Cold Nights and Post Race Thoughts

I cannot skirt around it, last night was COLD. It got down to 23 degrees and seriously I felt it. I haven’t plugged in since the beginning of the month, and I’m adjusting to life without heat. The hardest part is getting out of bed in the morning. I try to make that as quick as possible and get out to run. That warms me up.

Since the race I’ve run 3 times, all under an hour and all easy. I feel good but am really enjoying this time of no serious training or workouts. I am still doing a marathon in Texas in a month, but I’m not ready to train for it. I know my body needs rest from the effort this past weekend, even if I feel good.

I have so many thoughts about the race. I am very glad I made it to 42 miles before my wheels came off. I take that as a sign of progress. I am very happy I am recovering well. After my last 50, I was done with running for a while. Right now, I am happy for a mental break from workouts, but I am also looking forward to the few weeks my coach and I have to train for the marathon. He said I will hate him. Plot twist, I already do 😉

I think if I drank Tailwind or Gatorade earlier I would not have succumbed to the slugging last few miles. My electrolytes were definitely off as all I wanted and ate at the last few aid stations were salty chips and pretzels. I didn’t even eat the birthday cake Gu or vegan M&Ms I brought for the last few miles. I didn’t want them, I wanted pita chips and pretzels.

I’ve been slowly getting back into work for Agava. Before the race my boss and I had a meeting. They love my work, but cannot pay me for all the hours I’ve been working. This was a huge blessing, as I had been thinking about talking to them about cutting my hours. I like the work but it’s too much, especially as I start to prepare for my big race in August. Since getting back from the race, I’ve done some work for them, but I really am scaling back to bare minimum. I’ll do most of the work on Saturday and check in daily if I can. Yesterday for example I was so busy I wouldn’t have at all except there was a special event last night I needed to advertise for.

Speaking of yesterday, I had my follow up gynecologist appointment. It went so much better than I expected. They were able to do the pap smear and exam and I got blood work done. I await those results but feel happy I finally got this done. Because of my lack of period, they are testing my hormones, thyroid and possible autoimmune issue. She said she didn’t see anything like STD concerning, but we’re testing for all that too.

Before I got to the doctors, I did a short run and stopped at CTB for coffee on my way back to my cave (hehe). My boss was alone working and it was getting busy, so I stayed to help out. I usually work Wednesday mornings, but had a later shift due to my appointment. I ended up working until 8:45, ran to my car and sped up the hill to the Gyno crashing in the door at exactly 9:00AM. I had not washed myself or anything since running. I felt kind of gross, but I had enough time to clean up a bit in the bathroom before seeing the midwife.

She was great. Very soothing and helpful for my first exam. It took two tries, but I got used to what was happening. If I can finish an ultra and live in a van at 30 degrees, I can get a medal rod stuck up my vagina. I’m just gonna leave that there. The woman who took my blood was also the best lady I’ve ever had. It was seriously painless and 30 seconds. She also told me about running the Skunk Cabbage half and the Boilermaker, two local races. We bonded as she sucked my blood.

After the appointment, I sped back down, changed quick in the van and made it back to work at 10:45AM. The day flew by, but it was a good one. I am thankful this happened on a light training day. My legs weren’t tired, I didn’t worry about getting in a second workout, I simply rolled with the day. I got important shit done. I felt accomplished outside of running. It is days like these that are necessary to remind me of all the things I am outside of a runner.

About a week before the race, I started to only be able to stomach and stick to my safe foods: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, oatmeal, pickles, apples and dark chocolate. Sounds weird, but those foods go down and I know they give me energy. Well, since the race, I’ve tried to go back to eating whatever, a varied diet, however I still can mostly stomach those foods. I felt sick after eating rich foods the night of the race and on Easter. I can only really do dark chocolate, jelly is the sweetest food I can stomach and it has to be with peanut butter or something to balance out the sweetness. I suppose that even though my legs are feeling better fast, my stomach has some time to go.

Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter and banana, grapes

Running: 58 minutes

The Naked Prussian 50 Miler

The last time I ran the Naked Prussian 50 mile race, I DNFed at mile 40. I ran it then as almost a purge of emotions and regret. I was not trained, I was telling myself I was ok and my injuries were in my head. I felt that I could finish anything if I was stubborn enough. That was not true and my legs began to seize eventually becoming debilitating. I stopped at mile 40 still broken. Running didn’t solve my problems.

This year, I had no aspirations to run this race again. However, as fate would have it, the timing was perfect for a make-up race for Caumsett earlier in the month. So I took a trip to Leesport, PA on Friday afternoon and lined up again on Saturday.

It rained a lot on Friday, so I was expecting a muddier trail to run on. However, the rain stopped Friday evening and Saturday was beautiful. The trails had drained enough that there were only a few muddy sections.

The race takes place around Blue Marsh lake and consists of two 25 laps of the 3 trail loops around the course. Therefore, it seems like you see the same things so at the end I questioned whether I was going the correct way. The volunteers were amazing and knew exactly where to send me even though the main aid station was directing runners in all different directions. The race is organized by a great guy named Stephan, and the event takes care of you. I highly recommend all the events put on by Uber Endurance sports.

My race started off fine, using the first few miles to warm up. I had to poop by mile 6, which makes eating weird. I didn’t want to eat until I pooped because I felt like it would make the feeling worse. However, once I did, I got on schedule eating and drinking. That was no problem. The first 25 miles were like I trained. I knew I could do that loop, so I focused on getting a rhythm. My coach came down with me, so I looked forward to seeing him at each aid station. He was wonderful and had my bag of food ready and also words of encouragement.

Towards the end of loop 1, I started to get a bit tired and began to pick out the places I’d walk in the second loop. The course was relatively hilly so I like to give myself permission early to walk when I need to. I got to the turn around, ate a lot of chips and my coach asked “you got 25 more?”

“Well dude, I’m here and I think so.”

Off I went. Suddenly I felt like I hit my stride. I almost beat my coach to the next aid station. I was feeling positive and thinking about how different this year felt than last year. I prayed thanks to God for the changes in my life, both good and bad. I cruised for a good few miles.

My coach caught me around mile 35 and we ran together up and down the ski mountain with the 3rd place guy. Not gonna lie, that took a lot out of me. I passed the guy in third and then the wheels started to come off. Around mile 42 my slog was apparent, but I got lucky because the people behind me were going slower. I walked a lot, tried to eat a lot, but it was slow moving toward the finish.

I crossed the finish line in 3rd at 7:56 and change. I was first female. I also PRed.

I beat mile 40. I had a wonderful time.

More reflections to come, this post is long enough.