Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Weeks 3 & 4

I honestly don't know why I can't get my shit together to blog more often, but, I'm really hoping I can get back into a good routine, because I have things to say, dammit. Anyway, I'm in the middle of week 5 right now, so, we've got a little catch up to do.

So, week 3 was really good. Since, I don't have a lot of time to train (weekday-wise), I'm really focusing on getting quality miles in on the weekend. So, week 3, I ran 10 miles on Saturday and then 14 miles on Sunday and surprisingly, felt really good for both of those runs.

I think doing double long runs (for me) is a good way to get into endurance shape. It's teaching my legs to run while tired and since I have to run slower to get the miles in, I feel like I'm testing the injury gods a little less. 

So, I feel like I had a good week 3. Week 4, my running was pretty non-existent. So, that's no good. But now, I'm in week 5 and hoping to have a good week!

Remember, this is a precautionary tale of training. DON'T DO THIS. Actually train for shit and don't half ass it, like I am.

I'm getting into it and having fun, and I'm tempted to float the idea of being coached again, once this mess of a training cycle and race is through. I'm ready to get better again and while it's going to be a bit of a struggle to get my weekday miles up (new job is awesome, but a little less flexible than previous job), I think I'm ready to see if I can make it work.

Gotta get through Oct 16, first though!

Hope everyone else's fall training is going well!

OMG my blogger formatting on this post is driving me crazy. I apologize if it looks even shittier than it normally does.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Weeks 1 and 2


Sadly, I don't have a good excuse like Bob and Linda.

How's it going?

Things here are going... okay. 

My strategy is essentially the same strategy I had for my first ever marathon (which I finished! Hooray! But, immediately afterwards, I was like... fuuuuuuck I didn't train properly for that. So... Booo!). That strategy is: Make sure you get your long runs in.

So, last week (officially week 2). I embarked on a 15 miler. I did finish the damn thing, but it was not pretty. 

Let's be honest. I shouldn't be running 15 mile long runs right now. And if it weren't so fucking hot that anything faster than a 9 minute mile is basically impossible, I probably wouldn't even be entertaining training for this marathon in October. But, with the temperature so hot and me so out of shape, I feel like pushing myself to a bad point, just isn't going happen. So, there's my reasoning. Instead, I'm just pushing myself into heat stroke and the possibility of having to walk 6 miles back to my car because I am just done in the middle of a long run.

So, for the record:

Week 1: Long run of 11 miles, total miles for the week: 31
Week 2: Long run 15 miles, total miles for the week: 32

What's the rule of thumb? Don't make your long run more than 25% of your total mileage for the week or some shit? Hahahahahahahahahahahahah.


Oh shit. I'm so dumb.

In other news.... I also have two other marathons on the books for my near future. The Flying Monkey in November and a marathon in Phoenix at the end of February. So... I need to get my ass in gear.

With 6 weeks go, I'm sure it will happen.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What can happen in 8 weeks?

Remember back in like May and I was all... I'm going to start basebuilding and I'm going to start doing some workouts. I'm going to be hella prepared for the Des Moines Marathon in October!!!!!!!

Me, in May.

And then summer happened and it got humid as fuck and then there were vacations and bottles of wine on friday nights and then a beach trip and now it's fucking mid-August and I've got no base and no speed and no endurance and yet, I'm still planning on doing a Marathon in 8 weeks.

So. Should I drop down to running the half and focus on that? Yeah, I definitely should. That is the smart thing to do. But, am I going to do that? Nope. Nope. Nope. I'm going to push forward and see what the hell I can do in 8 weeks.
This is what my body is saying to my brain right now.

So, please, join me.... here on the blog. Where I will be recapping each of my 8 weeks and what I've done or not done in order to survive a marathon in 8 weeks. Originally, I had thought I'd try to break 4 hours again in that race. Now, I just want to finish the race with my shin bones intact.

I do have some good news to go along with this ridiculous news!!!!!! I have actually been LIFTING!!!! As in... consistently using weights and doing push-ups and shit. I KNOW. I can't believe it, either!!!!! And even crazier, is I'm actually really having fun doing it. 

Another plus... I've been doing really well with cleaning up my diet lately, as well. So, if I can finally put all three together: lifting+running+not just eating popcorn and ice cream for dinner, but salads and stuff = a decent shot at surviving the next 8 weeks, as well as the race.

So, here we go... I'm in the middle of week 1 right now. Stayed tuned for the possible shitshow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Best Laid Plans: Leadville Trip 2016

Let me be real with you guys. Originally, when we were talking about this trip back in like January or something, I got the GREAT idea, that we should backpack/hike the entire (one-way) length of the Leadville 100 course. We were going to get dropped off at the turnaround point and then take 3-4 days hiking/backpacking/gasping for air the 50 miles back to Leadville.

