Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pushing on with abandon! 11 more weeks till Sunmart 50 Mile race!

These past two weeks have been incredible running experiences. One of the best workouts over these past two weeks was the Steamboat Mountain run. It was a great workout, and the hill was tough as nails, as usual, but I want to go back and train out there before my ultra...I think it would give me a great deal of confidence. Since that run, I have concentrated on one-mile repeats, and runs between 6 and 10 miles each over hills and trails, not counting the long runs of 12-14 miles.

I am running the Balloonfest 10k this weekend as a speed workout. Plus, it will be a nice change of pace to end the week with. Because next week, I start my real long workouts for the ultra. I am running the Palo Duro Canyon run in Amarillo in October as a prelude to the 50 mile race at Sunmart. But, my training starting monday will emphasize longer runs, hills, speed workouts (one mile and one-and-half-mile repeats) and back-to-back long runs on the weekends to teach myself to run on tired legs.

I am also thinking of adding in more weight lifting, and some power walking to my routine.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hill workouts and the cyclists

Well, yesterday, I celebrated my "back-into-the-swing-of-things" workout with a nice run at the State park. I decided to invent a combination workout. It consists of an hour run through a hilly section of the area, which includes a couple of fairly long hills right in the middle of the course. I ran for 15 minutes as a warmup and then ran 3 of those hill intervals, with a one minute rest in between. Afterward, I continued on with the rest of the run and headed for the trails to complete the one hour run. It was a great run that combined a steady run over a rolling hills course, hill intervals, and trail running that was a perfect training run for Palo Duro. I left there inspired and enthused again.

At one point, I was about to attack one of the hill intervals when a group of cyclists appeared over the hill and began to ascend the hill I was about to run up. I started out at least 50 yards behind them and caught them halfway up the hill, passed them and then outran them to the bottom of the hill. It was great watching them struggle up the hill as I passed them on foot. They must have thought I was insane!

I know that life is full of ups and downs, but I always feel better when I face it head on and conquer my worst!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Marching toward the Ultra with Gusto

Well, now that I have had my one break down, I am ready to get back into the swing of things. I took a day off and my attitude shifted back to my running mode. Running can definitely get tough when you are training hard. My body is fine, but I think ultra training is more mental than physical. I can handle the tough runs once I get out there, but sometimes, I have to make myself go. The temperature definitely has had something to do with my attitude, as well.

I am going to complete this 50 mile race if it's the last thing I ever do....and who might be! Ha....!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Getting burned out?

I think maybe I am getting burned completely out on running. As much as I love it, I am thinking of quitting. I am so tired of fighting the weather, worrying if it is too hot, or too cold, or too windy...waking up sore every morning, thinking and planning the next run, or the next rest day, or worrying about missing a running day, or not completing the proper mileage that day and then feeling guilty. I am right in the middle of one of the most grueling races I have ever faced, and I'm not near enough ready for the 50 mile event! I am ready to throw in the towel, literally.

I am thinking that joining a good gym and just staying in good shape would make more sense. Why do I do this to myself?

After all the negative talk, though, I know I will rest today and come back tomorrow with a new attitude. When it gets right down to it, sometimes when it gets really tough, I tend to want to quit! That's how I felt this morning, just quit and be normal like everybody else.

Or...I could just cut down on all the super miles, and the plans to run 50 miles, and say to heck with it...just find some cute little 5k's and have fun with running, not taking it so seriously, but something inside me won't let me do that. I have to keep challenging myself. So, what happens when I finish the 50 mile race? Will I not be happy with that? Will I have to do a 100 mile race? Lord knows...I don't even know. But, somehow, I know that I will keep on going, and tomorrow, I will be out on the roads again!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Step back week, and the next big push toward Palo Duro Canyon race

Last week was a step back week. I had an intense week as I have added my one-mile Intervals and hill workouts in...however, it was a step back week, so my long run was shorter, but I ended the week feeling strong and ready for the next big push. This week, I have begun running twice a day...I am entering into the next big 4-week push, which will see my long runs going up from 13-20 miles over the next successive weeks. I have about 6 weeks left before Palo Duro, and I need to get some serious hill workouts in, so thursday, I am going out to Buffalo Gap and run the "big hill."