Meet the TARC 50 Milers!

Community.. Love… Running… Three words that can pretty much sum up TARC.  What is TARC? Trail Animal Running Club, but more than just a running club, it’s a culture and a way of living.  There is no cost to join and no obligation other than a love of running and respect for the trails and each other.  I’m still fairly new, fairly slow, fairly inexperienced.  However, I have always been treated as well as any ultra veteran winner.

The closest I’ve gotten to an ultra thus far has been my 6 hour race with 28 miles.  However, that will all change on Friday when I toe the line for my first 50 miler.

I’m not going to lie.  Training for me hasn’t been easy.  I’m still learning to balance sleep, running, and friends and family.  I haven’t been the greatest at it but I’m learning.  But enough about personal struggles.  What I really wanted to know is who are my fellow 50 milers, how did they train and what’s their plan? I got the idea after listening to DFL Ultra-running podcast (check it out, it’s like running with friends!) tribute to the TARC 100 that’s the highlight of the race I’m running.  They interviewed 10 individuals who are running either the 50 or 100 miler with similiar questions.

However, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to know more 50 milers, who they are and how they trained.  So instead I came up with 6 questions and asked my fellow 50 milers to answer in any detail they had time and desire for.  What came out was a spectrum of answers and further shows the diversity of ultrarunners and the reason why I love being part of the TARC community.

The Questions

1. Name/Age/Gender if you wish to share –
2. Is this your first 50 miler? What’s your running history?
3. What distance have your long runs or races been leading up to TARC 50?
4. What was your weekly mileage at the peak of your training?
5. What pace/fuel strategy do you plan to follow?
6. What gear are you planning on using during the 50? (Could be as general or specific as you want to type)

I’ll start with myself:

1. Liana/26/Female
2. First 50 miler, started running marathons over a year ago.  Have done 7 marathons and one 6 hour race.
3. I did a 6 hour race in March for 28 miles. Otherwise I’ve done a few marathons in April & May but most of my training runs have been 20 miles or so. I’ve been doing double long runs usually a 20 miler and a second double digit the next day. A few times I did a marathon and a 20 miler but that was only once or twice.
4. Usually 60s, made it up to 80 or high 70s a few times.
5. Might target 11-12 minute pace for the first 25 miles, and then try to survive the second 25 miles. Going to try to eat something every 5-6 miles at the aid stations.
6. Innov-8 trail shoes, 2xu compression socks, Fenix flash light & a headlamp, camelpak maybe for the second loop (still debating if I need it for the 1st 25 miles).  Bug spray and my handheld bottle if I don’t use the camelpak.

Interview 1

1. Justin Shireman/34/Male
2. First 50 miler/7 marathons…started running again three years ago after a long hiatus.
3. A couple marathons
4. 50-60
5. Whatever gets me to the finish line within 12 hours
6. Headlamp and possibly flashlight.

Interview 2

1. Gary David, 43, Male
2. First 50. First marathon was in 1996. Run about 13 marathons or so, two Ironmans, two 50ks, plus many many shorter distances (half-IM, half marathons).
3. longest was 29 miles. Generally training 13 hours a week including bike and run
4. Between 40-50 run miles. Also was biking.
5. Conversational comfortable pace. Drinking around a 16 oz bottle about every hour (depends on conditions), 200-300 cals an hour
6. headlamp, handheld light, ultimate direction SJ pack, nathan handhelds, Brooks Cascadias, Garmin Forerunner 305, clothes.

