Sunday, May 25, 2008

Testing My Boundaries

Jane has been trying to talk me into running NB2V for a few months now. I knew I wasn't interested in a 100 miles, or even 50 miles. I thought about 50K and decided I wasn't interested in that either. I've been feeling a bit tired since Big Sur. Running Tacoma two weeks later didn't help. I've mentioned before that I run by feel, and lately, that has meant trying to ease up a bit. Though sometimes my enthusiasm gets in the way of my common sense. Like yesterday. I finally decided early last week that I would run 10 miles or so of the NB2V course with Sydnee while Steve was running his 50K. Eric had plans to run 12 Summits and would meet us for dinner at my favorite restaurant after we were all done. As the week rolled on, there were some course adjustments due to snow at the pass, and Bob, Steve's Dad, decided to join us for the day. I started thinking I'd be up for 15 miles. On the drive up, Sydnee and I looked over the course and settled on our plan. We'd skip the first three mile leg, then run the next three, which should give us right about 16.8 miles. The forecast was for cloudy with some rain, on the warmer side of 50.

We got to the start to see many familiar faces - Shawn, our race director, tc, Arthur, Lesa, Jane, Ray and Jon. We had time for a bit of chat, then to the sound of a fizzling air-horn, the runners left. Steve was shooting for about 50K, Jon and Ray were crewing, Jane was shooting for her first 100, Lesa for 50 (miles or K? I'm not sure), Arthur, tc and Shawn for 100. I haven't seen the results yet, so I don't know how everyone did. Sydnee, Bob and I drove to the first aid station spot and Sydnee and I got out to start our run.

The NB2V starts on the same course as the Mt. Si 50K. The section we were running would keep us on a gradual uphill all day long. My Garmin showed a 1500 foot gain over 19 miles - not huge, but enough to feel like we were always working hard. The weather did not match the forecast - instead we had sun. Much of the beginning was shaded, but the later miles were in bright sun and hot.

So where does the title of this post come from? From me making some silly decisions - to start out at a 9/1, forgetting to bring a short sleeve shirt or tank, only taking one bottle of coke and a handful of mini peanut-butter crackers for fuel, and for not wearing my heart monitor. It was an unintentional test of boundaries, but one that reminded me that I still need them. Our run was beautiful, and fun, and a bit too warm. I bonked hard at about mile 14, feeling the heat, feeling hungry and tired and feeling a tiny signal from my heart that I needed to ease up. Later, I figured out that I ran 19.5 miles (I'll explain that in a minute) on 10 oz of coke, a handful of crackers, one rice-krispy treat and a half a banana. Whoops. I did drink 20 oz of water as well.

At about mile 16 by the Garmin, we began to watch for the chalk arrow pointing us to the single track that would take us down to the parking lot and end our run. We began to wonder if we had missed it as the mileage continued to climb. Finally we found one, then we saw a crew member on the trail, and then finally, the arrow pointing us down. We got into the parking lot where Steve and Bob were waiting - due to the course reroute, all runners and bikers had to drive over the summit and into Easton. Steve was very laid back about this run, not concerned about time, or about having to wait, thank goodness. Apparently this section of the trail was about 2.5 miles longer than we thought, giving us 19.5 for the day instead of 17.

Bob and Steve headed out for the next leg - 11 miles. Sydnee and I met up with Ray, Jane, Lesa and Leslie as they pulled in. They needed help shuttling Lesa's car to the next leg, so I drove it, while Sydnee drove the Yeti. Then we tipped the seats back, propped our feet and hung out till Steve and Bob got in. We'd barely got on the road towards home when Eric called in from his solo run - he was done too, and on the way to North Bend to meet us. After pizza at my favorite spot, we headed home.

Yesterday's run gave me 42 miles for the week. Another whoops! That really wasn't easing up, was it? And then I ran at Soos Creek this morning at a pretty good pace for me, with lots of hills, and tomorrow we are running the 12k Sound to Narrows course - more hills. Oh, and I ran the hill run on Thursday. I will admit, I am having a bit of a problem easing up. My minimum base for any given week is 25 miles, with a preference for about 32-38. That feels comfortable to me. Which, if I had stuck to my original 10 mile plan, I would have done. Oh, well, it was fun and today I'm glad I did it.

