Sunday, May 30, 2010

This Week

This week was a great training week but, because it was a great training week I was drained.  The weather here in North Texas was nice and hot so, it was perfect for my Lone Ranger training.  I went into the week wanting to do another 3 x 30mile week, I ended up doing 32.1/30.4/30.4.  Much of that was in about 90 degree temps.  My legs were tired but not sore by the end of the week, my feet feel a bit achey and my body just felt tired.  All in all would say it was a great training week.  On Friday night Doug asked if I wanted to find a race this weekend and I almost jumped for joy.  Of course I wanted to race with him and Chloe, wooo hoooo.  Doug is back.  His post surgery knee finally can take 3.1 miles without screaming at him for the next week and inflating like a balloon.  So, on Friday night at 10 pm we did what any normal couple does, we found a race for the next morning, got our things layed out and went to bed.  At 0530 we grabbed our gear and Chloe and headed to the only race we could find with in an hours drive.  It was the Fireman's 5K.  We had a great time.  Chloe was so excited to race with Doug.  I was pretty excited to run a 5Kwithout pushing Chloe.  So going into the race I had just over 93 miles for the week on my legs, I wasn't quite sure how fast they would let me go but, dang if  I didn't bust out a 21:35.  I know that isn't fast for some of you but, for me that is pretty fast.  I didn't have a watch for the race so, I just ran as hard as I could for as long as I could.  I figure this was a great speed workout for the week.  Chloe got to meet a fire dog and the panther in the picture below.  She was so excited she ran up to him and gave him a big hug.  Oh almost forgot the funniest part of the race.  So we get done and Doug says Chloe thought he was going a little too fast so she put the brakes on.  No kidding Chloe used her Crock on the front tire of the Jogger as a brake and wore a hole almost clean through her shoe.  Doug said he is putting a fender on the jogging stroller this week.  Lol.  Of course Doug is an amazing runner so he was still the first person to come in with a jogging stroller, even with a human brake.
I am only 3.5 miles shy of a 100 mile week as I sit here typing.  Most of me wants to get out there and do a few miles tonight and go over 100 but, I am thinking I would be doing that just for the number not for the training.  Next week I am going to try and run a 50 miler on Tuesday followed by a 15-20 miler on Wednesday so, I think the smarter thing to do is take today and Monday off, let the feet rest and hit it hard come Tuesday at 0200.  Oh this is a tough one.  We will have to see what happens not sure I can resist the call of the 100 mile mark.  Happy Running everyone!  And Congratulations to all of the Graduates (Go Dylan GO!).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Race Shirts

Guess what arrived in the mail while I was sunning myself in Pensacola?  Yep, our team shirts for Phili.  Thank you so much for the idea and design Tracey and to Heather for ordering them and to Mom for sponsoring us.  Woooo Hooo, I love them and they fit great.  Ummmm, and yes I do feel like a big old dork wearing a shirt with my picture on it but, anyone who has seen the Chariots of Fire video knows that acting like a dork comes naturally to me.  It is a gift really.  :). 
Last week I managed to run 13 miles, 41 miles and then 17 miles on M,T, W.  The 41 miler was pretty much continuous except for a small break to take care of Chloe and get her to school.  I also added in Hills and some speedwork.  Although it wasn't a huge mileage week it was a HUGE mileage week, I squeaked out a 41 mile run by getting up at 2am and it felt great.  I think my training is really paying off.  As you can tell I really want to do well in Phili.  My eyes are on the Prize. 

Last week on the Daily Mile they asked: What race would you run if you could run any race?  My answer was: Badwater.  My dream race is Badwater.  Yes, Tara, your dream race is Badwater.  So, go out there figure out how to get into it and get it done.  That is it.  Once I figured out what my dream race was I realized I needed to do it.  To get in I need to have 5yrs of Ultra running under my belt and many more 100 milers and somehow 24hr races where you go over 100 miles don't count. They prefer you do something like the Grandslam of Ultra Running (which is a pretty amazing group of back to back 100 milers across the US).  For those of you who don't know what Badwater is, it is a 135 mile race from the depths of Death Valley to the top (or almost top) of Mount Whitney.  It takes place in the middle of July when it is so hot that your running shoes melt.  If you can stay on the white line you won't have to change out your shoes as often. You have to fill out a 5 page (I think) application complete with essays on why they should let you run the race to get in.  They only let around 90 people run it every year.   This my friends is my dream race.  And you know what? Many of you are just as nuts as I am because, most of you have already volunteered to crew for me when I get in.  Waaa hoooo.  Here we go.  I have a dream and I am going after it. 