Interview 3

1. Linnea Anderson, 27, female
2. This is my third 50-miler. I ran my first at Stone Cat last year and my second at Rocky Raccoon in February. I started running (for more than just extra conditioning for other sports) in 2007 with half marathons, then ran my first full marathon in 2010. I started trail running and training for ultras last spring and have done several 50Ks in addition to the 50-milers.
3. I was injured on and off from November to April, so a lot of my training consisted of just trying to get the mileage back up. I had an excellent base from last summer/fall, so I haven’t found it to be too difficult to get back into it. As preparation, I’ve done two 50Ks (TARC Spring Classic and Pineland Farms) and several 3-5 hour trail runs.
4. My peak mileage was around 50 miles with several strength workouts as well. I’ve tried to keep the mileage very reasonable to limit the chance of re-injuring myself.
5. I’ll take walk breaks, but I don’t follow a strict run-walk plan; I just walk hills or when I feel I need a break. When things get tough and running gets very mentally challenging, I find it helpful to give myself a limit – i.e. “I can walk to that tree” or “When my watch hits :45, I’ll run again.” For fuel, my mainstay is Clip2 from Succeed! mixed with coconut water. I call it my “miracle drink” because of how it brought me back from a rough place at Stone Cat. I’ve also been training with Tailwind and the Succeed! Amino mixes as well. I’ll probably start with Tailwind, then transition to a mixture of Clip2 and Amino with coconut water. For food, I just eat whatever looks good at the aid station – which, at TARC races, is usually almost everything!
6. I’m using my Black Diamond Storm headlamp and one Knuckle Light for the dark hours, which is most of the race. I’ll carry one handheld and some drink packets since the aid stations are so close together, and just refill with coconut water when I go through the start/finish each time. I’ll wear my new favorite shoe, the New Balance Leadville (NB1210).

Interview 4

1. Tracy Gariepy, F, 35
2. This is my first 50! I was registered for the 50 at Stonecat last year, but about a month before the race found myself with a stress fracture of the 2nd metatarsal and in a boot/crutches. No Stonecat for me  I’m an avid half- and full-marathoner, especially Disney races. I annually do the Goofy Challenge at Disney World, which is a half marathon and full marathon all in the same weekend. Last year I did my first two 50k trail races (Pineland and TARC Summer Classic), which would have been perfect training for Stonecat, had I been able to make it.
3. My longest run for this 50 miler is only 20 miles, with a few 18’s. I had a bad run at the TARC spring classic where I intended to do 50k, and dropped after 30k
4. My weekly mileage has been about 50 miles.
5. For any training associated with trail/ultra training, I always just run at a comfortable pace, whatever that may be that day. For road races I work a lot more on speed and pacing. At this TARC 50, I’ll be running with a friend who is generally slower than me. I’m hoping that by running slow with her will make up for the fact that I’m not fully trained for this distance. I don’t have a specific fueling strategy. I eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m thirsty.
6. I hate carrying gear when I run. It kills me to do it, but I’m going to have to suck it up and wrap a headlamp around my fist (found a cheap one at REI), and maybe also carry a flashlight. I’ll wear a waistpack with two small water bottles, but mostly rely on aid stations for refueling.

Interview 5

1. Thomas Dorr 38 year old male.
2.this is my first 50. I started running again about three years ago leading to my first marathon last year . This year I have done two marathons leading up to this
3. Two spring marathons and several 20 to 25 mile runs
4. 60-70 miles
5.slow and steady, I think the hard part will be slowing my pace from my shorter races

Interview 6

1.) Lauren Farkash /44/ Female
2.) second 50 miler – have also run several 50k, paced husband and friend in several 100 milers, have run 27 marathons, trying to complete one in each state, running since I was a kid
3.) long runs have been up to 3 hours, with a couple of recent marathons
4.) 75 miles per week at peak
5.) no strategy, running with a friend who is training for VT 100
6.) Basic gear: shoes, handheld hydration, headlight, spi belt for gels and s caps

Interview 7

1. Beth Campbell/44/female
2. This is my second 50 miler. My firsts was in January at the Avalon 50 Miler on Catalina Island in CA. Afterwards i was hooked! I’ve been running as a sport since high school xcountry and have been running marathons since taking on a bet from my brother in 2000.
3. For training I’ve been running more for time on my feet rather than distance. it usually works out. i’ve also been trying to do back to back long run days; usually Saturday and Sunday. My Longest was an awesomely difficult 5 1/2 hour nighttime trail run (7pm -12:30 am) with some of my crazy running peeps. We wanted to try to acclimate to starting at 7pm like we will be doing for the race. Not an easy transition for this 4:30 am runner.
5. My weekly mileage never got over 50 miles a week. I work full time and have 9 year old twin boys … 50 is all I can manage without losing my mind or dropping from exhaustion.
6. Depending on the temps I was planning on carrying a camelback so that I can be self reliant. Headlamp is the only other must. Trying to travel as light as possible!

