I survived. This week was the peak of my training for the big race in 3 weeks. I ran a total of 65 miles. As a special bonus, I didn't die!
Monday, February 28th 2011: 11 miles @ 10:42 minutes per mile pace. Running 11 miles was not nearly as hard as dragging my sleepy carcass out of bed at 4:40am (?!?!) to get the run done before work.
Tuesday, March 1st 2011: 5 miles @ 10:22 minutes per mile pace.
Wednesday, March 2nd 2011: Longest run ever - 34 miles @ 11:15 minutes per mile pace. I went back to Sheep Bridge Road so I could run on dirt, much easier on the legs.
I had a pep talk with myself before I started running. It went kind of like this: "Okay, Cory. You are going to reach a point where this is going to hurt. It will be hard. You will want to curl up on the side of the road, cry like a school girl, and pray for the angel of death to visit. But you CAN do this! You CAN!" And then I channeled Forrest Gump and I ran. And ran. And ran. There were only a few sections of the road that were muddy:
I came across a podcast called The Marathon Show and listened to that for the entire 6 hours and 23 minutes. One remarkable story was of Donald Arthur who received a heart transplant at age 55 and has since run 41 marathons. I got choked up and my eyes watered. Or maybe that was just the salty sweat burning my retinas?
I explored side roads, trails, and sections of the JEM trail and the scenery was simply incredible. Sometimes I would come around a corner, see what was ahead of me, then just stand and stare.
I think the most important key to running distance is pacing which I was very aware of from the very start. I was very conscientious about conserving my energy and if I started to even slightly feel out of breath, I slowed down. And something amazing happened! I never hit the wall! I never got electric leg cramps! I never hurt so bad that I expected to have my obituary in tomorrow's newspaper!
I treat almost every run like a science experiment. Sometimes I'm testing pace. Sometimes I'm testing the run/walk method. Sometimes I'm testing stride. This time I was testing FOOD. Preparing for the ultra, I wanted to see what foods my stomach would tolerate after long distances. I raided our treat cupboard. I took a bag of candy, Doritos, PB&J sandwiches, dried mangoes, a maple bar, Gu, Oreos, and Mountain Dew.
I realized that the foods which sound edible at 30 miles are: EXACTLY NOTHING. Toward the end, I was having a battle with my stomach just to eat a Gu packet. I know that eating during the last half of the 50 miler will be a challenge. I could not be more happy with how this training run went. It gave me a big boost of encouragement for the upcoming race.
Thursday, March 3rd 2011: Rest
Friday, March 4th 2011: 4 miles @ 11:36 minutes per mile pace. Those were 4 miles of pure agony. My legs felt like steel pipes.
Saturday, March 5th 2011: 11 miles @ 10:38 minutes per mile pace. I need mental health counseling. No sane person would wake up at 5:30am on a SATURDAY to run.
It was a great week of running and I can't believe that my un-athletic body ran 65 miles this week. Bring on the Buffalo Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I like to say, and I truly believe, that every run brings new experiences. You just don't know what they might be until you actually do the run. That's one of my major reasons for pushing out the front door as often as I do—the adventure of it all." ~ Amby Burfoot, Runner's World