Friday, April 26, 2013

Taper Week 1 - Aches and Pains

Thank you to everyone who has helped me on this journey towards running my upcoming 50K.  With your words of encouragement and support, I actually feel like I can do this thing, despite all the negative self-talk that is going on in my head right now.

It's hard to feel super confident about a race of this magnitude when you haven't done anything like it before and when lesser goals can still prove difficult.  Marathons are still a challenge for me.  Trail running too is not easy, seeing as every third time I hit a trail, I literally hit it - usually with my knee, hand, or shoulder.  Recovery after long runs is slow and painstaking.  And, I still seem prone to injuries - real or imagined, I am not sure at this point.

I am at the end of week one of TAPER, and this week has been defined with twinge watching.  What's that, you say?  That is where every little twinge, hint of a twinge, or echo from twinges past cause near freak-out mode in the mind of the twinger.  (That would be me.)  Not only am I questioning every little ache and pain, I am experiencing what I hope are sympathy pains for friends who have actual injuries.  A metatarsal stress fracture? A pain in my foot.  IT band issues?  The side of my leg hurts.  Etc.  I am that pathetic.  As I told a friend of mine, at this point, I just want to show up at the start line of this 50K hale and hearty.  After that, let the chips fall where they may on race day.  But, if nothing else, I want to show up to the race in good shape.

So, to counteract all the negatives shooting through my head right now, I am trying to list the positives. In no particular order they are:
  1. I did get through my long training runs injury-free it seems *knocking on wood*.  With any luck, the rest of taper will allow me to heal any remaining woes before race day.
  2. Even though I have never run an ultra before, it isn't like I have never spent a long time on my feet.  The Pikes Peak Ascent took me 5 hours and 20 minutes, and the 24 miles I completed of the Jungfrau meant I was on my feet for 6 hours.  And, both of those were while climbing up significant mountains.
  3. Climbing.  While I may not be the best runner in the world, I am actually a halfway decent hill hiker.  Those climbs that others dread don't wear me out usually and I find them a nice break from running.
  4. I love the trails.  No matter how miserable a run might possibly be, being on the trails while doing it is like applying a nice, healing balm over the wound even as the knife is being dug in deeper.
  5. Friends.  I actually know a lot of people going down to do this race this year, and I am really excited about that.  Spending time with friends and sharing this experience with them makes it all worthwhile.
  6. I have come a long way, baby. Running 8.3 miles on Wednesday, I was reminded of just how far.  Because while those miles weren't fast, they were steady.  Finishing those eight miles I felt much like I would have finishing half the distance several months ago.  And, that is really something. 
So, still two weeks until the big day and the doubts - and excitement - are building.  In the meantime, tomorrow I am running a relay - slowly - for Run Away to the Bay.  With any luck, I will finish my three legs - and 15 miles - in good form, and then I really can sit back and relax in relative ease until the 50K.


Saturday: 21 miles on the Ice Age Trail (5 hours on my feet)
Sunday: 2-hour yoga workshop
Monday:  4.5-mile run/walk
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 8.3-mile run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest

Total Mileage: 33.8 miles

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