Since I ran the Boston Marathon I have been a busy lady and this post is to share where I have been for the three months. Some of you may have noticed I have not written a blog post for a while, while others have not.
On April 25th, a week after I completed Boston I started an online Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Royal Roads University. It was a tough eight weeks and some days I was in tears as it was outside of my comfort zone. Warren was good at reminding me that if I already knew how to do it I would not be taking the course. I also had friends and co-workers who supported me through it. The course did not kill me and I came out stronger and achieved an A-. Say what?!?
While I was hitting the books I also had to find time to train for my first 50k race called the Broken Goat that took place in Rossland on July 16, 2016. A race recap of that will be coming soon.
When it came to training for an ultra trail race I was a bit like a fish of out of water. I did not have a training plan to follow and I had tried to Google some plans but soon became overwhelmed when so many options came up. Would I train by hours or would I train by distance? My friend Karen, who I met last year at the start line of the Broken Goat 25km race, was training for the same race. She has done other 50km races and excelled at them so when we would connect about running each weekend I would share my guesstimates of time that I thought I should be running. Karen would then share her plans and it ended up that I went along with her training plan. I was happy for Karen’s knowledge and appreciated her help.
Except for a couple of weekends during our training, Karen and I spent hours exploring trails. We are lucky and both live 10-20 minutes away from a trailhead.
The first time I ran for four hours I was not sure I was going to make it. I had never run that long and it felt impossible but Karen encouraged me along and was patient with me. I remember coming up Goldstream Avenue to finish this particular run and she asked me how my legs were feeling? I was ready to kick, scream and cry at this point but I held that in. Instead, with a smile, I just said “They feel like shit!” and continued on. About 15 minutes later when we reached my house I had a lump in my throat and I felt sick to my stomach. Those were new feelings for me after a run. The end of this run was the beginning of Pea and Pod.
Sometimes when we ran it was just Karen, her dog Olive and I while other times we had a few others run with us. A typical weekend was 1.5 hours- 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday was anything from 2 hours to 4.5 hours.
As I trained I went through various emotions and feelings of uncertainty. I had to learn what worked for me nutrition wise and how often I needed to eat. When I started running I found that I was crashing because I was only eating when Karen was eating. I soon learned that I could not compare myself to Karen or when others were eating and I needed to eat before my body started to slow down. Typically for me, that was about every 45 minutes to an hour. Nutrition that I found worked for me were Cliff Block Chews, Honey Stinger Chews, Lara or Luna Bars or just a granola bar of some sort. I did eat a couple of Gu gels but tried to stick with actual food. I also learned more about Karen because we had nothing but time to share stories and laughs. And the biggest thing was I learned more about myself.
A shout out to Coach Sue as well, who met me most Thursday mornings to run Thetis Lake. She was happy to change-up our regular road runs for some trail to accommodate my new goal.
In another news, which makes me very proud, is my aunt ran her first half marathon the end of June called the Perth Kilt Run. She told me that I inspired her to run it after I completed my first marathon in May 2015. That made me happy to hear. As she went through her highs and lows of training I helped to give suggestions about nutrition before, during and after a run, drinking more water and using nuun as an electrolyte replacement. I also was there as support and help with doubts as she trained. I have learned that training for races takes your body and mind through so many different things that we are all unaware of until you go through it at least once. Even then, each round of training can bring up different feelings.
My aunt is amazing and her hard work and dedication paid off. She finished her first half marathon in a time of 2:21. She enjoyed herself and even though she had self-doubts during her training she felt great on race day. She even got a little competitive with another runner at the end of the race she told me. It was her way to push herself to go faster and she wanted to try to beat him. I loved hearing that because that is what I do when I run.
She loved her run so much that she is signed up for the Army Run half marathon in Ottawa coming up in September. This makes me so excited!
I hope to get back to regularly scheduled broadcasts as I have the Finlayson Arm 50km trail run coming up on September 10th. I hope to write some posts sharing my highs and lows so you can read about the fun times of my training.
What is new in your world?
If you have trained for a 50k before, did you train by time or distance for your long runs?
What have you learned about yourself when training for a run?