Doesn't that sound amazing?????

The only issue? I've never backpacked before. And so, we decided that we'd do a couple of trips leading up to it to make sure that I'm not going to whine and die the entire time while hiking and carrying a pack.

Did we do those little trips? Nope.

So, we bagged the backpacking trip... NEXT YEAR, DAMMIT. And since The KoB was quickly dying at 10,000+ ft, we decided to spend our Sunday driving around again. And we did drive out to the turn around point of the Leadville 100 course. Which, also happens to be our darling, eyebrowed, furry child's namesame:

 Eyebrowed Winfield.

Ghost Town Winfield.

Both equally charming.

Other fun random things from our trip so that I can finally wrap this trip report up.  

Gilman, Colorado
And abandoned mining town that we saw from the side of the road.
It was so eery. It was everyone woke up one day and left.
According to wikipedia: it was abandoned in 1984 by order of the EPA.

 A Beautiful bridge that we drove over and then under later on.

 We made a rule that we stopped at every "point of interest"
that we encountered. We read a LOT of historical markers.

It was an amazing trip and an amazing vacation. Thankfully, since we spent the last night in Denver before flying home, The KoB's HAPE did get better.

See you next year, Colorado!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

That Time The KoB Almost Died on Vacation... well... not really.

The day after hiking up Hope Pass, The KoB and I were both a little hungover (thank you high gravity beer and high altitude) and my calves were totally and utterly fucked. I dunno if I spent all nine miles of the Hope Pass hike walking on my tiptoes or what, but I couldn't walk without soreness for about 4 days. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Anyway, since we didn't feel our best, we figured we'd just hop in the car and explore a bit. So... that we did....

First Stop: Independence Pass

 That's the road to Independence Pass. 
It was extremely curvy and switchbacky. 

 Helluva view though.

Next up: Was the Ghost Town of Independence.
 I loved seeing the remnants of these little towns.
It was amazing to think about what life must have been
like back then. Particularly in the harsh winters.
 Another view of Independence Pass on the way back down.
By the time we got back to Leadville, we were feeling better and went out for an early dinner. After dinner we went to bed and kinda/sorta expected to tackle some 14ers the next day. Until, The KoB stopped being able to breathe easily and started wheezing like a 67 year old smoker with emphysema. And then the coughing began. It was a rough night. I've watched enough of Beyond the Limit episodes to be able to diagnose him with the early stages of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) (despite the fact that I haven't taken a science class since my junior year of high school, I am well versed in all the mediciney things in the world. Trust me).
Sadly, I couldn't find one gif from that incredible tv show.
So, instead here's a gif of Alfonso Ribeiro doing the
Carlton on top of Everest.
The next morning, after I got probably 5 hours of sleep, to the KoB 30 minutes or so, I read the list of symptoms to the KoB for HAPE and he had like all of them. And the only cure is to get to lower altitude.
Sadly, we didn't have one of these altitude chambers for him to lie in.
Too bad for him we still had 1 night left in Leadville!

After we got home and he checked the interwebs doing research on it, he got pissed at me because I didn't tell him that one of the outcomes for untreated HAPE is... well... death. But, I mean... you could die from anything. I feel like the stock answer on WebMD is always yup... it's fatal. Plus, we were at 10,000 ft. Not 20,000. He was going to be unable to breath easily for the next 3 days, but I felt certain that he wasn't going to die from it. AND LOOK... HE DIDN'T. Anyway, next time, I know to lead with the worst possible scenario when reading off of WebMD for him. HAPPY VACATION, guys.

More postcard like pictures and more stories of The KoBs worsening airways to come.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Leadville Trip Report Part 1: Hope Pass

The Coors Brewery.
Not in Leadville. In Golden.

Thanks to a direct flight from Nashville to Denver we got into Denver at 7:45am local time. We picked up our rental car (without a hiccup for the first time in Denver in 3 years. Yay for Alamo!) and headed out of town. We purposely didn't really plan much for this trip in general. It's a vacation, I like to have ample time to do whatever the fuck we want. 
So, we decided... what the hell, let's check out the Coors Brewery and I am really glad we did. It was a nice little tour and being a Regular Coors drinker, I was quite happy to enjoy the 3 free drinks you get to enjoy on the free tour.

After the Coors tour, we started to make our way into Leadville and stopped at a beautiful lake outside of town, that I had always eyed on our trips in and out of town.

Too bad it wasn't fucking scenic or anything.

 Colorado: Where every picture looks like a postcard.

We hung out at the lake for a little bit, enjoying the early moments of slowing down for a week and enjoying our vacation.
And like the basic bitch I am, I took a selfie.

