Wednesday, November 13, 2013

50 miler goals: 3rd time's the charm

I was doing so good, getting back on track with morning runs. Then today, I slept right through my alarm, which is unheard of for me. It was ok though, because I woke up too late to run, but earlier than I needed to for work. So I got to roll back over and enjoy the that magic extra gift of sleep that is usually only experienced on snow days.

Courtesy of anonymous stepfather
 I had planned to take my rest day tomorrow, not today, so naturally I'm panicking and if everything goes to hell during my race, I'll blame this.

Some people have asked if I'm ready for my race. It's my third 50 miler, and my second time running this particular race. I don't really know if I'm ready or not, other than the fact that I still have to bake my thin mint brownies tomorrow.

I'm not really thrilled with my training. I don't feel like it was terrible, but it could have been better. I got stressed quite a bit during this training cycle, over things that are really no big deal in the grand scheme of life. Usually I deal with stress by running, so it's not a problem, so I'm not sure why this fall I went with the alternate plan of eating M&Ms on the couch.

The race route is on trails for 47 of the 50 miles, so I also wish I'd gotten in more trail runs. They take more time, but I could have swung it.

What's done is done, and I did keep my mileage over 50 most weeks, and get in three 26+ mile long runs (two on trails!). So there's that.

Since Kara said I couldn't have my own hotel room key just in case I DNF'd, I might as well lay out my race goals.

1. Finish in under 12 hours.

My last time at Stone Mill was 14 hours, 26 minutes. This race should be about 5 miles shorter, and both of our 26 mile trail runs took around 5.5 hours so....12 seems like a nice round number to shoot for. Math be hard.

11 hours would really be awesome, because that would mean finishing in day light.

2. This isn't my first time at the rodeo, so don't act like it.

In my first 50 miler, I was terrified of becoming dehydrated, underfueled, and going out too fast. I too things really cautiously in the beginning. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm no newbie anymore, so I don't need to be stuffing my face, drowning my pack, and stopping to pee every hour. I also don't need to take it super easy on the pace in the first half. I'm not saying that I need to start like a bat out of hell, but I want to push myself a bit (once the sun comes out, anyway!).

3. The aid stations are not all you can eat buffets, happy hours, or break times.

I wasted so much time at the aid stations in my first few ultras. One of the main reasons I signed up for Stone Mill again was that it was probably in my top three races for food quality. It's easy to take my sweet ass time just perusing my options, and then trying every treat on the table. I plan to focus on grabbing something quickly, and eating as I walk away. Unless I need to fill my pack, no stopping.

4. Use emotions to my benefit.

No crying. I have a 100% success record on this so far, and I'd like to keep it that way. I have an excellent track record for fueling myself with anger to get through low points in ultras, and I've been storing up fury since before I even signed up for this race.

5. Finally be able to celebrate after the race.

The first time I ran Stone Mill, we had big hopes of a celebratory dinner after crossing the finish line, but with those extra five miles, we ran right through dinner time.
After my second 50 mile race, I nearly fell asleep in the shower and just went directly to bed after, unable to stomach the thought of dinner (much less wine and dessert).
I'm hoping the third time is the charm. Kara and I are staying only about 2 miles away from the race, so I am entertaining visions of wine in the hot tub, a delicious dinner (TBD), stuffing my face with thin mint brownies in bed, and then actually getting a good night's sleep (not laying awake because my legs hurt).

We need topics to discuss on our glorious day in the woods! We've already covered the usual - college stories, ex boyfriends, etc.

What completely non-productive, detrimental means do you use to deal with stress? Nothing healthy, please. I need to feel better about myself.



  1. In grad school, M&Ms were my answer. I stashed them in my desk drawer, and since grad school was basically permanently stressful, I pretty much at them whenever I was at my desk. [Thankfully, I got my PhD in Biochemistry, and so spent MOST of my time at the bench...where food was pretty much a great big no-no.]

    Since M&Ms in Singapore cost one zillion dollars, I now feed my stress eating with...sour gummy worms. *hides face in hands* Yep...

  2. I sit on the internet for hours thinking of all the things I should be doing when I get stressed. and I eat sugary fruity chewy candy. love that stuff

    Good luck this weekend hope you get your celebratory dinner in!

  3. drugs and anonymous sex.

    not what you were looking for?


  4. Wait, we're pushing ourselves in this race? I'm not trained for that. I guess I'll be OK as long as you don't want to run the hills. Then I'm dropping you like a bad habit.

    But with love.

  5. Ask Kara to give you the details of childbirth. That's guaranteed to make you run faster, just to get away from her.

    1. We already went over this in detail during our first 50K haha

  6. ha ha - i love kari's suggestion for topics. crap, at 33 weeks, when i hear stories of childbirth i get the urge to run sub-10:00 pace (which is like really, really fast for me these days).

    good luck and i love the no crying rule!!!

  7. You guys should chat about your least favorite people on the internet. I suspect that will keep you going for awhile :) And when I get stressed, I'll shut myself in a room and read for hours. I guess it could be worse, but sometimes I end up parked there for far longer than I should be!

  8. I'm totally a yeller when I get stressed. Of course, never actually at the person or thing who causes the stress...I got home and rant really loudly. Then I eat chocolate and drink wine. Sometimes I try to run before I do all of that to sort of off-set the unhealthy coping mechanisms.

  9. Have a great race out there. And enjoy the dessert after. I expect serious details about that.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.