Sunday, July 17, 2016

Riding out the Storm





What an interesting and roller-coaster-like week. Theme? Riding out the storm. 

After the previous weekend's triple threat adventure (that ended after the "double"), I started the week in a bit of a cloud of confusion, anxiousness and self doubt. 

Thankfully, the healing heal continued to feel great, but the angry hamstring was not happy. At all. 

Although I was able to do my #nevermissaMonday mile, I didn't know what was in store for me. Granted, that mile was pretty uneventful (in a good way), but I had mixed feelings as to what to do for the remaining days leading up to my ultra. I had never done a 12-hour ultra, after all, and did not want to rest too much (and go crazy with the tapering), but I also didn't want to take any stupid chances and anger the angry hammy further.

A quick stretch in Monday's early morning sunshine
I decided to stay out of the running shoes (for the most part) and focus on rest. I continued with the daily July challenge ...25 push-ups, 50 squats, 20 stairclimbs, and 1:30 forearm side planks (x2).

Taking a cue from Wendy, I doggy-squatted with Max
I did venture out Wednesday for a couple miles, and it went fine. The hammy was a bit stiff, but felt like it loosened up after the first mile. I also went for an hour long bike ride afterwards, which actually made the angry hammy feel better.

After a couple hot & humid miles
Thursday, I kept it on the down-low as well. I did the daily challenge stuff and some extra planking.

Side forearm -plank...my favorite plank because it works everything
I did a lot of soul searching and strategic planning (brainstorming) as to a game plan for the ultra. As most people know, my training got derailed back around Memorial Day when the heel got wonky. I had to ease up on the mileage to give it rest or there would not be an ultra happening (or any of the other races on my calendar for June or early July).

Was I under-trained for the 12-hour ultra? (absolutely) Was I in a panic? (not really) What about the heel? (it was feeling pretty darn good) ...and the hammy? (Ugh. Not sure what kind of grief that could bring me). My strategy? Take it one mile at a time (and try to smile as much as possible).

I took Friday off from work. My sister and I left town, arriving in the Chicago area mid-afternoon. She took off to meet up with a college friend, and I hung out with Penny...a dear friend I have known for a couple years. We have done a few races together (including last year's 6-hour ultra).

Penny and me....all smiles...you'd think it was just a typical day (and not a few hours pre-ultra)
There were many races at the Christmas in July event. Our event, the 12-hour, started at 11:00PM. I'll save the nitty-gritty details for the race recap (stay tuned), but I'll give you a spoiler alert.....it went well and was an awesome experience! I surpassed my distance goal (35 miles) and set a new distance PR (36.985 miles!!!)! I rode out the storm (of tapering, low mileage, and unexpected muscle distress) and came out a winner.

Post 12-hour Ultra with my medal
My sister found me after I was finished (and showered), and by 12:30PM, we were on the road, headed back to Iowa. Amazingly, I did not sleep much on the drive back home (it's an approximate 4-hour drive from the race location). Once back home, I quickly unpacked, then grabbed a change of clothes, and hopped into the husband's car...en route to a family reunion near his hometown (four hours away).

We spent time with his family at the reunion on Sunday, and headed back home in the afternoon. So far, the endorphins have kept me happy (and on the verge of giddy), but I know the DOMS are probably gonna make an appearance before long. It's kind of a given, considering what I put my body through, that there will be some aches and pains. I'm good with that.

In other news, more flowers have been blooming! I totally love my tiger lilies!

Aren't they beautiful?
Our little Max continues to keep us smiling. He's quite a little cutie!
Yes, he can see through all that fur by his eyes

I think he's smiling!
Any pretty flowers blooming in your garden? Have you ever gone into a race that you were both excited about and also a bit anxious? Any overnight racing?

As usual, I"m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin  for the Weekly Wrap. Please, headover and check all the great reads!






35 comments:

  1. Congrats on the ultra. Can't wait to read all about it ! I expect the DOMS will indeed set in... with all that car sitting, 8 hours in the car after running almost 37 miles ! Crazy !

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    1. Knock on wood, the DOMS have been sort of mild (so far). #fingerscrossed

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  2. Sounds like your tapering plan worked out well! Can't wait for the details.

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    1. I got pretty lucky with my non-traditional taper....glad my endurance maintained itself through that crazy period of scaled-back mileage ;-)

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  3. Wow! Congrats on running for SO LONG! That is amazing!

