Weekend wrap-up (50k training and Super Century)

Went to a college basketball game Friday.  Turned out Feb. 4 was actually Saturday.  Who knew? Fail.  Went home and watched Invincible instead.  I love football movies, and I love Mark Wahlberg, so I really love this movie.

Saturday morning came way too early.  N. had to be in St. Louis by 7:30 for a volleyball tournament that his team was in.  He can't play yet since he's been recovering from surgery for a month now, but he has to be there.

Usually if there's a conflict between a tournament and one of J's things, I go to the tournament and Jeff goes to J's event.  This week, since N wasn't playing, I decided I'd drop him off and then go back home so I could watch J play in his first basketball game.  Then, I'd head back towards St. Louis, do my scheduled 10 mile run, and hang out at tournament and cheers N's team on.

So I dragged him out of bed and out the door...

Not thrilled about the hour OR the camera
Made our mandatory Quik Trip stop...

Best gas station ever
Headed down the soggy interstate to St. Louis as I hoped desperately the rain would stop before my run...


It was kind of foggy out...

Hello, Arch...wherever you are
Dropped him off at his tournament.  He's finally able to practice again, so hopefully he'll actually be playing in the next one (2 weeks from this past weekend...in Chicago).

Maybe I'm not a great fan, but I don't stay to watch if my kid isn't playing, especially when my other kid is somewhere else

Heading back home
This was the first Saturday morning I've been home in...I don't really remember when.  Since Christmas, maybe?  J had his first basketball game at 9:30, so we made a quick stop at Home Depot for their kids' workshop.

Yeah...still raining
Started on the little box that was this month's project...

Getting some help from Daddy
And then drove down the block to the Y for the game.  Oh my gosh...I'd forgotten how hilarious second grade basketball is.  Our Y has a great developmental program where coaches stay on the floor and refs help coach the kids as well.

J's #6 on green
J made two baskets and got maybe one rebound.  The whole experience made me want to spend more time on a basketball court with him so he's a little more comfortable with what's going on.  Plus, he's too tall to only get one rebound.

Yep...still raining
There are quite a few trails within a 20-min range from the volleyball gym, but I opted for Castlewood because it's fairly familiar to me now and because a lot of it's trails are fairly rocky.  With the wet conditions I was hoping to avoid too much mud.


Probably because Sherry Arnold has been so much in my mind lately, combined with the facts that I've been running my trail runs with friends and have never run Castlewood alone, I was a little nervous about going by myself.  I'm writing this, so obviously it went OK.

This nice, flat section runs along the river
I started out on some of the flatter trails along the river. Unfortunately, the flatter trails eventually lead you to the infamous Castlewood steps. Seeing as I've mentioned them repeatedly but have never gotten a picture that really shows what they're like, I decided to videotape my trip up the stairs (subtitled: four minutes of your life that you'll never get back). On the plus side, now you can hear what my voice sounds like when I'm gasping for breath.

The view from the top is pretty awesome, though.

It's a steep drop if you get too close to the edge

The first 7.5 miles weren't bad at all. Slow as dirt, but I felt pretty good. I guess I've reached that point in my training where the extra miles you add to your long run hurt, though, bc the last 2.5 miles were no fun at all. Especially when I got to this section:

This section is so steep.  I hate how pictures don't show that.

Unfortunately, I still had .2 miles left when I got to the parking lot, so I spent it running a couple of hill repeats on the nasty hill leading up to the bluffs. I ran as far up as I could without walking, then I jogged back down. It took two to finish off my miles. Then it was time to go pick up N.

Long day.
Went to the basketball game on the real February 4th.  It was just a little bit busier than the night before when there was no game.
Go Cougars...our team won.

J enjoyed the game.
I went to bed about the same time my 8 year old did since I had to be up early for the worst idea ever.

My ride for the Super Century.
Let me just say that 62 miles on a trainer was infinitely worse than I expected.  Thankfully, I had some great movies to entertain me.

I don't think I'd seen Dirty Dancing since high school
This was one of the coolest virtual events I've gotten to participate in because of the communication aspect.  Since most of us were on trainers (at least one hardy soul was on rollers, which I understand is a whole different story), we were able to share our woes via twitter (we used the hashtag #supercentury so much that it was trending in the St. Louis area) and facebook. 

It was much more fun that riding alone in my basement...even though it showed me how everyone was passing me up.

Though I bought (or started to buy) my trainer in December, this was actually the first time I'd ever used one. Turns out there is a slight learning curve, and by that I mean that I almost fell over two different times. I'm not exactly sure how, but I do know that if I hadn't been set up next to a wall and have landed on the floor. Still, I managed to eat my oatmeal breakfast while riding.

Despite the distraction of the movies, twitter, and Facebook, I got uncomfortable pretty quickly. I think I took a stand-up/stretch break at 20 mi, and then I stopped to get some food about halfway through.  Nothing sounded good until I looked in the freezer.

I would never eat this much ice cream normally.
I think that bowl of ice cream got me through the next 15 miles.  It was sooooo good.  I also had a Clif bar, two cans of diet Pepsi, two bottles of water, and a bottle of hard cider (hey, I'm sure it was 5 o'clock somewhere).  Quality nutrition.

Here's how much I loved the experience:

You could say it was not the Egg McMuffin of bike rides, if you liked Egg McMuffins or that dopey commercial.

The last 15 or so miles was TOUGH. I was completely soaked in sweat. J came downstairs and said, "It smells BAD in here." I had to assume I was the smell. I just wanted to be done. By the last 3, I was nearly in tears, but no way was I going to quit that close to the end. Finally, miraculously, it was over. Well, it was sort of over. You see, my 50k plan still called for a 6 mi trail run.

photo.JPGMy partner in crime. Or stupidity. You say poTAYto...

