Monday, April 7, 2014

Sonoma training and goals

Well, my big race for the spring is in 5 days.  The Lake Sonoma 50 mile.  A cool old school feeling race.  The race director says go.  No arch, no balloons, no big sound system.  300 people, no pacers.  A very rolling relentless up and down, out and back course around the edges of Lake Sonoma (90 min north of San Francisco) with 3 larger climbs in the middle.  10,500 feet of climbing and an equal amount of descent.  Smooth buffed out trails and 12 creek crossings that could be anything from dry to knee deep.  I'm excited about those, I always thought that would be an epic fun thing
to do in a race.  Temps should be in the 50-70's so warmer than I'm used to but should be ok, especially with the chance to get wet often.  My husband Jeremy and I are flying out together for a fun little trip with this race so he'll be my crew.  I want to be in and out of aid stations as quickly as possible and right now am planning on using a pack so don't plan on stopping at every aid station.  It's a beautiful course with lots of good aid stations I'm sure, so why move through it so quickly?  Check out this starting list
Starting list featuring estimated finish times.
This is a absolutely elite stacked field  I'm 24th right now and I fit into the same screen as the 1st place ranked woman.  That's pretty cool!  I want to be top 20 for sure but the real goal is top 10 (there might even be a secret goal beyond that).  I've been training for an 8:15.  I'm going to run hard and smart and leave it all out there.  Plenty of time to recover before my next big race. 

I've been working hard this year, of course you always wonder if you could have done more, but I do believe it's better to be under trained than over.  After UROC 100k in September I ran a PR marathon, trained real road speedwork for 6 weeks before another PR marathon, built a good speed base.  Took a few weeks off and ran 24 miles to work with Jen around New Years.  This winter I've done some snowshoeing with friends, solo quiet winter running, even a day of skate skiing that kicked my butt.  I've run in reasonable conditions and crappy ones.  I ran the Moab 55k in February and the Buffalo 50k in March.  My husband's been really supportive as have my friends, all good people.  A new friend and Altra elite athlete Duncan has helped me with coaching the last several months.  Everyone has let me bump my own selfish many questions off of them while mentally preparing for this race.  I've been strength training a little, rolling and stretching often, nourishing my body well.  I feel good about things. 
A difficult condition windy rainy run this winter, but one I pushed through and felt so strong on
 I recently read a blog from a fast lady named Larisa who was doing a training run in a 20 mile race that ended up in a break through moment PR race.  Here is an excerpt she wrote that stuck with me:

"Mile 18.  Why am I not fading? Emotions scream inside me. Never before have I felt so strong so late in a race. A voice from deep within encourages me to go harder. To reach towards that boundary that separates the safe from the uncontrollable.
I accept the challenge and I push. Hard.
The final 2 miles zip by in a blur. I see the finish chute. I expect 2:10, but the red neon clock reads 2:04. That can’t be right.
I stop my watch. Check the data, this can’t be real....
That can’t be right. But it is...
It’s those unexpected, breakout moments in life that keep us motivated and pushing hard towards goals that sometimes seem impossibly out of reach."

I want to have a day like that.  I will have a day like that.  A day like I've had in my last several races, where I surprise myself.  I have a strong mental mind and I am prepared for any complications, but I don't entertain the thoughts of them before a race.  I have high goals, and I'm not going to lower those goals, I'll just meet them.  If you want to watch there is live coverage of the race here.  See you next week!


Jo W. said...

Good luck with the race! You got this!! Can't wait to hear about how the race goes

Stan ( said...

All the best Leslie. Looking forward to your RR and top 10 or better finish!

Jen said...

It's really so neat to see that you know that what you've put in the training bank you should be able to withdraw on race day, and that you have a good kind of confidence going into this race that can only help you achieve your goals. I'm sooo excited to see how you do this weekend. Go withdraw and spend, spend, spend on race day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Best of luck this weekend! I'll be rooting for you... :)