Interview 8

1- Andrew B / 30 / Male
2- This will be my second 50 mile race start. I started the Wapack 50 in 2012 but only did the first 43 miles. Longest run for me ever was 60 miles at the 2012 TARC Ghost Train. I ran in high school XC but quit after graduation. Took up running again about 2 years ago. Ran about 1200 miles last year.
3- Longest was the TARC 50k in late April … closer to 32 miles. Other than that I did a few 10 mile runs in May and another 9 last weekend when it was like 90 deg out. We’ll see if my laid back low-mile approach was a good or bad idea next week!
4- Best week was about 40 miles. Monthly: April 130 / May 150
5-Pace is keep it slow! I always go out too fast, I have recently been practicing what a 12 min pace feels like – I will start off at this pace. Since my GPS will not last for the race, I’ll use a regular watch and a pace card with each station at my calculated time for a 12 min pace. Fuel – eat at every station and pack some cliff bars to eat in between stations.
6- Pack is a runner’s belt w/ 20 oz water bottle and storage for several bars. I will just wear my headlamp. Only other thing I need are shoes: new balance mt101s. These shoes are literally falling apart but I can’t find anything new to replace them with the same profile so I am praying they can last one more week.

Interview 9

1. Anthony Tieuli / 40 / Male
2. No, this will be my 2nd 50 Miler. Ran the StoneCat 50 last year. I’ve been running regularly since 2010 when I was running mostly to train for sprint triathlons. Picked up the distance bug late in 2010 and ran my first Boston in 2011. Ran my first ultra (Pineland 50k) in 2012 and have run a bunch of marathons, 3 or 4 more 50k’s, and a 50 Miler in the last year or so.
3. Mostly 50k races and marathons as long training runs. the last few weeks have been more shorter (10-15 mile) back to back days.
4. 50-60 miles.
5. I don’t have a pace strategy, I just go by perceived effort. I don’t let my heart rate or breathing get out of control. For fuel, mostly gels and water and maybe some perpetuem. I tend to not like the junk food at aid stations, but I do like to eat fruit. Of course all bets are off after mile 35. I’ll eat whatever my body tells me to.
6. Inov8 Trailroc 255’s, Injini 2.0 Socks, Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp, Ultimate Direction handheld water bottle and/or Nathan Vaporwrap hydration pack, Hammer Gels and Hammer Perpetuem.
Check out Anthony’s blog InsideMyTrailHead for some awesome race recaps!

Interview 10

1. Dave Will 42 m
2. Yes. 42 marathons, one sub-3, an ironman, and a few 12 hr adventure runs. Been running for 25 yrs.
3. Mid-twenties on trails.
4. 70’s
5. 11-12 min pace steady, regular fuel.
6. Camelback, GU brew, PB&J, chex mix, turkey jerky, endurolytes, headlamp, nipple band aids!

Interview 11

Dari Whitehouse 50 Female

First 50M – to celebrate turning 50 on 5/27/13. I’ve been running since 2008.

1 – 50K, 5 marathons, 3 1/2 marathons, blah blah blah

My long runs in prep for TARC included the Boston Marathon in April (crossing 57 seconds before the first blast), and a nighttime 40 miler on Martha’s Vineyard in May, along with misc. 20 milers.

My mileage was lower than I would have liked due to my experience at Boston. On average, about 50 miles per week, I guess. I’ve had a pretty hard time reclaiming my passion for running since 4/15. My son, his gf & my best friend were at the finish line and it’s been a tough period for us all.

Gu every 4 miles or so, salt caps, gatorade & water, pretzels, PB&J sandwiches, pieces of protein bars & honey stinger waffles. I’m hoping for a 12min pace but really I have so little trail experience, I’d be thrilled just to finish without a DFL or DNF due to time cut off.

I’ll use a hydration pack. I dehydrate pretty easily due to past chemo treatments. Knuckle lights & a headlamp (maybe), trail shoes plus two back ups due to mud & anticipated rain this week.

