Confessions From Ultra Training, Part 4

 Aug 015

I haven’t been so great this training cycle at sitting in front of the computer to let my thoughts just flow out onto the screen.  The “confessions from ultra training” posts during AR50 were my favorite ones to write, and also favorite ones to look back on.  I just haven’t had the time or energy this training cycle to sit down and write much other than my weekly training recaps, and I want to change that!  Hopefully with the upcoming change (yet again) in my little family’s schedule, I will have more time to sit down and spill my running guts again. 

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Although life may be busy, I still am managing very well to fit all my running in.  Whether it’s breaking up my commute to work, getting up at ridiculously early hours, never blow drying my hair, or getting my double day in after picking up dry-cleaning, it gets done.  I feel like I have reached my maximum efficiency level over the last couple months.  It will be a very strange thing having help again with household tasks and being able to sit down when I get home from work, instead of many hours later.  I will appreciate those moments like I never have before.   

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I spent over 8.5 hours on the trails by myself this past weekend.  That is a lot of alone time and a lot of time to think.  I was kind of sick of myself come Sunday afternoon, but I was also very happy with how my runs went.  There was no dreading getting out the door or convincing myself to keep going, it just flowed naturally.  My routes weren’t pre-planned, they just came together as I let my feet decide where to go.  Trail running has become a very organic, flowing activity for me and I love that about it.   

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Since I don’t really pre-plan or map out detailed routes before hand, it’s kind of a guessing game when I am out on the trails (I always tell Chris my general whereabouts, take a map, have my phone and check in with him telling him where I am and how much longer I will be while I am out there!).  I usually have a general idea of how far things are, but I always take different turns, park in different places or venture off on new trails.  Saturday I set out for 26 miles.  I parked where I don’t typically park, ran a new loop to begin with, and took a trail on the second loop I hadn’t taken before.  With all these variables, I wasn’t sure where I would end up mileage wise by the time I got back to my car, yet somehow (yet again!), it was exactly where I needed to be.  This has happened many times and it’s a fun little instinct that I have noticed.  It’s helped me develop confidence and just trust myself to venture out, map in hand, and explore.  I am sure one of these days it will come back to bite me, but it’s definitely part of the fun and joy of it for me.   

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Eating is always a big topic of conversation when running this much, and yes I am hungry and eating a lot.  I don’t track what I eat or restrict myself at all.  I pretty much follow the ”if I am craving it, I will eat it” mentality at this point.  I feel like my body gives me good cues on what it needs for fuel, so I listen.  My normal monster lunch time salads aren’t cutting it these days (and also make me want to vomit just thinking about), so I have been eating a lot of sandwiches or other semi-adventurous (for me) foods that might be served in our cafe that day.  Luckily I have access to great food every day and I am definitely taking advantage of it like never before.  Bring on the food!   

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I am currently in my last cutback week of this training cycle!  After this week, I have 4 big weeks of training, then it’s time to taper.  Time just keeps flying on by!  I am very much excited for the next 4 weeks of training, but am making sure to just take it one day and one week at a time.  I will be running some big mileage, and get to watch the seasons change around the Bay Area while I am at it.  ART, massage, foam rolling, sleep, yoga and rest are still part of my routine to keep my body from getting mad and it will be especially important to keep up with all the miles ahead.  I feel strong, confident and happy with my running, which is a great place to be right now.

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6 Responses to Confessions From Ultra Training, Part 4

  1. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy October 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    As always, beautiful photos of the trails. I hope to get back out on the trails in the next few weeks before it gets too soppy all the time. Way to go on all that mileage!

  2. Shauna @Pleasure, not Punishment October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Gorgeous photos! I went shopping for my first pair of trail shoes today and thought of you! Hope to bump into you (not literally!) one day!

  3. XLMIC October 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Such pretty pictures :) And I love reading your words on this training process…also lovely. I love hearing that things are going so well. About that lots of alone time and “getting sick of myself”…I can relate!

  4. Nicole October 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I love this post! I wish that I had access to trails that run as long as yours do!

  5. Cathryn October 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    I love your posts…I love the photos and just the pleasure you get out of running. I can hardly wait for this half marathon to be over on Sunday so I can have a bash at trail running myself. My new shoes have been shipped, I can’t wait for them to arrive.

    (I don’t need new shoes, but it was a great excuse and they’re so pretty).

    Trail Running should pay you, it sounds like you’re getting so many people exciting about the trails :)

  6. Jojo October 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    I’m obsessed with your photos. <3

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