Happy Running All!  My plan this week is to go over 100 miles and get in some speedwork. 

 PS: Also got onto Team Jamba Juice.  All I can say about that is: Yummmmmmy!!!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Totally Inpsired

This week the 24hr World Championships were held.  I was just so dang inspired by some of the runners.  I have to say watching an event like this makes it very hard to continue a rest/recovery week of training.  They all made me want to dive back into training.  But, alas we all know a big part of training is resting.  Therefore, I will complete my week of rest and go nuts and I mean nuts next week.  Last week I ran over 100 miles, I am way ahead in my training which means I am going to push further and harder.  I don't think I want to do much more than 100 miles a week but, I do want to work in hill work and some speedwork.  Speedwork for an ultra runner, from what I read, should consist of 5K's or 10K's run all out.  The hill work should be at a minimum of a 6% grade and last for 2 minutes.  So I am going to start working on those aspects  now that my base is up to par.  I have total faith that I can break 100 miles in Phili but, it is going to take some really hard work and some serious mental toughness during the race.  Oh and nutrition nutrition nutrition, ughhhhhhhh.  Which brings me back to the 24hr World Championships.

I had read one blurb that said that the sun was coming up but, that also meant you could see all of the vomit on the course.  Somehow I found that super reassuring that even the best of the best have stomach issues.  I also found it reassuring that some of them needed a quick 20 minute nap.  Now I know if I need a nap go for 20 minutes and eat before I fall asleep.  All good to know.  So who inspired me: Scott Jurek for one.  He is seen above running I think with a member of the Tarahamara tribe in Mexico.  He is this amamzing ultra runner who has won Western States like a million times or seven, whatever, the number is ridiculous :).  This was his first 24hr race and the guy set out to break the US record of 162 miles and did it, no kidding his first 24 hr race he ran 165 miles.  Talk about going for it all.  Shooting for the moon.  He went for it and he got it.  He also finished 2nd overall.  I was just so dang impressed.  My idol Jamie Donaldson was there (seen above).  Her goal was to run 140 miles and given that she had run 100 miles in under 15 hrs just a month and a half ago, I totally thought she could do it.  She ended up with I think 120 miles.  Which I think is super impressive but, I am guessing she isn't happy with it.  What do you want to bet she takes it out on the course at Badwater, she wants to break her own course record this year.  Super impressive.  I was also suprised to find that on the US team 4 out of 6 of the ladies are moms.  They juggle being a mom and running and jobs, just like the rest of us and still manage to be the best at something that takes a ton of time to prepare for.  Somehow that inspired me even more to work hard and see where this takes me.  If 24hr races and 100 milers aren't my thing I think 50 milers probably are.  Ehhhh, life is a journey.  I will just see where this takes me.  So far running has definately made me a better person, brought amazing people into my life and taught me many life lessons.  So I am enjoying the journey.  Happy Running All.  Next week I will hit the pavement hard and see what my legs can do :). 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Recap of the Week

If you see this nut case running down your street in the middle of the day, Don't hit her :).  I had to post this picture.  Come on I look like a total freak and, yes this is how I run around my neighborhood, oh and all the neighborhoods within a 30 mile radius.  For some reason while I was running a long run the other day I was completely cracked up by imagining what the drivers were thinking when they saw me dart across the road.  I looked obsurd and I was running in 90 degree weather in the middle of the day.  LOL.  Oh and the compression sleeves on my calves, rock!!!!! My mom gave them to me for my B-day.  I really like the support they give.  I will be using them during the 24hr race for sure.
Anyhow here is a recap of the week.
1.  Tried Perpetuem by Hammer again and basically that stuff wripped a hole in my gut.  Dang all of my Perpetuem runs have sucked so, I am done, I am giving up on this as my fuel source.

2.  Cindy a good budy of mine who also happens to be a runner/triathelete and a nutrition freak came up with an awesome concotion for me to drink on my runs.  She juiced grapes (high carb, low fiber), ginger (to calm the tummy) and then added in honey (more carbs) and greek yoguart (the protien).  It worked great.  I am going to try it again and see how it goes.  We haven't worked out the kinks on how to use it on long runs or races.  By the end of my 20 miler it was beginning to get some funk.  But I was thinking might be able to make it and just take a cup or so of it during the middle of the night and keep the rest in an ice chest.  We will see.  Like I said kinks aren't worked out yet but, dang it tasted yummy and didn't upset my stomach.

