Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Happened to November?

Looking back on the month, I ran a bit over 50 kilometres. What happened?

Last week, all of a sudden it hit me that I hadn't run in 17 days in a row. Luckily I haven't lost too much fitness but the 22k I did today (in a beautiful snowfall) definitely wore me out and I'll be feeling it for a couple of days.

My Mizuno Wave Riders are definitely goners and since I was on the roads today I reluctantly put on the Elixirs which always stay in the back of the closet. They've caused me so many problems and today was no exception. Tight left IT band and the outside of my left foot is sore - almost always happens with these dang shoes. MUST GET RID OF THESE SHOES! But now I know what I want for Christmas: New Wave Riders! (and maybe some new NB 840s from Santa - if he can find them since they're discontinued).

With exams coming up, and moving to a new place over the Christmas holidays, I can see the chaos creeping in on my 'free' time to run. I'll have to make an extra effort to get out there, even if it's just 5 and 10k runs. The long runs may have to wait until January.

Speaking of January, I was hoping to make it to a little fun run organized in Creemore at the end of January: a 7.5k loop on trail at the same location that the Creemore Ultra is held every year. Would be a great opportunity to check out the trail and see if I want to add it to my 2010 plan. Hopefully I can get my mileage somewhat up there so I can keep up with the others. Who am I kidding. I can't keep up but like Ron said, let them pack down the snow and then it's smooth sailing for Nature Girl.

See you in the forest!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birth and Running One Hundred Miles

Last week, the focus of one of my midwifery classes was risk. One of the readings I found very interesting. It compared the challenges in sport to labour and birth. The following are excerpts from one of the readings:

“I’m feeling so bad, I’m wanting to vomit, I’m so cold. I was struggling. I can’t stand it anymore and I’m crying and I just want to get out, and I’ll look at them (her support team) and I’ll say ‘I want to get out!... My mum and dad never come on the support boat because my Mum says that if she saw me suffering she’d have me pulled out of the water. She can’t stand to see me in pain, so I know she’d be useless. You do need that person, that team, who are going to be able to say the right things at the right time – somebody who can put your focus back into your intention – be your strength when you need it!”

-Tammy, marathon swimmer

In this birth story, the woman’s supporters played a vital role in her birth, similar to Tammy:

My contractions were much stronger and I was very proud of how I was handling the pain. Several hours later, I had forgotten my romantic images and was kneeling in the tub howling and screaming from the depths of my soul, convinced that the pain was too much to bear. Not that I got any sympathy – instead I was showered with reassurance, love and incredible strength from the energy and wise words of those who were present to witness and support ... they showed me strengths I never realised I possessed.

The pain was becoming unbearable, or at least I had decided I wasn’t strong enough to do it this time. I looked around at my three carers searching their eyes for any hint of sympathy – an admission that what I was attempting was impossible and I could therefore give up now. But no, their eyes betrayed no doubts but gazed back steadfast and confident.”

(Reiger K, Dempsey R. Performing birth in a culture of fear: an embodied crisis of late modernity.)

As a midwife, I can only hope that I will be able to say the right things to women to remind them how strong they are and that they can continue through the pain, as was done with me when I had my kids.

I am expecting the Haliburton 100miler to be very similar to birth in a way. There will be pain, I will be tired, and I will most likely entertain thoughts of giving up (and will probably be fantasizing about an epidural too!). I just need to remember what I’ve done and I’ll be able to finish (barring any unforeseen circumstances).

I am going to have an awesome support team. Kelly will be with me. I can’t imagine anyone better than her. She’s one of the strongest, most positive women I know. And she knows her stuff being one of those athletic types (and smarty pants teacher). She won`t feel sorry for me.

So I`m not too sure where I`m going with this, but having those kids of mine was the beginning of a new life for me. Not just in being a mom, but their births was proof that I can do anything I put my mind to. I`m looking forward to the journey ahead.

Hundered Miler in 2010. Sounds like a plan Stan!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Runs since VB

It's been a slow two weeks recovery from Vulture Bait. This bug doesn't want to let go and I keep getting swollen glands. Makes running kinda tiring. I took the week off and my first run was 4k the following Sunday around campus. This run felt pretty good and I figured that since I was just going for a little one, I would put in some effort. Then I remembered how after Haliburton, the following weeks' running felt great but I pushed it too hard (ran 5k in 26 minutes - a pb,which I'm still trying to get my head around) and injured myself. So I slowed down and took it easy the rest of the week, which was just as well as that energy rush didn't last.

Here's the weeks breakdown:

Oct 25 - 4k
Oct 27 - 4k
Oct 29 - 7k
Nov 1 - 18k

Pretty low on the mileage, but I think that's okay.

I'm starting to become familiar with the local trails although there are still a lot of little off shoots that I need to remember. Once the snow begins to fall and many of the little trails disappear, I'll be sticking to the main trails unless I can stay on top of things to keep the paths clear.

I was pretty excited about my run on Thursday. Since we moved here and I started running on these trails I wondered if I'd be able to get to the conservation area down the road, well, without running on the road. I knew the connecting trail must be there but there are so many unmarked trails around here I just couldn't find the right one. So I decided to try from the conservation area end and sure enough I came out on a familiar part of one of the Laurentian trails. I was pretty stoked. I ran it again today to the end of the conservation area and also checked out a new trail - Perch Lake trail which is only about 2.5k but more fun than that end of the conservation area which isn't single track. Today's long run brought out a couple of small aches: my right arch and knee, left ITB was tight, and the hips feel a bit week and are feeling the impact. Nothing serious but I'll take them as signs to take this week easy too.

So it was a week of discovery - which was a good distraction from how tired I felt. Is this still recovery from 50K or am I just getting over this lingering virus... or both? Tomorrow's a new day, perhaps I'll discover another new trail!