Freaking OUT. I’m Running @#$%* 50 Miles!!!

11 Oct

Sorry about that. That’s the release of all the excitement I’m feeling about my upcoming race. I have purposely avoided writing about it overmuch, but now I can’t take it any more. In 9 days I’m going to shatter my old distance record and I can’t hold anything else in my brain long enough to write about it so this is what you’ll get. I’ll try not to use too many emoticons. ;) LOL!!

:) :) :) Taper Time! :) :) :)

For those of you training for your first endurance race, a taper is the time from 2-3 weeks away from race day when you “taper” or decrease your mileage. There’s a lot of advice out there. If you’ve got a respected training schedule, follow that advice to the letter. Not only is the strategy proven, but you will know that you’re doing things right. Confidence is HUGE in the weeks leading up to the race.

That’s where I find myself now. I’d been running 40-50 miles a week for as long as I can remember (but in reality like umm… ____ weeks, I guess I really don’t remember). At three weeks out I decreased my weekly long run from 20-38 miles to 18. I was thinking about going with 10 miles for a long run this past weekend at 2 weeks out. It sounded like a reasonably sensible plan.

Peer Pressure

The fewer friends you have, the stronger the pull of peer pressure. That’s my theory at least. I mean, I’ve got friends… lots of friends. Don’t make me pull up my facebook page to prove my like-ability. I just don’t don’t have many running friends, but that is changing rapidly.

So when one of my new running contacts as me if I want to do 30 miles on a notoriously hilly road, I said, “Well, I’ll do 20 with you. It’s taper time after all.” Then there was another person going 30 miles with him and I felt a wimpy third wheel. A rickety training wheel if you will. Still I was only going to run 20 miles. I still don’t know when I changed my mind. I think my new friend Thao used facebook judo on me. :-) (emoticon count: 10)

From Fear to Confidence

I’m glad he did. I was afraid that doing a really long, difficult route would hurt me this close to the race. But I just had a sense that it was the right thing to do. Sometimes we overthink things. I feel like God was telling me to go for it and so “go” I did.

Me: 0, God: <><>

That’s not an emoticon! It’s a horribly executed infinity symbol. :-/ In any case, that run was exactly what I needed! Whereas I had my doubts about my race before last Saturday, now I’m brimming with implacable confidence.

Both Thao and I woke up at 3am. He does it every day. I only do it with crazy friends. :-) That time of day is amazing though. It’s different than when it’s on the back side of the day. It’s a fresh and silent start. There’s a reverence in the air. It was pitch black when we started shuffling our feet at 4:10. We spent the next 3 hours that way until the sun suddenly burst upon us. I don’t recall the sunrise happening so quickly, but then it’s been a while since I’ve seen one.

Okay, I’m sorry, but if I don’t stop myself now I’m going to recount each mile in excruciating detail to you. Actually the account would be utterly delightful, because it was a fantastic run. I can’t tell you how much easier the long runs are when you run with other people. Make it happen. You’ll be amazed.

Kicking My Feet Up

I’m done! My training is done. Well, the physical part at least. Now I show my fortitude of restraint when all I want to do is run to calm my nerves. That much I will do actually. Small runs, very slow. Easy on the body. That’s my mantra. Then I wake up next Saturday and RUTHLESSLY AND UTTERLY DESTROY IT. (wow, caps lock is just as bad as emoticons… I feel like I’m 15 writing this post, I’m like so so sorry)

What Comes Next?

I do what I wanna do. Swim laps. Hit spin classes (even though I’d rather run 20 miles than do an insane spin workout). Do underwater basket-weaving cardio. I dunno. Running and I are going to part ways for a little bit. Any guesses as to when I’ll run again after running 50 miles? I give myself 4 days. I love this stuff too much to walk away. (pun intended)

*Okay, that was a real asterik in the title of this post. I don’t know what the word is that precedes it, but the asterik was real. It’s not often that I swear, so I don’t think I was cussing… hmm. I’ll get back to you.

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