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Sunday, October 30, 2011

What doesn't kill you gets you that much closer to your 100 miles

Thursday night saw me staring down the 37.4 miles left in the October 100 mile challenge with four days in which to squeeze them.  I walked two miles right after work on Friday with plans to fit in the remaining three after my nephew's birthday party.  Unfortunately, there was a little hitch in that plan.  Turns out, for some reason, my husband wanted to watch that little baseball game that was on.  And then his beloved Cardinals went and won, and we couldn't miss all the post-game celebration.

Photo credit: http://cdn.everyjoe.com/files/2011/10/cardinals-2011-world-series.jpg
I'm not a big baseball fan, but even I enjoyed watching them revel in their improbable win.  To a point anyway, and then I was just thinking about how I still had two miles to walk and an early wakeup call in the morning.  The evening walk ended up getting bagged, though Jeff was nice enough to watch the remainder of the postgame coverage at home so I could get to sleep.

My friend Jim knows I have some trail races coming up and needed to start putting in some miles and had been kind enough to invite me to a group run at Castlewood Park with the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group, which he recently joined.  My trail race in November is a 30K, so I figured 16 miles would be a good training distance, and since they were planning on running 3- and 5-mile loops, it would be pretty easy to put in 16 miles with the group. 

Did I say easy?? Hahaha hahaha hahaha.  I not only suffer from Athletic ADD, but I have a secondary diagnosis of Athletic Amnesia.

Thank goodness I'd made plans with a friend, because there's NO WAY I'd have gotten up at 6 a.m. if I didn't have someone expecting me.  I dragged myself out of bed and checked the temperature.  36 degrees!  Though I ran in cold and snow last winter, I got soft over the summer.  I wasn't sure how to dress but settled on shorts, tall socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and a short-sleeved technical t-shirt.  That ended up being the perfect choice.
I made it to our meeting spot about 26 seconds before Jim, and then we headed off to Castlewood.  My friend Sara was running behind and planning to catch up with us on one of the loops.  We followed the group down the road and then cut off onto the trails near the river.  The first part was pretty flat, and while I was in the back, I wasn't dramatically behind everyone else.  That changed as soon as we hit the Castlewood steps.

Skippo 20K
I get to "run" these three times in the Skippo...yea...
Everybody else made quick work of the steps, while I did my best to distract my knees from hating me by taking in the view, only to remember that my knees don't have eyes and couldn't care less about the fall colors.  Finally at the top, I ended up running and chatting with Mark, and we ended up not seeing where everyone else turned, so we decided to take a shorter way and catch up to them at the bottom.  There we met up with Lee and Jim, and soon after that the others came out of the woods.

We headed onto the trail on the other side of the road.  I managed the first gradual hills OK but fell further and further behind, finally having to walk up one of them (and then others).  Jim stopped and waited for me, despite my assurances that I'd be fine on my own if he wanted to run with his group.  Once again, my ability in reality doesn't anywhere near live up to my perceived ability.  I knew it would be a tough run, but I forget how hard those hills are for me...and how inconsistent my training has been over the past few months.

So Jim and I stuck together for the rest of the run, and as we ended that second loop we met up with Sara.  She and I met once through mutual friends and then connected recently online, so it was nice to have a chance to hang out and talk, and she did a great job out on the trails.  We headed back to the first loop, which meant another trip back up the stairs, but Jim promised me that they'd get easier every time. 

He's a little bit of a liar, but we made it to the top.

photo.JPG
So glad to be finished with steps!
There was some discussion about the history of the park, and though Jim suggested I research it and write about it, I'll just stick with sharing someone else's work. :)  I really couldn't get over what a perfect day it was for a run.  Cool, bright, and a great place to take in the beauty of fall.  Getting to share it with friends--and not fall!--was a great way to experience it.

We dropped Sara back at the cars so that she could go pick up her kiddos and then headed out again.  One thing about running with Jim, there's no shortage of conversation. :)  He's really encouraging and always has nice things to say, too.  He's way faster than I am, so it was super nice of him to hang back with me instead of pushing the pace like I know he could have.

This was the longest run I've done since the marathon back in May, so by the time we'd hit about mile 13, I was really feeling it.  My left knee was sore, my feet hurt, and my legs ached.  We still had three miles to reach my planned 16, though, so we couldn't quit yet.  This time, we headed up a trail that just got steeper and steeper.  "I think we may be doing a lot of walking for these miles," I told Jim.

He let me get away with that for a little while, but once the trail flattened out a little he convinced me to run again.  It hurt, but walking didn't feel so great, either.  Sometimes my legs feel like they could run forever while my lungs are threatening to secede; this was the opposite experience.  I didn't feel too tired, my breathing was OK, but my legs were hating me.  I guess that just means I need to be putting in more miles. 

For Saturday, though, I made it through a very slow 16 miles, which was my goal, and since I was still able to walk that evening I added in another 2.6 miles with the dog.  Today, between a couple of walks g and trick or treating, I logged another 6.  That leaves me with just 3.9 tomorrow in order to have an even 100 for the month...and because I've spent so much of the last week walking, I will be getting back into a regular running routine starting Wednesday.

100_8334
I'll have to, because I'm sure I'll be sneaking plenty of this guy's Halloween candy. :)

16 comments:

  1. 100 miles is yours! congrats!
    16 miles..! wow that is a lot and those steps look like a KILLER

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  2. On KU bday my son's teacher came up to me and said "Happy Keith Urban's birthday day!" it is almost a holiday in our family :)

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  3. 100 miles for the month is awesome! That trail run sounds great. Some of my favorite running races have been the one's on trails. Something about not having a mile marker or clock every mile appeals to me. I think I run better too. Those stairs will only make you more SUPER! Great job getting in your long run. Go easy on the candy today, happy Halloween!

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  4. The more you suffer the better it is. Right?! Sounds like you won the battle! Excellent job. Cheers! And happy Halloween!

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  5. Love the pic of you two girls at the top of the steps. It looks like amazing weather to be running in!

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  6. Jim sounds like a great coach! 3.9 miles today? Piece of cake - or a piece of celebratory Halloween candy when you finish.

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  7. I love to carry my bike up those steps at the end of the Castlewood 8 race. But , then again I am not completely all there

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  8. What a beautiful day and place for a run - nice job making it through 16!

    100 miles is yours for the taking :)

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  9. 100 miles in oct. Way to go. That is so awesome.

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  10. Congrats on the 100! You fought for it.

    Huge Cardinals fan here, too (I grew up in Missouri, and my dad remembers listening to them on the radio in his grand-dad's lap). What a year!

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  11. Hey Kate, thanks for stopping by with birthday wishes! Those Castlewood Park stairs look SCARY!!!!

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  12. You do some incredible and interesting things. I think they look great but I am doing it from a rocking chair sitting next to a warm fire. I am not climbing stairs or streaming down a rocky bike path.

    Happy Halloween! Enjoy the candy you manage to get.

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  13. Very impressive come back for your 100 miles Kate! Those stairs do look menacing.

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  14. Well, it's the 31st and it's almost 10pm where you live...so I'm hoping you made it.

    200 in November? Ok!!

    And who are the Cardinals? :) I had to ask my friend today in St. Louis if they won, I hadn't paid any attention. I guess I need to get on FB more, eh? :)

    I love your tenacity, you don't give up no matter what! Can't wait to see the 200 challenge in November!

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  15. I really need to start running.... I say this EVERY time I read you. Will it ever manifest into actually DOING??
    Happy Day after Halloween!

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  16. Congratulations on getting those miiles in-You did AWESOME!

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