….and My Story Runs On….
Forget about writing every week for my first 50 Miler…there is no time for that! It seems I can barely get my weekly runs in and my work done these days! But I had to share about my weekend experience….because I was on a serious high on Saturday and a serious low on Sunday….and realized this is probably a normal thing that could happen while training for a 50 Miler or endurance event? Anyone else relate?
Getting High! Saturday I did Aravaipa’s Coldwater Rumble 20 Mile race. My plan was to do this as a training run (always great to have aid stations and be around other runners for a change!). I was oddly psyched up for this event. 20 milers don’t seem like a big deal anymore (yikes! did I just say that?!) and I love Estrella Regional Park (my old stomping grounds). My plan was to be as strategic as possible with my energy conservation on this run. I got a good nights sleep and was excited to see some friends that morning, including Bob, one of my client’s who was doing his first trail race, the 20K. Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post about my best run ever but I just had another one! Here are some reasons I had a runner’s high all day on Saturday and why I yelled across the finish line “I feel f%$#king awesome!”:
- Like Javelina Jangover (my best run to date), I planned. I knew I had to strategize and manage my energy for the race. It started out on a hill so I ChiWalked right away rather than wasting energy so soon in the race. I looked behind me and I was 5th to last…everyone was ahead but I didn’t care.
- I didn’t want to race the event but I did want to see how well I could do. I was alone most of the race which was perfectly fine with me. I focused on my form, took in the breathtaking views, listened to music once in awhile and all around just focused on enjoying myself. I’ve been listening to a lot of the audios from the ChiSchool on my canal runs so I kept focusing on my form and most importantly, trying to stay as energy efficient as possible. My race performance is a clear example of how I am deepening my running practice.
- 2nd Aid Station was at Mile 11 and since I was half way, I knew I could start tapping into that reserved energy I had been conserving all along.
- I’ll be doing a separate blog post about my nutrition (after my 50 miler) but this has been huge for me. I’ve been working with Brooke from Fuel to Finish. Long story short, I’ve been feeling amazing during the week, during my runs and races. I’ve never been this dialed in to fueling my body for performance and it feels amazing.
- My last 9 miles were amazing. I still ChiWalked up the hills but I was very focused on changing my technique based on the environment that was coming at me. I was paying attention to my pace and my goal was to be comparable to Javelina which was a 13:03 for 15 miles (although I was detached enough by listening to my body first) It was hard to tell who I was passing since there were several distances going on.
- The last few miles were downhill and used up all that free energy to my advantage. I was truly feeling f%$#king awesome by the time I crossed the finish line. I felt strong and was happy knowing that I could do more miles at that point if I had to (pretty soon I will be!)
- When I checked my GPS, I found out that my fastest mile was my last one! and when I checked my placement in the event (not normally a big deal for me but was curious), I was 56th out of 80 people. By conserving my energy and being strategic, I was able to get in front of 24 people. I posted this quote on my facebook the other day and the highlighted is definitely how I measured my success on this race!
“Some runners judge performance by whether they won or lost. Others define success or failure by how fast they ran, whether or not they matched their time expectations. Still others judge performance by how good they felt running, focusing on the experience. Only you can judge your performance. Avoid letting others sit in judgment of you.”
– Hal Higdon
And now for my Meltdown:
Note to self: Don’t schedule 3 ChiRunning Alumni classes, a networking event, a 6 mile training run and dinner with your family the day after a big event (and add only getting 5.5 hours of sleep the night before). I’ve told myself this before and for some reason I thought I could handle it…Well, I did handle it but at the cost of being a nervous wreck and having a complete crying meltdown at my parents house by the end of the day. I love love teaching Alumni classes as I get to help my runners deepen their ChiRunning practice but they are always very draining for me as I cover a lot of material. I started by day at 7am. I haven’t attended Sisterhood of Superwomen in a while but I had a few friends that were going so I wanted to be there with them…then I had scheduled another training run but had to kill some time in between (when all I could think of is why did I schedule this rather than just doing my own thing so I could start/finish at my convenience)…then add on going to my parents house for dinner with the family. I left the house at 6:30am and was on the go ALL day. By the time dinner came, I just wanted to break down and cry as I was physically and mentally exhausted….and I DID! It’s been a long time since I had one of those moments but I just had to let it out.
Once I got it together, I looked back at the scenario and some things were beyond my control while some where within….
Learning lesson: Don’t underestimate the amount of rest my mind and body need while training for endurance events. To go from a huge high on Saturday to a meltdown on Sunday seriously messed with me. Not the first time I learn this lesson but apparently I need to remember this more often when planning my schedule….
So today is a rest day and I’m honoring getting done what I can and realizing that whatever doesn’t get done today, will get done tomorrow….or the next day…
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)