Friday, March 22, 2013

50 miles here I come!

Well, the training's gone well. I feel pretty confident in my nutrition although I will need some additional real food calories that I will experiment with the aid stations for, but the bulk of my calories are set. I have a bag full of most of the tech clothes I own I'm working on choosing an outfit from now. The weather has turned on us dropping to 23-35 and windy tomorrow. Snowed a blizzard today. No snow on the trails though.
Sometimes racing feels normal, mundane, and sometimes that's ok, but I remember the excitement and hype leading up to my Ironman for instance and I miss that. Feeling a bit of it now though sitting in a hotel (we usually camp or drive morning of) prepping stuff and emailing my pacer. I have a pacer! An awesome lady named Jen coming out to run miles 33-50 with me.
My goals. Of course finish but I'd like to be between 8-9 hours, for sure under 10. It's hard to estimate though with such a long race on varied terrain that I've never done. I'd love to be top 5 in the women too. We shall see. My first 50 miles awaits me in 8 hours. Nighty night!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My biggest run weeks ever

The last 2 weeks have marked my biggest running weeks ever! As a triathlete I only had time to devote 3 days a week to running and I didn't believe my body could stay injury free with more than that. Not sure I believe that now but maybe if all my miles were on road it would prove true. Anyway, here's the rundown of my last big weeks of preparation for my first 50 mile race March 23.

Sunday - 5 mile steep snowshoe with husband on our Alta ski resort date I earned us in September
Monday - 13 miles on the treadmill. It was just so cold and I had to do it early I resorted to the treadmill and don't shoot me here...but it wasn't so horrible *gasp!*
Wednesday - 20 miles up Millcreek canyon with several other crazy friends. Yeah we started at 4am and it was SO cold. Had to have been below zero at the top. It was mentally tough to keep going with the cold but I'm glad I did and grateful to the friends who pushed me to keep going. Miles 17-20 felt the best
Friday - 20 miles on the canal roads by our house. An evening run that went well aside from some strange sharp stabbing head pains I get on occasion that are hopefully and likely a form of migraine and not a brain tumor ;)
Saturday - 14 miles on the treadmill. Evening again but wanted that back to back action. Wasn't horrible. Ran at 8:30 pace and incorporated three 5 min 10% grade speed hikes into it. Felt good
TOTAL: 67 running miles

Tuesday - 10 mile hilly snowy trail miles. Local Avenue Twins run. I wanted this week to include 2 hillier runs and while this isn't extreme, it was good for the time I had. Weird severe right knee pain on the way down after we had stopped for no more than a minute. Took me several minutes to kick it but all seems well now
Wednesday - 30 miles! Really wanted to do 30 again before the race. I've done that distance 4 times now. A group of us started at 4am on the Jeremy Ranch Rd near Park City. A 7.3 mile wide dirt road paritally snow covered running to East Canyon. Very remote, no houses, maybe a handful of cars the whole time. While in the dark wee hours of the morning I saw this big fish right on the road (snow). Thought, that's weird. Then we saw a fisherman's bucket, then his boot a minute later. I was convinced the body or killer was next! If it wasn't for friends there I would have been SO freaked out and turned around. I had fun with the fish on the way back. Ran the first half with friends then the last alone and while it was tough with slick snow and a strong headwind on the last back of the double out and back I got er done!
Friday - 8.4 hilly miles at Lake Mtn. Could feel my tired legs and probably hiked the last 3 miles up. At least the run down was nice
Saturday - 11.5 road miles with my friend April. My legs were a little tired but surprisingly ok on this run. Felt great knowing it was taper time after!
TOTAL: 60 miles

I haven't complained a ton and it's not that I don't feel fatigue or sometimes that it's hard to run for 3-5 hours, but honestly, I'm handling it.  I have loved watching my mind and body be challenged yet adapt.  I wanted to try ultras to mix up what I've done for so long and knew I'd like the new racing, but I didn't realize experiencing new trainng would be so interesting too.  Some of the runs I do I have a specific mile or time I want to go for, but for the most part it's get the time on the legs I can when I can.  I have also tried to follow the 10% rule.  And I rarely watch my min/mile avg because it's generally a lot slower than road with dirt/snow/hills.  Much better scenery though :)
Today I did 10 miles, my last double digit run before Buffalo 50 miler! I'm definitely playing it safe and tapering down well. No more time to build fitness and I feel good about what I've got. Now it's just time to rest the legs, run 4-5 milers to keep them sharp and loose and play the waiting game! I'll follow this up next week with a goal setting post

Avenue Twins

Beautiful sunrise on Jeremy Ranch Rd.  It's been neat running under stars, through sunrises and into the sun as well as a few sunsets

Caught with my own 2 hands  ;)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I need your ab help

UPDATE:  Ok ya'll, I really do need your help.  Went to a water fitness class last night I'm training in for work and it killed me.  They did a lot of dryland stuff like situps, pushups, planks, and seated flutter kicks.  Not to mention this move called a Hellbender.  It's not that those things are super hard in and of themselves, but I couldn't believe how weak my core was and how much it was holding me back.  Yes I did 22 real pushups in a minute, but I shouldn't have pushed myself to do them knees up, my stomach was bulging.  And while I haven't done sit-ups in a long time (don't really believe they're better for you than crunches done well, especially on a ball), I hated how weak I could feel my core was while doing them.
It's remarkable to me that I can go out and run 30 miles in one shot and not have it be a drop dead kill me workout, yet my core still isn't strong.  I imagine how much better everything would be if it was.  Help!

Yes I'm posting a picture. Please don't feel bad or hate. It's really discouraging to me when I talk about myself (on my own blog especially) and it de-motivates people or makes them depressed. NOT my intention, I don't do anything I do to be better than others - where I come in in a race is a different story ;) You know what I'm getting at.
Anyway, yes my abs look pretty good but they have a big weakness. Literally. And it's not my stretch marks. See that diastisis or abdominal separation about 2 inches above and below my belly button? It's a good 2-3 fingertips wide and no amount if flexing (which I am doing by the way, it was for a photo shoot job I didn't get) closes it completely.
I've had one since my 2nd baby but it hasn't been this bad since this last baby. I have to be cautious what core work I do. Anything that makes that area bulge up is bad, pull-ups and prone planks for instance or full supine leg lifts. As I get stronger I'll get more range of motion with the latter and likely be able to do regular planks and pull-ups again but while it bulges I have to pay attention or it could get worse.
The condition is a separation and weakness of the transverse abdominal a, a deep cross running muscle group as their name implies. One thing I know is good are pelvic curls, rolling the pubic bone upward toward the ribs. Holding that (also holding the abs in toward the spine) for 10 seconds makes you aware of the area I'm trying to work. Any ab work I do I occasionally watch my abs or put a hand on my stomach to feel if the gap is closing or not. Closing is good, widening or bulging bad.

Here's where I need your help though. I really need to close that gap down. It's not just an aesthetic thing, it's a strength and function thing. So, what are your suggestions? Have you dealt with this too?