We got into Leadville, changed clothes and headed to the Mineral Belt Trail for some walking/panting/jogging/running/walking/panting. Fun times.

There were two things that we had kind of planned on doing during this trip. One was hike up to Hope Pass from Twin Lakes (a route that is apart of the Leadville 100 trail race) and the other was to hike 4 14ers. Doesn't that sound impressive as hell? And it would have been, if we had done it. Even though, all 4 would have been done in one day. Oh well, best laid plans, right?

We DID hike up to Hope Pass though.

Folks, all these photos of hiking up to Hope Pass are part of the

Leadville 100 course.

 Seriously, WTF?

We started at the Willis Gulch Trailhead and after about a mile of hiking straight up, we got to the part of the route where the race course meets up and then we went up 3.5 more miles. Straight up.
And keep going up...

The roundtrip trail is 9 miles. And it tops out at over 12,000 feet. I loved it. It was a hard hike, for sure, but, I felt like at 12,000 feet, I was able to keep moving ahead (albeit slowly) without having to stop and catch my breath like I did when hiking to 14,000 feet. It was so enjoyably hard. But, I was out there on fresh legs and I cannot imagine hiking up that beast after running 40 miles and then going all the way down the other side and then back up and over the whole damn thing again. Seriously, WTF Ultra Runners? You guys be cray.

It took me 2 hours to hike up to the top. 
A time that I was VERY proud of.
That lake behind John is one of the Twin Lakes, and essentially,
where we started the hike (and exactly where the race starts up Hope Pass). 

 Obligatory photo from Hope Pass.

Since it took 2 hours to go up 4.5 miles, I figured, ohhhh, we'll be down in 1:15. 

 Nope. It took me 1:40 minutes to get down.

But it was an amazing hike and I really enjoyed it. Next year, I want to hike up it from the opposite side!
After that hike, we went back to Leadville and got wasted at Periodic Brewing. Helluva time. But, probably not the best idea at elevation.

Oh wells...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tips for Enjoying a Vacation at Elevation

 Drinking high gravity beer is a "Don't" not a "Do".
(Ollllld Chub!)

So, for the 3rd year in a row now, The KoB and I have traveled to the absolutely beautiful and charming town of Leadville, CO.
Home of the Leadville 100 and the National Mining Museum.
Also the place in the US where climbing up a
set of stairs will leave you panting and doubled over for 3 minutes.
HELLO life at 10,200 feet!

So, for some, 10,200 feet of elevation might not be anything. But, for a Nashville/Sea-Level girl, it is a huge deal. The obvious thing is that the lack of oxygen renders you panting and gasping at the most ridiculous of things. Like... taking off a sports bra. It's sad. 

It's exhausting.

But, after my 3rd year in a row, I've come up with a few tips on making the elevation a little less troublesome and less noticeable.

Running/Endurance stuff: So, every year, I get out to the Mineral Belt Trail (an awesome 11+ mile loop around the city) and think, okay, I'm just going to run slow and it will be fine. And then I start running and I have to stop to catch my breath after about 90 seconds. SERIOUSLY. It's humbling and annoying. But, I've found, that if I just give myself those breaks and start and stop and walk, after about 25-30 minutes, I find my pace and I'm able to keep running (even on the uphills). I think it just takes my body more time to understand what the hell is happening and adjust. So, give yourself a break and some time, and you'll be fine.

Headaches: The lack of oxygen can give me a wicked headache. So, from the moment the plane touches down in Denver, until I get on the plane going home, I take a dose of Excedrin every 8 hours. It keeps the headaches away.

Bloat: Along with the Excedrin, I take Gas-X pills the same way. It is crazy how bloated I get and I'm not entirely sure how elevation=bloat. But, it's seriously painful and none of my pants fit unless I'm keeping it all under control with the Gas-X. Trust me, it's a life saver. 

Hydrate: So, I try to make sure I'm staying extra hydrated (this is probably more because Colorado is so much drier than I'm used to). And by the same token, I think it's best to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. Did I do that? Nope. But, the elevation definitely makes a hangover about 13X worse.
Highly recommend this local brewery.
Probably should only have one or two if you want to 
feel your best. Do as I say, not as I do.
Because drinking 4 Brown Ales in one sitting wasn't smart.

 Sleep: I haven't quite mastered this one yet. And I find that the mornings are extra hard for me at elevation. Normally, I pop up and am ready to go in the mornings, but I'm always more groggy and still feel tired when I wake up in Leadville. Probably because I don't sleep as well there. But, if anyone has any good sleeping at elevation tips, I'd love to hear them!

Anyway, it's not groundbreaking stuff, but, it's not something I ever considered before my first trip out there, so, maybe it will help someone!

Trip pics and re-caps to come!