Saturday, July 7, 2007

Relying On Friends

Still feeling the fatigue from WS and feeling like I need a vacation from my Vegas vacation it was nice to run with friends this morning. When Micheal emailed yesterday and said he wanted to go running on Saturday and that he had been looking at the Vermont race I felt relieved. I have to say I am not up to par on my planning. For some reason I can't seem to get my brain and body to work together and come up with a race plan for Vermont. Highly unusual for me but an interesting block I am experiencing. Not sure if I am avoiding Vermont because of fear or because I am still tired. With all that said it was so nice to hear that my crew and pacer was on top of it. He asked me questions and it started to get me thinking all the while he reminded me that this will be no problem and I will be surprised at how well I do at Vermont. All those words and reminders were a welcomed refreshment for my coma like state.

Running has been just "okay". Nothing too exciting has been happening, maybe that's why I am melancholy. In Vegas I did a tempo run on the treadmill with 3 miles at 6:48 pace and I felt pretty good and the AT portion of the run wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When we got home I had another tempo run on Lief followed by today's run. My tempo run was very tough and I worked very hard to get 6:55 paces, my heart rate was screaming but I think that was more related to being in Vegas and completely over stimulated for 4 days :). Today's run was better but then again there was no AT portion so it should have been.......right! Tom, Micheal and I did a run in Forest Park called the "Zipper". I think it was Darin and Rick's group that came up with this run. It takes you up and down all the side trails and firelanes in Forest Park. You would be surprised at how much elevation you can rack up doing this. In addition, it's not easy. This is all in preparation for the terrain at Vermont. The constant rolling nature of that course is hard to simulate in the PNW. The Gorge has far too much climbing and Wildwood Trail is just too flat. We did 16 miles of zipper today and after we were done my legs were tired. This run would have normally been an easy run during peak training. Funny how running 100 miles can make your legs tired, ha, ha, ha. The goal of running right now is to gain back leg speed, my body will remember how to run long. Getting the turnover churning again is the key and believe it or not it's harder than it looks on paper :). Even though I seem to be physically recovered and my resting heart rate is in check my legs are more sluggish so faster running is the ticket. All in good time............

The Grand Slam is proving to be a very mental event for me. Gearing up for these back to back 100 miles runs is going to make me tougher mentally. I can already feel the impact of staying sharp and prepared and not getting to do any real training. My gym workouts are suffering and that is a hard pill for me to swallow because I am an avid gym goer. I have to be careful not to overdo the weight room during training but now I am seeming to have a hard time fitting in my consistent workouts. My arms are starting to flap when I run and other body parts will follow suit soon. On the positive side I will be lighter :). By the end of the summer I should be good and atrophied. No big deal, it will give me something to do in the winter :).

I know this post might sound negative but it's really not, just the true thoughts I am having as I enter this stage of the Slam. I know I will be relying on my friends and all their energy to get me through these races. Fortunately I have some amazing friends who's dedication is going help me so much it's hard to put in to words. Between my family and friends there is no slacking and for that I am extremely grateful.


olga said...

There is nothing negative there, simply talking aloud, and all is what many go through. Once I get through one goal 100M race, it is hard for me to get up and train again, it is often just maintaining. Only once was I able to pull off a solid month of racking up - for SD. I guess I was just ticked off my slam didn't happen. But then again, VT is just that - not very exciting for a Westerner. It is going to be a great mental challenge, one of many you've overcome so greatly, and we do know you love challenges:) So buckle up, readers, Ronda's going to give a ride for the money!

kelly said...

You are going to rock at Vermont. I admire your strong mental tenacity and your positive attitude. Both of those traits will help make up for tired legs. Good luck with your training.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck at Vermont, I have silently been reading your blog and watching your results. You're preperation/training has been simply remarkable, you are leaner than you've ever been. I don't think your results at Western are reflective of where you're fitness is -- rather it showed what you can do on a so-so day. You're faster and stronger than ever before. One of these 100's this summer you're gonna pop one off when it's your day. I look forward to seeing that -- it's just a matter of time!
Best Wishes,

GotLegs! said...

Ronda, to simulate the run at VT, I would imagine you would have to do long road run. Optionally, if you can find bike path of gravel or dirt, that would be ideal (like the FS roads on the CCC course before and after the trail from hell - but maybe a little flatter). There are plenty of places like that in WA. We sometimes train on the Cedar River trail ... it's flat and long - boring but makes you continuously run. It's mentally fatiguing and I think that's what you'll likely have to overcome.

Thinking I was going to do more continuous running at WS, I made myself run all of the 12 hour run (back in May) without stopping. I usually loose concentration in the middle third and slow down/walk, so I really had to focus. That got me from about 100K (3 previous years) to about 72 miles this year. It definitely worked on my mental fortitude.

Good luck! At least you have the heat to train in eh!


Sophie Speidel said...


My friend and VHTRC buddy Keith Knipling Slammed last year with his dad, Gary (the first father/son Slam!). He also finished Massanutten in May before the Slam. He told me that he had no desire to train or run in between each race, and in fact did very little running, so I am very impressed that you are training as hard as you are for VT!

It is a gorgeous course that will pound you quads, so rolling dirt roads are good training.

Best of luck,