Dari is also a 4x cancer survivor and now a Boston survivor.  NPR did a small piece about her and her son.  “Just some insights into who I am and why I’ve looked forward to this run so much. I’m hoping for a cathartic and dare I say, freeing run in the woods with amazing friends on Friday. As a 4x cancer survivor and now a Boston survivor, I’m grateful everyday I get another chance to get it right.”  Check it out, it’s fairly short (only 9 minutes long) PRX interview.  

Interview 12

1. Emer O’Donoghue 50 F.
2.Yes. Running since 1995. This is my first 50 miler. I ran a 50k last year to celebrate my 50th birthday. Pinelands. I have run 6 marathons. I am a mountain runner and have done the series since 2001. Missed 2007 and 2012. Back again this year.
3.20 mile is my longest run. I have done the first four mountains of the USAFT-NE Mountain series. Sleepy Hollow, Wachusetts, Bretton Woods Fell race and Ascutney last Sunday.
4.53 miles.
5. Go out easy and hold on!
6.Shirt and shorts, something I usually run it.

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Someone also posted this chart of the runners.  Trail running doesn’t discriminate!

If you want to track any of us because you are really curious to see where we are at 3AM on Friday night when you are warm in your bed look here.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed that and if you’re planning on running the TARC 50 or 100 Miler, share your answers!

50 Miler Training Week Infinity and beyond

It’s week 22? Or maybe 23? Seems like forever since I signed up for this race.  I’m now sitting with less than two weeks until gun time.  I know that over the next 10 days or so, nothing I do will help or improve my race.  It’s too late for that.  Instead I worry, and worry that what I’ve done wasn’t enough.  I worry about all the long runs missed.  I feel pretty confident on my mileage per week but I wish I’ve gotten at least a 50K under my belt.  I worry that I haven’t done enough trail running.  Although i know the course isn’t very technical from past experience, I can’t help but worry about my severe lack of trails I’ve seen for the training season.  It’s been a cold long winter, lots of winter snow storms, lots of rainy weekends, and I’ve just haven’t been on the trails like I probably should have.

I worry that I haven’t spent enough time on me feet which is same as worrying that my runs have not been long enough.  I worry about the night time and the bugs that will eat me.  I worry about a blister I got from the Spartan race.  I worry about which socks should I wear.  Zensah compression? light running socks? Cushion? All at once? I worry that I haven’t fully gotten used to running in this heat.  I worry about what to carry for hydration. My handheld bottle? My camelpak? Nothing and rely on the aid stations?  I worry about how often I should eat? I worry about what my pace should be? 11min? 12? maybe even slower? I worry about the weather? What if it rains? I’ve already decided I’m not doing the race if it rains. I worry what my replacement 50 miler will be if it rains.

I share all my worries so I can let go.  Once I put it out there, I can move on and focus on the excitement.  Excitement of my first night race.  Excitement for my first 50 miler.  Excitement for a giant party in the woods with my trail loving friends.  Excitement for the week or so running break I plan on taking afterwards.

Anyways, last week recap… less miles than I hoped but it’s a hard balance in life, love and running.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 20 Miles
It took 2 run buts I got it done to make up for the lack of double long run over the weekend. 7.3 miles during lunch and 12.7 miles after work into the evening.  First run ended up being 8:11 pace on treadmill at incline 2 while the second averaged at 8:25 on the roads.  I would have keep running but it was getting dark and the bugs were beginning to feast on me.  Just one of those nights where I was mentally and physically there with the run.

Wednesday – 12 Miles
Was going to do 15 but ran out of time.  Ran 7 during lunch and 5 after work.  Both at a surprisingly decent pace.

Thursday – 8 Miles
No double run for me today.  Felt pretty low and couldn’t get myself to run during lunch.  However, got myself together after work and hit the treadmill.  It was pouring outside so instead I stumped away at 8:15 pace on the workmill while watching kitchen confidential.

Friday – No Miles
Didn’t plan on resting but busy day with work, appointments and a 5 hour drive to NYC left no time.

Saturday – 20 Miles
A late start after 9AM and the weather was already reaching 80.

