Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm Back

Oops, haven't posted in ages! You know how when you forget someone's name, each time you meet them and don't ask their name it gets more and more awkward? Well, once I don't blog it feels more and more awkward after each day, so I just never posted. 

Basically, I had a horrible race at Boston and found it hard to write about. Waiting at the start, I never felt that adrenaline surge, and after the first 5-6 miles I started having bad pain in my right hip that slowed me down. By mile 10 it was clear even a BQ was out of the question. I was really upset, obviously, but did my best to enjoy the experience- gave lots of high fives and kissed a few Wellesley girls, because why not? 

Pretty soon after that disappointment I signed up for a marathon in Portland Oregon in July- I had wanted to visit Portland for ages, and this was a flat marathon so I hoped to BQ again for 2017. Training the "right" way (shorter, faster runs, and no ultras) for Boston didn't work for me, so getting ready for the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon meant going back to what had worked for me in the past. While I did a short speed workout or tempo run weekly, I also increased my mileage, and ran 3 50k races over 4 weeks going into my taper. I guess I'm weird, but ultra training equals good marathons for me- I ended up running my 2nd fastest marathon (30 seconds off my PR) and placing 3rd overall female...plus had an amazing vacation in Portland!

Over the summer I concentrated more on trail running- I paced my friend over the last 25 miles of his first 100 miler, and that reignited my love of trail running. I ran a handful of 50k trail races, leading up to The Ring in September.

The Ring is a 71 mile full loop on the Massanutten Mountain Trail in Virginia. It's very, very rocky and quite challenging! Technical trails do not come easily to me, as I'm a very slow uphill hiker, which was part of the reason I wanted to do this race. I knew the terrain and elevation gain was out of my comfort zone and I wanted a new challenge. Also, I'm a big fantasy nerd, and finishers of The Ring are said to inducted into the Fellowship of the Ring- I couldn't pass that up! Anyway, the race was tough, but I was lucky to meet up with a really nice dude named Casey, and we ended up running about 40 miles together 🙂 It worked out really well, as we were a similar pace, and both of us felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea of running alone at night. I was tired but felt pretty good all night, and managed to finish under my goal of 24 hours.

Since then, I've gone back to primarily road running- I signed up for my first 72 hour race, Icarus Florida Ultrafest, on November 17. I ran 120 miles in the 24 hour race 2 years ago, and it's a nice relatively flat loop of about 1 kilometer. I've never run longer than my 34 hours at Spartathlon, so once again I am in for a totally new challenge! I'm focusing on back-to-back long runs and increasing my mileage- hopefully peaking with my first ever 100 mile training week at the end of the month 🙂 My goal is to break 250 during the race, but I have no idea how my body will react past that first 1-1/2 days, so I'll have to just try my best and see how it goes. I'm starting a new (non-running related) adventure in January, so Icarus will likely be my last ultra for the near future- nothing like going out with a bang!