Even though Patrick had also done the StupidSuper Century, he was still willing to go run 6 miles in the woods with me. Granted, I think he expected ms to wimp out and go for a road run instead of trails, but still. Everybody needs one of those friends who's up for hairbrained schemes, and he's definitely one of mine. The first three miles kind of sucked, but by the second half I was almost enjoying myself.


Here's a picture of the gully or whatever our icy bridge was over. I made sure to take it since Kovas seemed a little skeptical of the need for a bridge.

Due, I guess, to our strangely warm weather, our woods and in particular the ravines are getting some really cool mossy areas. It was really pretty. We explored a trail we'd never run before, and when it led down to a creek, we opted to kind of swing over the water (could've waded through, but why?) by hanging onto a downed tree. That slowed our pace even more, but since we were running 15 min miles, it wasn't much of an issue. Ok, it wouldn't have been anyway.

Whatever, it was fun, and maybe there's something to this recovery run thing, because I feel pretty darn good today, even if I did fall asleep before halftime and miss the majority of the Super Bowl commercials.

P.S. Check out the Team Virtus website for a poetic recounting of our stationary adventure. Thanks, boys, for a really terrible, fun time. And thanks to my friends who popped by on Facebook or twitter to cheer me on. I love that I have friends who'll encourage me even in the most colossally stupid challenges. ESPECIALLY in those. :)


  1. What a weekend! A go-go-go day like your Saturday wears me out far worse than a long run! The SuperCentury was such an unforgettable event (for many good and BAD reasons)!!! I've already got biking friends asking when the next one is ... uhhhhhh ...

  2. Holy crap girl, I'm utterly exhausted after reading all you did. I struggled just going to Pilates today! You're my hero of the week! Heck, maybe even month! You are awesome!!!!!!

  3. I can actually see why your RUN felt good after that ride! You crack me up! And so did the "It smells bad down here" remark.

    What will you do next??? I'm frightened! :^)

  4. You are a BadASS.

    Except for that whole Friday basketball game mishap :P I would have done something like that!

  5. You earned the ice cream! 62 miles on a trainer?! That's a record I think. I need a stand like that for my bike...and i need my bike tuned up. Sigh...

    BTW, I love those home depot projects. :)

  6. Wow, that's a lot of stuff that happened in your life! I think being super fit and in shape like you helps a lot to get all done.

  7. I think the picture definitely makes the hill look steep! Nice work gutting out the ride, hard cider and ice cream and all. I was all set for a long ride outside Sunday morning when I discovered that one of my chain rings needs replacing. Talk about a party pooper. I've got a rescheduled trainer date for tomorrow morning. Because nothing beats a 2-hour drive to work than a 4-hour indoor bike ride before, right?

  8. laughing at your ice cream break. Looks like something I would do. I am pretty sure 2 hours is the longest I could possibly ride the trainer and maintain sanity. You are a tougher woman than I!

    and... YES QT is the best gas station ever.

  9. Loved watching you accomplish that via fb!

    And that you ate ice cream and diet pepsi and a cliff bar and HARD CIDER? On the TRAINER? Makes me think that we could be irl bff's even though I don't ride.

    (also cracking up at "it smells BAD down here!")

    For the record, watching you go all the way up the castlewood steps made ME tired!

  10. Nobody can appreciate some of the steep hills we have in the Midwest because they don't look that steep in photos. Skeptical of the need for a bridge - moi? :)

    Avoiding mud, now that's something you definitely need to get over.

  11. Super busy weekend and a huge training load. Way to go! The pictures of Castlewood are pretty. I'll have to run there someday.

  12. Kate, you are NUTS. And I must be a little, too, because I'm jealous.

    Also, the views from your run? Lovely.

  13. I'll never make fun of you for the way you camp again because you are so amazingly tough in all other situations that you need an easy part of your life!

    I cannot believe you ran AFTER that bike ride.

    And do be careful alone on those trails.

  14. I can always count on you to join me in stupid, terrible ideas! Thanks for joining us. And thanks for all of the distractions with the tweets! Although, you made me VERY jealous since I didn't have any ice cream.

    I still can't believe you ran 6 miles after that. You're an animal!

  15. I also have been feeling a bit wary on my runs because of Sherry. I have started to bring my runners mace when I am out running in the dark or in a isolated local.

    That is a hell of a lot of stairs but what a gorgeous place to do the stair master. I love your food choices on the trainer! Ice creams the bomb. Ha!!

  16. You really DO need a superhero cape for the schedule you keep! That was one crazy, hardcore weekend! I'm a little jealous ;)

  17. 10 times I've been to St Louis and 10 times I've been up the arch. I MUST do it.

    62 miles on a trainer is amazing. wow. talk about mental training, that will do it for sure.

  18. You are a very very busy woman and you also have the time to take a lot of pics to share with us: thank you.
    And of course you are SuperKate!

  19. Wow - and I thought we cram a lot into a weekend! (Actually we blew off a bunch of stuff bc the two little guys were sick - sometimes illness makes for a more relaxing weekend)

  20. Girl!!I need your energy to get as much stuff packed into a weekend as you!

    2nd grade basketball is WAY TOO CUTE! Unfortunately for my 2nd grader, she's on a 3rd/4th grade team, so she's the youngest, the shortest, and she also joined the team late, so she's struggling a bit. She LOVES it, though...and doesn't realize how much she's struggling. This old mom is struggling much more so! She's so good at soccer that I've always loved watching her...but watching her learn a new game where she's the least experienced is tough on me! Awwww...poor me :p


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