Shared Photo

I ran up and down the curvy road. It was beautiful in that creepy empty wooded roads type of way.

Sunday – Spartan Race
About 4 mile run and half mile to and from parking lot.  Full recap of all the pain to follow!  I was planning on running 15 miles in the morning but am really glad I got lazy because I needed all strength I could gather to survive the race.

Total Miles – 60

Total Feelings – Wishing I ran more!

NYC Marathon, Spartan Freak Out and a Week 21 Recap – 50 Miler Training

The good news –

NYC marathon accept

Yea, don’t think I’ve ever been happier about a $255 charge on my card.  I got into the NYC Marathon on my second year attempt!  Although this will be my most expensive race.

The nervous news –

I’m not more nervous than excited after reading the description of my spartan race.

“3-4 miles with 25 obstacles including a few new surprises. Extremely steep, this course winds up, down, across, and back on this monolithic mountain, giving racers the most challenging sprint in NY Tri-state history.”

I’m pretty sure I’m going to die.  How did I go from 3 miles with 12 obstacles to 3-4 with 25!  Oy.

And now for last week’s training summary because I don’t have my Run to Remember race recap yet.

Monday – Rest!

Tuesday – 8 Miles
Don’t know how but I got myself into a fast run.  I guess that’s the magic of rest days.  8 minute miles on incline 2 on the evil work treadmill.

Wednesday – 13.1 Miles
7 Miles for an hour on incline 3, 8:30 pace.  6.1 after work.  My 6.1 miler felt sluggish and awful.  Got down to 7:58 pace on a path I know I could hit 7:30 or lower on.

Thursday – Rest
It was raining, I was lazy, and the run just never happened.

Friday – 5 Miles
This is probably where I went wrong in my taper.  I was tapering like I would for a full marathon, another mistake but I didn’t want to give up too many miles. And even then I did 1 mile too long.  I should have stopped at 30 minutes but the running felt comfortable that I went for an extra mile.  Ran 5 miles at about 7:50 pace on incline 2.  That was one of my fastest run on my work treadmill.

Saturday – 2 Miles
Testings out my legs, did 2 miles in 14 minutes and felt great!

Sunday – 27 Miles
The first 13.1 miles was the Run To Remember.  I’ll have a full race recap but because although a PR for me, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.  Disappointed a little but I’m okay because there will be more races. After taking a nap, watching some Arrested Development and cuddling with the cat, I finally got enough energy to go for a second run.  I still felt too time constrained for the trails so instead I stuck to the familiarity of the roads.  Ran 12 miles on pavement at about 8:40 pace, took a small drink break and then finished with 2 more on my treadmill.  I got tired of looking at concrete so I figured the spiderwebs in my basement made a great change of scenery.

Total Miles – 55.2

Total Feelings – It was nice to have a break!

50 Miler – Week 20 Recap – Another Week of 80 Miles!

Hitting 80 miles the week before was exhausting and truth be told I did not want to go that high in miles again.  However, I realized with a certain half marathon (I’m going to taper for) and a weekend away visiting family and the Spartan race on the calender, it was time to step up my game and suffer just a little bit more.

Monday – REST! Seriously  I don’t think I loved my rest days as much during marathon training as I do now.

Tuesday – 11.5 Miles
For the first time in what seemed like forever but was only a month, I woke up earlier to run.  Did some mile repeats for about 5 miles at average pace of 7:28.  Felt good to sweat that early again.  However, the wake up is still a struggle.  I ran about 6.5 miles during lunch.  I thought I would struggle after the Cox Marathon but finished in under 52 minutes on incline 3 on the evil work treadmill.  It’s funny how the days you expect bad runs, the good ones pop up.

Wednesday – 16 Miles
My big day of double runs! 8 miles outside on the Charles at what I thought was a fast pace but since I had no Garmin and Runkeeper stopped working on my phone, I’m not too sure.  My evening run almost stopped after 1 mile when it started to downpour on me.  Luckily, I have my basement treadmill and I finished the last 7 in about 8 minute pace.  It felt great!

Thursday – 7 Miles
Ran on the Charles for about an hour for about 7 miles in a relaxed pace. Figured I should use some recovery miles after two days of double runs. People watched and enjoyed the sunshine!