So there you have it. Yesterday I tested my heat and fuel boundaries and found out they are still in place. You gotta run a test every now and then, right?

20 comments:

wendy said...

*sigh*, only you would feel the need to test those boundaries. =) You are soooo stubborn sometimes!

I'm glad you had fun, and good company though. I'm trying to remember the last time you had a 25mile week though, is that really your minimum base?

Enjoy the run tomorrow, and I'm sorry that I'll miss you guys!

lizzie lee said...

wow Michelle....again admiring you... How can you do with coke? I could not imagine having coke before running... and another question? What is the favorite restaurant you mentioned?

lizzie

Laura H said...

Way to test 'em Michelle! I would not have made it on so little fuel - you're strong willed! It must have been even harder without a short sleeve shirt- it was warm!!

Try@thlete said...

Whoa, look out, here comes Michelle the nutritionist!

Anonymous said...

I'm impresed that you did manage to drink water!!! Although 20 oz wasn't nearly enough for that stretch! Those runs are sort of like hing - always take more than you think you will need!

The next section would NOT have been good for you - it wasn't warm it was HOT and direct sun.

Jane

olga said...

I am with you on running by feel, and if it felt like you wanted to test those boundaries - then, well, you did:)

Sarah said...

Glad all systems are in check! : )

shawn said...

Michelle,
Thank you for coming out and running! It was cool to see you and Sydnee at the start and later on in NB.

I'm glad you pushed your boundaries and remembered what it is you're supposed to remember on a run! :)

Wes said...

I'm supposed to take my HR tests this week. I'll let you know ;-) You are definitely all systems go!!

Makita said...

We went home to see my in-laws over the weekend and Grandma gave the kiddos rice krispie treats... I thought of you. Now I see your drinking coke on your long runs!? I'm not sure my tummy could handle soda pop. :D

Jon said...

I'm so embarassed about the way the airhorn didn't go off at the start! It didn't work for me until I got over to RattleSnake (and woke up the entire vicinity).

Good seeing you there! Maybe you and Eric should do this one together next year! :-D

Ryan said...

Ok so ur feeling a little tired and then you go out and do that fun run plus bonus miles...ended up being a great training week...h'yay WTG.

robtherunner said...

I am glad you decided to run the Sound to Narrows course even though you took the rest of the group with you :) I'll stop giving you a hard time about all the marathon talk. I know I have been there and probably did the same thing, all though I don't really remember. I am sure I did and you probably shook your head at me just the same. See ya Saturday!

Sunshine said...

"It's fun and today I'm glad I did it" .... sounds like Michelle!!!

scott keeps running said...

your known boundaries are like a normal person's wildest dreams. it is hard easing up sometimes. that's what i'm trying to focus on this summer. run easy(er). :)

Anne said...

Sounds to me like your energy right now is 'boundless.' I can't say many of us ease up with 42-mile weeks, but I guess that's why they call you a Maniac, right?!

JustRun said...

"Though sometimes my enthusiasm gets in the way of my common sense."

Man, if I had a nickel...

:-)

Ultimately you will listen to your body. Just try not to make it yell too loudly.

Meghan said...

Michelle!

You're like my mother with the soda. She'd take it to the gym to workout if she thought no one would tease her over it!

Just kidding, but I'm very happy to read that, aside from a little bonkage, everything went alright even when you didn't present you body with the most ideal of conditions. That lends itself to your high level of fitness and acclimation to these long distances. ;)

Meghan

Meghan said...

Michelle!

You're like my mother with the soda. She'd take it to the gym to workout if she thought no one would tease her over it!

Just kidding, but I'm very happy to read that, aside from a little bonkage, everything went alright even when you didn't present you body with the most ideal of conditions. That lends itself to your high level of fitness and acclimation to these long distances. ;)

Meghan

Scotty said...

Hi Michelle! What a great blog! I much enjoyed the report! Good job last Saturday--good to meetsya! (: