Friday, May 24, 2013

April and Most of May, In a Nutshell: I have been training, really. Just not blogging.

I have been bad blogger and I have not updated my blog in many, many weeks.  

This guy is pointing at me because I have been a bad blogger.

Fortunately, it has been because I have been so busy at work, with training, and with life in general, and not because there hasn't been anything to write about.  Actually, that's not quite true.  I have been writing a lot - it's just that I haven't posted any of my writing.  

As some of my friends can attest (and especially Rob), I can get very, very touchy about people seeing my writing.  Poor Rob has to deal with my wrath when he even casually glances at my laptop when I type in my journal.  What happens is that I write things, read them, and then decide not to hit the post button, because I am embarrassed about what I have written.  

For example, I spent one half hour rhapsodizing about how much I love my new Altra Intuitions and then after reading it, I realized that everything I wrote has already been said.  So I didn't hit the post button.  Even my personal race reports seem silly, because I generally do not write about the actual race or the running, which would be useful and worth reading,  but instead write about the people I meet and the random things I think about when I am running.  Which I don't think would be interesting to anyone, but me.  So I don't hit the post button.  

Anyway, pushing those excuses aside, Grand Slam of Ultrarunning training has been going well and life has been pretty darn good.  I have the Western States Training runs coming up this weekend, and I am really looking forward to seeing a good chunk of the course!  

I have been training!  Really!

But I am feeling bad that I haven't posted anything recently, so I decided to write a quick summary of things that have been awesome, running-wise.  A lot of these items have their own separate blog entries, but I haven't decided whether to actually, you know, post them:

Here is my April and most of May, in a nutshell:

Things that were awesome since my last post (starting with the most recent):

(1) May 23, 2013: Running in the Van Cortlandt Track Club Cross Country Summer Series when it was all monsoon-y and puddle-y and stuff.  There was much drama in this race, including having a pint of Guinness slish sloshing in my stomach and needing to pee quite badly.  But it all worked out. 

(2) May 18. 2013: Running with Rob, Jayne, and PJ at the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  Not only was it their first half (and boy, did they kick so much butt!), but it was my very first time running with my big sister.  This is a super big deal because growing up, I would say mean things to Jayne every time she tried to get me to run.  As someone who grew up being deathly afraid of disappointing my big sister, this demonstrates how much I hated running as a teenager.  

It was also very, very, very cool watching Rob just throwing back the miles, like it was no big deal.  I guarantee Rob will be running his first ultra by the end of 2014.  

(3) May 12, 2013: Doing a longish run before eating dim sum with Jurgen, Otto, Lisa, and Tiger Ellen.  I don't understand why this isn't a thing that I do every week.  I like long runs and I like dim sum. 

(4) May 11, 2013: Doing my first Run Around Manhattan by my lonesome.  I thought I was becoming too dependent on people for my long runs, so I decided to run alone. And I was relieved to find out that I am still perfectly good running with just myself and my thoughts.  

(5) May 7, 2013: Buying Altra's new version of the Lone Peak at Tents and Trails.  Altras, with their super wide toe box and minimalist design, make my feet happy.  The fact that they're bright bright orange doesn't hurt either.

(6) May 5, 2013: Volunteering with the Invasives Strike Force Crew at one of my favorite local places to run, Flat Brook Nature Center.   I am so lucky that I have easy access to some fantastic trails.  I need to make sure that they stay fantastic by volunteering more of my time in maintaining them!

(7) May 4, 2013: Bear Mountain 50 Miler That Became a 34 Miler.  I suppose I should mark this under, "Things That Were Not Awesome," but I had a reallllly great time up until I got pulled off the course for not thinking that North Face takes their cutoffs seriously.  My bad.  Anyway, I have decided that this day was awesome because (a) I ran with Marco, who is one of my favorite ultrarunners, (b) I got some good mileage in, and (c) I finally discovered a fuel source that really might be It.  

Girls and guys, VFuel is spectacular.  My friend Chip recommended this gel and while I am usually a total skeptic when it comes to anything that is labeled a miracle food, I swear, VFuel is the nectar of the running gods.  I normally have all sorts of gross stomach issues, but with VFuel, I was totally fine.  No, I was more than fine.  When I got up to go run the next day, it was like the 34 miles of gnarly trail the day before never happened.  

(8) April 27, 2013: Watching the sunrise after doing night to dawn hill repeats with some of the most fun ultrarunners around.  One of my more extreme ultrarunning buddies, Deanna Culbreath, recommended that I do some night climbing repeats at Mount Beacon.  She said it was a total game changer for her, and when someone of Deanna's caliber tells me something is a game changer, then it is best to just do it.  While I have completed plenty of hill repeat workouts on Mount Beacon during the day and I have definitely done my share of night to dawn runs, I have never combined the two.  So I found myself climbing Mount Beacon over and over again with Deanna, Pete Priolo (another Grand Slam aspirant), and a bunch of other ultrarunning friends from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.  

And Deanna was right.  It was a total game changer.  Hooray for having friends who inspire me to do things :)

(9) April 21, 2013: Running the Leatherman Loop 10K.  Because who doesn't love running in the mud and crossing super cold streams?

(10) April 17, 2013: Participating as a panelist at Ultra Night at Jack Rabbit.  If someone told me two years ago that I would be an ultrarunning panelist, I would have assumed that she was making a bad joke.  Not sure if any of my advice helped, but I think I did a good job of demonstrating that if someone like me can run an ultramarathon, seriously - anyone can.

(11) April 12 - 14, 2013: Heat training in Palm Springs, CA.  Rob and I went to Coachella, a lovely music festival that takes place in the California desert.  By April, that desert was all kinds of hot, which was good, because I love running in the heat.  So that I don't lose my "heat running muscle," I try to spend lots of time in the sauna.  However, jumping up and down in a sauna is not nearly as good as running in the Real Thing, so I was happy to see that my body was still fine with gallumping along in 90+ degree weather.

(12) April 6, 2013: Running Umstead 100.  This race was cool for many reasons.  (a) This was my sorority little sister's Caitlin Weaver's first 100 attempt.  (b) This was also my friend Hideki Kinoshita's first Umstead finish.  (c) This was my friend Otto's first back to back 100 (he ran NJ100 the weekend before).  (d) This was also the first time since JFK50 2011 (or was it 2012?) that I got to run with my friend Robin Mancinelli.  (e) Oh, and I ran a nearly 30 minute PR :)

Race essentials:

Miles 1-50: Felt easy peasy for the first 11 hours, mostly because I was running with Robin Mancinelli and the famous Ray Krolewicz.  It's amazing how easy ultrarunning can be if you have friends to share the trail with.  

Miles 50 to 62.5: Felt like I was flying and according to my Garmin, I was running pretty much the same pace as I was running the first 25 miles.  

Miles 62.5 to 100: Intestinal issues and nausea happened.  Thank god for my pacers, Susan Hogarth, Scott Peters, and the Other-Woman-Whose-Name-I-Forgot-But-I-Gave-You-My-Email-Address-But-You-Never-Contacted-Me-And-I-Still-Feel-Terrible-Because-I-Didn't-Thank-You-Enough.  They were all so incredibly nice and helpful during my messy finish.  Especially Susan, who had to deal with my super slow physical and mental state.  

Things that were not awesome since my last post (starting with the most recent):

(1) Not keeping up with my blog.  I promise to work on this!

1 comment:

  1. Jackie, I love reading your blog. Can't wait for the next issue. Now it is going to get really interesting. I'm dying to see how WS goes. I want all the juicy details. :) Have fun on the training run!