Friday – 4.5 Miles
Planned for 6, was making great speed on incline 3 during lunch when my hamstring suddenly felt tight.  It hurt to continue running and so I immediately stopped and foam rolled like crazy.  I ain’t risking an injury over an extra mile or two! Felt pretty cranky rest of the evening and kept stretching.

Saturday – 23.7 miles!  
My favorite run!  Ran with one of my favorite trail running buddies.  We ran about 13 miles together on different trails in the fells.  After we parted, I got the brilliant idea to run the reservoir trail on my own and took a nice little stumble on mile 20 pretty much bruising up my whole right side.  Between the fall last week and the fall this week, I probably will not be wearing dresses or skirts to work for a while. Yea, if you want to lose the will to run, fall on the end of your run, that did it.  Overall I finished over 20 miles on the trail (the rest were roads) and was on my feet for 5 hours.  I think that was successful enough even with the fall.  Plus whatever issue I’m having with the tight hamstring doesn’t seem to be an issue when I run trails.  Now if only I could learn to lift my legs more so I can stumble less.

I did come across a few heat issues and more bruises than just from falling.  My arm fat chaffed a little (okay a lot) where my triceps should be, and my camelbak which never had an issue before cut into my neck.  I might start wearing bandaid or something to have an extra layer between skin and my camelbak.  Anyone have better suggestions?  Basically aside from my feet where I was well prepared, my skin was feeling pretty raw =(.

Sunday – 18 Miles
I wanted to do about 20 miles because I figured whats better than a back to back 20 miler.  However, I lasted 3 and half hours running and figured between the trails and the rain, it was good enough.  Final round out about 13 miles on trails, 3 on the road and 2 on the treadmill after I had enough for the rain and my Camelbak trying to cut my neck off.  I ran about 2 miles with Tony before he left me and about 11 with some TARC friends. While I love running on the roads alone, I really enjoy company on the trails.  I didn’t track pace too much outside the treadmill run which was about 8:10 pace for the last 2 miles. Trails varied between 11 to 13 depending on the trails and if I had to go downhill.

 Total Miles – 81

Total Feelings – Legs & body feel great, but starting to feel like I always lack time to live!

50 Miler – Week 19 Recap – Hit my 50 miler training peak

When I first started “planning,” well actually more like a general visualization of what my training will be like for the upcoming months of the 50 miler, I thought I would have lots of 90s, even 100 mile weeks.  It seemed easy after following one too many ultra runners on facebook who on a daily whim run a 50K like its eating breakfast.

Well needless to say, that did not happen.  On many weeks I struggled to even hit 60 miles, often resulting in 2 runs a day to get my mileage in.  I still think I can handle 90 miles of running a week physically but mentally, I struggle for the time and energy.  I struggle to find time for friends and family, for being focused at a full time 8:30-5:30 (often longer in March/April) job.  I struggle to find time to follow all my TV shows I love (Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Vampire Dairies etc.).  Then, there’s this little blog that I love working on.  And this doesn’t even brush any normal life chores, home ownership or interests I may have.  So yes, mentally and time-wise handling a 90 mile week on a regular basis just did not happen like I thought I would.  I considered waking up earlier, but I love my sleep too much and it’s been a cold long winter.  Maybe next year….

So instead I think I’ve reached what will be the mileage pinnacle of this training cycle… 81 Miles.  Here’s a breakdown of how it got done.

Total Miles

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 16 Miles
I did two runs outsides of 8 miles each.  One around noon at 7:50 pace, one after work at 8:37 pace.  Needless to say, the evening run was a struggle.

Sometimes on rough days, I take even a short run outside and remember just how lucky I am to be able to run where I am.

Wednesday – 6.2 Miles
54 minutes on my work treadmill at incline 3.  I thought I would struggle because I ran the night before.  However, I think the slower evening pace was easier to recover than the faster midday run I took.

Thursday – 7 Miles
Incline 2 on the treadmill after work.  I struggled to wake up early to run so that didn’t happen so evening miserable run it was.

