It is a daunting task for sure, figuring out how to get myself to the start line healthy, trained, and capable of running 100 miles. Let’s be honest, 100 miles is a whole different kind of beast. Anything can happen. I know that I cannot possibly prepare for every scenario I will be faced with during a race of this distance. At some point all the physical training I’m going to do leading up to the race is only going to get me so far. Then I’m just going to have to keep moving forward and make sure my mental game is strong! “Relentless forward motion,” is my favorite mantra and I’m sure I’ll think of a lot more before December.
I’ve heard others describe the pain cave of a 100 mile race as equal to or greater than the pain of child birth. Well, if that’s the case, I did my pain management training 13 and 16 years ago! hahaha Two natural childbirths, no meds whatsoever…only a birthing ball, my husband’s poor hand to crush, and a nail on the wall as a focal point to manage the pain. I figure if I can push an almost 9 pound baby out of my lady parts, then I can run 100 miles, right? They say you forget the pain once they put the baby in your arms and you look into their sweet little faces, but I still remember staring at that nail on the wall, squeezing my husband’s hand, and feeling like I was being crushed by a Mac truck from the inside out every 30 seconds. And that was after having puked all over the hospital floor! Hell, I pushed for 3 hours straight with my firstborn, after about 5 hours of labor and 2 days of back labor and not being able to hold down any food. That being said, both times were the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my entire life. I cannot even describe how amazing it felt each time to know that my boys are here because of the pain I endured.
We can laugh about the parallels between child birth and running 100 miles, but I guarantee you that those are the two main experiences I’m going to be drawing on when times get really tough during the race. And they will, that’s a given. It will be one of the hardest things I will do willingly in my life, but crossing that finish line will be epic. The best part is that there will be no diaper changing in the months to follow. I’ll take a nice shiny belt buckle instead. Hahahaha!
Actually the best part is going to be sharing this experience with Jen. She is tough as nails and destined to be my trail sister. We’re in this together!
Awesome Training Advice
I came across this blog post today and I think it has some great tips for anyone getting ready to run 100 miles. I know I will be rereading this a lot over the next 5 months!
Training Week #1
I’ll just call last week the first week of training because I figure anything I do from here on out will be preparing me for this race. I’ve just been trying to establish a regular running cycle lately and to work my long run back up. I’m going to scale the miles back a little bit this week and then increase again over weeks 3 and 4. That worked well during my last training cycle.
Tuesday: 8 trail miles
Wednesday: travel day to Nashville for a teaching conference
Thursday: 2 miles on hotel treadmill (my only option and I did not enjoy one second of this). 30 minute workout with weights, leg press, rowing machine, and kettle bells
Friday: travel day home/ rest
Saturday: 8 super easy paced trail miles (Went exploring to find the awesome overlook I came across last spring when I almost got lost during a run. Found it pretty easily and will definitely be making this a regular run. I sat here for awhile just enjoying the solitude and the view.)
Sunday: 17 miles on the Appalachian Trail (Ran an easier section that is more runnable trail than I’m used to. I figure I should try to do trails like this more often for this training. I’m still planning to work some elevation into my long runs though, just not every time since Devil Dog’s elevation gain is more friendly than Cayuga was!)
So that’s where I’m at currently.
What is your favorite mantra?
Have you ever been to Nashville?
I had a great time there and would love to go back again someday!