coffee think of me as I will be hitting the trail.  Send positive vibes, energy and have your phone nearby just in case I need you to bring me cough drops or tissues.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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