Friday – 6 Miles
About 50 minutes mostly on incline 2 with some 3s thrown in.  It was a struggle to run on Friday, esp with my plans for Saturday & Sunday but I had a goal of wanting to hit 80 miles so I took it slow and stopped as soon as I reached 6 miles.

Saturday – 20 trail miles
About 16 miles of trails.  As mentioned before I fell before I even reached mile 10.  There was crying, there was pouting and then I ran 10 miles more for a total of 4 hours and about average pace of 12 minutes which included my crying/falling time.

Sunday – 26.2 Miles
Cox Providence Marathon.  I’ll have a full recap up when I have time but for now, here’s the summary:

Cox Marathon Finish Time

Total Mileage – 81 Miles

Total Feelings – Cloud 9! After hitting some low worrying points on the upcoming 50 miler, I’m back in the I can do this mood!  I almost ran 50 miles over the weekend.  I was short 3.6 miles! What stopped me on Sunday? I already showered and washed my hair for a dinner.  Yes, I’m a girl, sometimes I skip runs because I don’t want to blowdry my hair again. Deal with it.

50 Miler – Week 18 Recap

Week 18… Over 4 months of working on my 50 miler goal and I still feel nervous.  I worry I haven’t spent enough time on my feet or trails.  I worry about the darkness, I worry a lot.  Sorry friends and family, but I have  less than 5 weeks left before the big night and I’ll probably be babbling about whether I think I can or can’t on an hourly occurrence.  Also I’m looking for recommendations on headlamps for the race.  Yea, you figure the girl whose planning on running 50 miles in the dark for the past half year would have one, nope, I was never a boy scout, I am never prepared.

Anyways week 18, a week after taking a full week off from running… My withdrawal symptoms did get a bit scary (day 5 is the worse) but coming back into the routine had a comfort that very few things could replace at the moment.

Monday – 2.62 Miles
It was in the hotel gym.  Running after sunbathing for an hour in the Vegas sun in a hot hotel gym, yea not smart.

Tuesday – 7 Miles – 61 Minutes
I was nervous after having two failed runs in the hotel gym after a week off. Luckily, I prefer to blame the weather.  Not that Tuesday was any better with 70 degrees in Boston.  However, even with 4 hours of sleep and heat, I got 8:42 pace.  I’ll call it a transition run?

Wednesday – 14 Miles 1 hr 54 min
I call this the getting my confidence back.  8:08 average pace which includes warm up and cool down.  Maybe the vacation didn’t kill all endurance.

Thursday – 6.2 Miles 55 min
Repetitive work gym run on incline 3

Friday – 6.2 Miles 55 min
Repetitive work gym run on incline 3, same as the day before

Saturday – 13.27 Miles 2hr 26min
I wanted to do 20 miles but I slept in until half my day was gone.  Damn being sick & jet-lag  11 min pace with 11+ trail miles in the Fells!  After spending a week in the dry canyon west, I was happy to return to my tree lined trails.  I wish I woke up early enough to meet up with TARC but those 8AM meet up are too far from me for me to ever make it on time.

Sunday – 20 Miles
My favorite running day of the week. 13 miles on the Quincy Half marathon (7:32 Pace) and 7 miles after eating a snack and changing an hour later.  The second run felt really difficult.  I do double runs regularly but I usually have several hours to recover in between.  My legs post race felt heavy but I knew I could do it, how else am I surviving 12 hours of running?  First 2 miles felt horrible, next 3 felt great,  but the last 2 I was glad to be over.  I stuck to an 8:30 pace but i as not going to run a mile more than 20.  So even though it took about .3 miles for the Garmin to sync, you bet you I counted those towards mileage!

Total mileage – 69

Total feelings – Happy to be running!

How did your week go?

50 Miler Training Week 15, 16, 17 – Boston Marathon Taper, Double Marathon & Rest Week

Don’t forget to enter my Nuun giveaway, only 1 day left!

Week 15, 16, 17 of my 50 miler training are a little funky.  To be fair, I don’t really have a plan.  There’s just time before the race and day of the race and then who knows what I’ll do with my life?  Maybe learn to swim? Get a puppy? Probably just keep running.

