If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ups and Downs

Okay so ever since this this article came out in the Surrey papers, tons of people from work, the kids' school, and neighbourhood have been wishing me good luck and inquiring about Spartathlon. It is so great knowing that I have the support of so many friends and family, but it makes me nervous as well. This is no Ironman that I've done before. This is not JUST another 100km race. This is something I haven't even come close to in terms of distance. I want to finish this more than my first Ironman, more than any race I've ever started. Knowing that people will be watching (apparently there will be race-day coverage that will let you follow the athletes' progress from checkpoint to checkpoint, I'll put it on the blog if there is) makes me want to finish even more. Just know that I will do everything in my power and use all my endurance experience to get to the finish, even if it's by walking or crawling in at 35:59. My legs are feeling the effects of the distance.

Ever since the Death Race I've had IT band issues that affect my knees. It's definitely gotten worse this last week after LAST week,s 95 miles (unheard of distance for me in training). This week was a mere 91 miles but I think that's it for the long distance weeks. On Wednesday I did a run from Mud Bay to Boundary Bay in Tsawwassen to a gas station to get more water. That's an 11.5 mile, dead flat, gravel dyke. After getting water I went back to Mud Bay, got water from my car, went back to Boundary Bay, got water, went back to my car, got water, and did a half hour out and back for a total of seven hours. Total 51 miles. THAT will be my longest run until the race even though I had longer ones planned. My knees, ankles, and hips start to ache after only a couple hours and I took only a couple Advil because I hate using them while I'm running (kidney issues and all that). I did the first five hours at a 7:55 min/mile pace then thought I would try to slow my speed and walk for a minute every fifteen minutes. The lower speed seemed to help some but I ended up with the last two hours with an 8:48 min/mile average. I kind of screwed up and ran out of carbohydrates with about an hour and ten left to run. Back in the car I felt like I did after my 100 mile: I could barely keep my eyes open driving home, close to bonking. I stopped and got a bag of ice, went home, filled the bathtub with cold water, dropped in the ice, dropped in my sorry butt. I've done the cold water thing before but never with the ice. I couldn't get my core temperature back for an hour after only ten minutes in there. It felt good though.

I took the next day off and then did a 30 mile run on Friday. I went around the neighbourhood, through some trails, and also some flats. I wanted to go out easy and ended up with a 8:19 per mile average. Still a bit faster than I wanted. I figure around 8:30 should work but I'm afraid of slowing down even more along the way. I guess as long as I'm making forward progress during the race that's a good thing whether I'm running or taking walking breaks every so often.

More details on race coverage to follow.

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