Personal goal accomplished. No one to impress, no real reason to do it other than to learn from it and simply see if I could…injury free. 7 days, no breaks, and a minimum of 10 miles per day. I’m a big advocate of learning via running. Back in my last 100-miler in October of 2009, I was slammed with an injury around mile 20. For the next 80 miles, I pushed through the pain, ate ibuprofen as a snack, it seemed, and refused to quit. I couldn’t even lift my leg high enough to climb out of the creek beds it hurt so much. Eventually, the 800mg of ibuprofen did nothing. I learned back then that the human body is an incredible piece of machinery. Honestly, as I held a one-week old baby girl just a few days ago, I looked at her and thought: “You are a miracle. You were born…and you live, with only nourishment from your mom. All of your systems work seamlessly together with no connection to the outside world. Truly amazing.” We are wondrously made, crafted like no other species on the planet. Intelligence, free will, and bodily systems that work in concert with one another to survive. We all have much to be thankful for. So back in October 2009, I finished that race in nearly 31 hours even though everything said inside I should quit. It stands today as my most memorable race ever and one that shaped how I now look at nearly every challenge I face in life…not just running.
During the past 7 days, the miles actually got easier by the day. I felt stronger, recovered faster, and found myself wanting more after finishing. “Another time,” I thought. Maybe another week I’ll do a minimum of 15 a day. I also found that my running on hills changed this week, which was completely non-intentional. I found myself accelerating during the second half of the hills, time and time again without purposely doing it. After a few of the runs, I did mix up a batch of Hammer’s Recoverite to cushion my recovery a bit and give my body what it needed. Even though I had virtually no soreness or indication that I had even run on any given day, I did find myself getting the munchies more often and just dog tired later in the day. I continued to eat well, chug nearly a gallon of water a day, and hit the goal run each morning. In the end, I ended up with 75 miles for the week which is my highest mileage week since my 100 mile training in 2009…and I feel great but am resting today. 5 days of 10-milers, an 11.8 mile day and a 13.2 mile day.
Later yesterday, I had a trip to the dentist to get a filling for a cavity (shame on me!) and had sushi planned for lunch afterwards. Learn from me: don’t do that! After the multiple injections to numb me around Noon, eating sushi was NOT fun. He said it would wear off in a few hours and it would be safe to eat and not bite my tongue. By 2pm, I gave it a try and it was not fun. Nothing like shoving sushi rolls in the right side of my mouth and chewing them. Sushi is my #1 food and a great reward to myself for a goal accomplished and this was not enjoying at all. Once 4pm rolled around, I could feel everything again. Grrrr… That was not a well-executed plan!
So the Burning River 100 sets off tomorrow morning at 5am. I’m not able to participate in any way this year but it’s gotta be record-low temperatures. Forecast is for mid-70s for the high with a chance of thunderstorms Saturday night. Not bad at all. The Kanawha Trail 50K is also tomorrow down in West Virginia. This is a race I’d like to do for 2014. It’s another race put on by the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners that put on the Highlands Sky 40 and the WV Trilogy that I’m doing in October. So for 2014, I’ve got a few already penciled in: Inaugural Hall of Fame Marathon in late April, Highlands Sky 40 on Father’s Day weekend, and the Kanawha Trail 50K at the end of July. About 6 weeks between each of those. There will be more in the winter and fall but these 3 are on the schedule first. I’ve most definitely tabled any 100-miler. I know, for sure, that I don’t crave that and therefore won’t entertain it. I love the 50K to 50 Mile race distance…so that’s what I’ll do. It works well for family, too. Believe it or not, my life’s not about running.
Run Happy, friends!