3. This is the last week in my 3wks on.  I run 3wks hard then do a recovery week.  I find that gives my legs time to heal up before hammering them again.  So this week being my last in the cycle needed to be super hard.  I wanted to really test my legs, work on training them to run when super tired, work on running mentally when fatigued and to work on nutrition.  This week was 3x30miles.  I did three 30 mile days in a row.  The runs had their ups and downs but, dang I have to say my legs feel pretty darn great today so, I think training is going well.  It is nuts to me how hard it is to finish up that last 30 miles and then have my legs feel fine the very next day.  Makes me wonder if I should have pushed harder?  Hopefully our schedule allows for some 40 mile runs in the coming weeks but, if not I will do the best with the time I have.  And no, I have not come to the point where I will run 40 miles on the TM at night, that is beyond even my craziness.

4. I am now a member of Team Aquaphor.  Wooo hooo.

5. Decided in honor of Mother's Day, Chloe and I needed to do a 5K. 
We ran the Mom Run this morning and boy was it a blast.  First of all, they had bounce houses set up for the kids.  Chloe spent her prerace time bouncing to her hearts delight.  They were giving out prizes for decorated strollers, so we put some pinwheels on ours and some crape paper.  The streamers coming of the back were awesome during the race.  I somehow neglected to get a pic of Chloe, I and the stroller but I bet the race photographers didn't so I will post one later on in the week.  The course was nuts.  They had us start with a ton of turns and then to a single track, with all of the jogging strollers this created quite a chaotic first mile.  Chloe and I off roaded it as much as we could passing folks, we yelled "on your right" and "on your left" we just plane did our best to get by people without causing trouble.  The first mile being so stop and go really messed with my legs.  They were a little tired from the 90 miles I had already run this week.  In the end we ran a 24:30 (or somewhere close to that, I forgot to stop my Garmin so that is based on the finish line clock).  We earned second place in our age group and best of all we won $50 towards a pair of running shoes.  Dude, that more than pays for the race.  Waaaaa Hoooooo!  Best part of all, I got to run with my Chloe on Mother's Day weekend. 

6.  Almost forgot: Ice Baths, are amazing.  I am now trying to take an ice bath after all my long runs.  They make it so I almost have zero soreness.  As much as I hate the cold, I love my ice baths. 

Had a great week of training.  Will wrap it up with a 10 miler or so tomorrow and then recover, recover, recover.  Happy Running all. 

p.s. Next weekend is the World 24hr Championships.  I am so excited to see the results of that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Chloe was trying to take pictures before one of my runs this week.  I think she did a fabulous job of capturing my joy for a 20 mile run :).  As most of you know this week I turned 37 and for my 37th birthday I gave myself the ultimate gift: a 37 mile run.  Nothing says "I love me" like 37 miles starting at 0230.  It was awesome. 
On another subject:
As most of you know nutrition has been my downfall so far in ultras.  I just can't seem to figure it out.  I had read a post by Jamie Donaldson (my hero) and decided that I needed to try Perpetuem  again.  Oh dang.  It hurt.  It really hurt.  My gut hurt so bad it hurt for hours after my run.  I didn't muster up the courage to eat a good meal until the evening following my 37 mile run.  And you would think this would make me not use it again but, we Tosta's are a stubborn lot.  I figure if the top dogs in the sport use it, I have to figure out if there is anyway I can make it work for me.  It would take all of the guess work out of my nutrition plan if I could just get it down.  So on my 20 miler on Thursday I tried it again, in much lower doses but again by hour 3 my gut was ready to revolt.  And again you would think I was going to give up and move on but, NO.  I did already say we are stubborn people.  I called Hammer and they had some ideas for me, so next week I will try again.  If it doesn't work next week, I will be forced to move on.  Oh I hope it works but, on the up side if it doesn't I get to eat M&M's, Rice Crispie Treats, Chips and Jerky while I run so that doesn't stink either :).  Well it doesn't stink for the first 60 miles but try making yourself eat a Slim Jim at mile 65 and get back to me on how that worked out for you, ha ha.  It may just be me but dang later on in the race it gets really hard for me to want to consume anything.  The scientific reason is all of the blood is going elsewhere in your body and not to your stomach for digestion :). 

On a great note:  My letter to Garmin worked.  Garmin sent me a replacement and it arrived a few days ago.  I will let you know how this one works out for me.

On a Great Note ^100 (that is great note to the hundredth power): I am the new member of Team Aquaphor.  Wooo Hooo.  I will post more on that when I have details.  I am so dang excited I might pop.