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    1. Thanks!!!! I'm still in awe that I did it ;-)

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  4. I'm looking forward to reading the recap! Glad you were able to run it!

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    1. Well, there was some walking (actually a lot of walking LOL), but I never felt like crashing. No proverbial "wall" ;-)

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  5. No overnight racing. Definitely races I was anxious about -- because of injuries -- and when injured not so excited because I've done a few that way & it's always painful. Which is why I am so careful to make sure I get my runs in -- sort of a damned if I do, damned if I don't thing.

    I can't believe you didn't sleep on the way home! AND went to a reunion! Those are some powerful endorphins!

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    1. My endorphins were a bit over-loaded. I didn't get to bed until about 12:30AM (Sunday)....and didn't snooze much on the car ride home Sunday afternoon either. Crazy!

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  6. Max is so cute :)
    So glad the race went well for you! Savor the recovery :) You earned it. Sitting in car was probably tough on the muscles after all that running, but that is life right.
    I wonder if I will feel good enough to do the next loop race near me???It is oh so hilly though and that scares me. LOL

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    1. Fortunately, this course is pretty flat except for a good (gradual) hill just past the halfway mark on the loop, but we're rewarded with a nice downhill afterwards. It's crazy to think I climbed that hill 38 times!

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  7. I really admire your ability to seem so relaxed and cool all the time! Can't wait to read about the ultra sounds so exciting and crazy!!

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    1. Thanks! There were times (many times) that I worried if I was being too "relaxed and calm" about everything leading up to the race. Getting all worked up and stressed would not have done me any favors, though.

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  8. CONGRATS on the ultra! So amazing! I can't believe you went to a family event right after. Can't wait for the recap!

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    1. Ha ha...I don't know how "intelligent" my conversation was at the reunion....kind of a mix of giddy endorphins and brain-dead activity LOL

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  9. You are just amazing! I'm so glad the Ultra went well for you I think your attitude had a lot to do with it. Congratulations on your PR I'm just in awe of you!

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    1. Thanks, Tricia ;-) It was quite the experience. I still can't believe it's all over and that I DID it!

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    1. Thanks!! It was a pretty amazing experience ;-)

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  11. Congrats on your ultra!!! That's awesome!! The bunnies seem to love my flowers so as soon as they bloom they get eaten, LOL!

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    1. I had a tough time with my tomatoes due to the bunnies...finally, my third set of plants have survived ;-)

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  12. Huge congratulations on your ultra and surpassing your goal. I can't imagine what goes through your head for that length of time. My fingers and crossed that the DOMS are mild or even non-existent! My oldest son gave me a calla lily for Mother's Day probably 15 years ago. Every year it comes up and looks healthy but has never bloomed until last week. It is a beautiful yellow lily! Thanks for linking, Kim!

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    1. So far, the DOMS have been very mild considering what happened in those 12 hours. So far LOL

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  13. You and Wendy and your doggies are just too much. If only I could get my dog to exercise with me too.

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  14. You ran 36.985 miles?! I can't wait to read that race report! I hope you were able to take lots of breaks on the drive home - sitting in the car for 4 hours after a race would be the worst! And excitement and anxiety before a race - that's how I feel before every race!

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    1. My "race" mileage came in at 36.985 (from the course), but given the number of porta-pot stops and absent-minded wondering back & forth in between laps, I probably surpassed 40 LOL

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  15. Congratulations! What a fabulous accomplishment! I'm glad you were able to take everything in stride and exceed your own goals and expectations!

    Max is a cutie pie, but I'm a sucker for pups.

    I'm not a huge fan of night racing/running, but I did the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in 2013, and that was a 10-10:30 PM start. I do want to get in on a Ragnar relay one of these days, and that will be more overnight for me, but it would be a cool experience.

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    1. Night racing certainly is a different beast....the fueling is hard to figure out, as well as the "sleep/rest" before hand.

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  16. congrats! I can't wait to hear the details! I can't believe you did 8 hours in the car after that? You are a warrior! I did the Disney Wine & Dine and I thought it was awful! I did not like the 10pm start time! You definitely prove- never give up!

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    1. The late start time is a challenge in itself, no doubt. This event puts on a good (constant) spread of food throughout the entire race, so I usually grab a cup of water/Gatorade/Coke and pretzels after almost every mile.

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  17. Can't wait to hear about your recap! I'm so glad that it went well. I think the rest you did was the right move. And your tiger lillies are gorgeous, mine definitely don't look like that!

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