The last 5-6 weekends, I have been running a marathon every week. Some were races and some were training runs.
This weekend, I had a lot of time or maybe something inline with being lazy or simply my body crashed. I ended up not doing anything. I have been increasing my volume on my training hoping to make up some of the lost training time due my hamstring injury earlier in the year. This week I was near reaching my limit. I ended up sleeping 10-16 hours on Saturday and another 10+ hours on Sunday. I avoided runs because I felt some slight aches like shin splints. It was a sign to dial back a bit. I really needed the rest.
I want to push myself because the date of my big race is near — it will be two weeks. There is never a last one but in my mind it is part of a set. I did the Newport News, and then Salisbury. And now it is the MMT’s (Massanutten Mountain Trail) turn. I ran some of the training runs and I know it is a tough race. We will have 35 hours to do it. It seems to be a lot of time. They predict I could run it in 33 hours, but I am not sure if that is realistic based on my recent training. I am getting stronger but it is no where near what I could do before. But with 12 days (or less) to go, there is nothing much I can do in terms of improving my aerobic performance. I analyzed it before, probably the only thing left is to focus on reducing my time when passing through the aid stations (transitioning time). This will be the biggest factor that will make or break my race. There are like 14 stations and if I hang around for too long at any one of them, I will be toasted.
About my life: Recently I read some good books. One of them was Born to Run. This is one of the must read books for runners. Indeed it was good. There are crazy runners out there who could run a marathon or even an ultra on a dime notice. This past weekend, I met one of those people…not famous like the ones in the book but no less in ability.
I have been trying to run a marathon in every state since forever (2016) and I am only on state no 8. No 9 will be the Grandma’s marathon in June and maybe No. 10 will be Ann Arbor, Michigan in October. But I met someone (Tek) who is trying to run a 100 mile race in every state because she already finished the 50 states for marathon. It is just so crazy how many 100 she is doing. I wish I’m at that level, where I can go out any weekend and have the confidence that I can run a 100 mile like it is nothing. I didn’t know that was possible before.
My eyes were open. I met her at the C&O 100 this past weekend.
Sunday morning, I went to the C&O 100 race to volunteer. I saw the call for volunteers and felt it is karma to do some volunteering before my own race. This was also a race I wanted to do for my first 100 mile race a few years back but Covid happened. I ended up going to Georgia and then Texas for my attempts. There is some interest to see the race first hand.
There, I also met a runner who remembered doing the 50 mile with me at the JFK a few years back. She remembered my name but I forgot hers. She said she paced me to the finish. It was a small world.
At this moment in time, I had no desire to run the C&O 100 any time soon because the course is unappealing flat. I prefer mountains and ocean.
Indeed, traditionally I sign up for my next 100 race when I am about to run this one (MMT). That being said, I went and signed up the Blackbeard 100 mile race for next year. Yes next year. I don’t think it will sell out but I signed up early so that I couldn’t back out. You know, once you run a 100 mile, it might feel it being the worst decision ever, and I might not ever want to do it again, but if I sign up already then I will have to train for it regardless how I feel about it. I think though I will enjoy the Outer Banks 100 mile (Blackbeard). More about this once the event gets closer. This will be a road 100 race.
Coming back to the topic, I was struggling with runner block…you know like writer block or art block, when I don’t feel like doing the things I love. Someone (Luna, a twitch streamer) suggested how she overcomes her art block by finding of a beautiful photo and draw it. So I transfer the same principle to finding a beautiful place to run. So I dream of going to Arlington because of the food at a shopping center and so I ran to Arlington after work. It was about 5 miles ish and 11 for the round trip. Even though most stores were closed by the time I arrived, I was able to get some mango sticky rice at one of the shops before it closed. It was worth the 2 hour run.
Finally, relating to looking for races, I came across the 4 desert adventure races (Antartica being a desert). One of them I like is the Atacama Desert in Chile. I have been there and know how dry and hot (and cold) it can be. This race (over 250 km) attracts me. It costs over 1,000 dollars. It is divided into 5 days and mostly doing a 26 mile run everyday with one being a 40 mile run. You carry everything (except for tent), sleeping bag, survival gear, clothes and food. It is a balance between what you need and speed.
Not sure how I got into this but I wish to do it. It seems within my ability. The cost is a bit high but not unreasonable like certain races I know of.
Anyway, closing off, I try to squeeze out two more blog entries before my big race in two weeks. This is the reason I am trying to move the posting day a bit earlier so I will make a final post before my race. Yes, trying to move it to real time now.