My emotions and thoughts from the last three weeks of running are faded and forgotten (for the most part) and are instantly replaced with more recent recaps of this week’s runs.  None the less, the mileage recap drumroll”

Week 15 – Boston Marathon Taper Crazies

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 10.43 Miles 1 hr 38 min
Ran over 7 road miles at about 7:30 pace, first mile was 8, so I guess the rest were sub 7:30. Bumped into some trail animal friends and of course couldn’t resist running the trails with them. Did a few hill repeats and about 2 miles of trails. I guess trail miles were around 11-12 pace?

Wednesday – 6.4
Ran outside along the Charles for about 50 minutes

Thursday – 6.3
47 minutes, 7:27 pace & legs felt bouncy

Friday – NONE because it’s taper week!

Saturday – 4 miles
4 outside on the flattest road I know to pace myself.  Finished in 30 minutes with goal pace of 7:30 and felt great!

Sunday – 2 mile 15 minutes
Treadmill miles at goal pace 7:30 minute miles

Week 15 Miles -29 Miles

Week 15 Feelings – Felt awesome, the shorter distance were totally going to my head and making me dream of PRs

Week 16 – Marathon to Marathon

Monday – Boston Marathon
I finished in 3:26 and I have a detailed report of an emotional race, but it’s hard to write that up without thinking about what happened afterwards.  And honestly? I’m still dealing with it.  It hard to walk by the trinity church area without bursting into tears or freaking out every time I hear a loud noise outside or the fire alarm goes of or if I see a plane fly by (I work on a high floor of one of the tallest buildings in Boston).  I’ll get to it, because the actually race went great and I was filled with so many loved ones along each mile and that’s what the Boston Marathon (my home race) is all about for me and will continue to be for me even if I hate waking up at 6AM for a race that starts at 10:20AM.

Tuesday – 5.15 46 minutes
Ran on a flat road for about 46 minutes, had hopes of doing 8 miles but the legs were SORE and had enough after 5 miles.

Wednesday – Rest
Rested, foam rolled, and hugged my loved ones

Thursday – 4 miles
Started at marathon goal pace but struggled and ended in 31 minutes.  7:45 pace and felt tired.  No dreams of PR were coming my way on Saturday

Friday – Travel Rest Day
I wish flying was considered a workout, but I checked all my luggage so I can’t even really count it as strength other than a workout of patience.

Saturday – 26.2 Miles 3:56:54
I have my full recap of the race posted but all I can say is that I have never felt more happier with a sub 4 hour race.

Sunday – 4 Mile Hike
Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point

Total Miles – 69 
Total Feelings – I’m pooped, really contemplating the whole 50 miler idea and whether I can do it.  Feelings switch second by second.

Week 17 – Vacation Getaway & Hiking up canyons

When I travel I almost never get to run because I try to see & eat everything I can, literally.  I’m also usually with family, Tony, or friends who don’t see 4 hours of running as a great away to enjoy a vacation.  So instead I relax and go with the flow.  This week’s flow happened to be hiking,  So Luckily, I got some miles in while resting up from my running overdose.

Monday – 8.2 Mile Hike – Fairyland Loop, Bryce Canyon – Blog post to come

Tuesday – 10.5 Miles of hike – Watchman Trail, Angel’s Landing & Emerald Pools all at Zion National Park – Blog post to come eventually!

Wednesday – 10 Miles – Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, Weeping Rocky, backtracking on Observation point to find tony – AH-mazing photos and post to come

Thursday – 8 Miles – Mileage might be off by it was hiking in waist deep water.  Yes recap to follow.

Friday – 5 Miles Walk along Grand Canyon – It was hot, it was cold, leisure pace for many views.

Saturday – 3 Mile Walk – I don’t usually count walking but I think walking along the Vegas strip at night should be counted as a workout even if I was drinking a yardstick margarita .

Sunday – 5 Mile RUN! – I was happy to run again but sad that the gym was 80 degrees and I almost threw up!  Not a great way to return back to running.

Total Mileage – 49 Miles, Yes I’m counting walking since I only had 5 miles of running

Total Feelings – I miss running! I love hiking, maybe 50 miler is a great idea!