Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 10 & 11: Falling short of expectations, depression, sickness

Week 10:

2/21/12: 12 miles
         Needed to squeeze in a run between an early morning meeting and an evening shift at work. I decided to run on the treadmill so I could control how fast I was going without the challenge of snow and ice due to limited time. I ended up running the 12 miles in 1:38. It felt like a good effort but had more in the tank when the run was all said and done, which is a good thing.

2/22/12: 6 miles
        I didn't find time to run till 10pm tonight. So I found myself back at the gym on the treadmill. It took 48 minutes to run the 6 miles. I will say one nice thing about running indoors at this time of year is that I can wear a t-shirt and shorts and not have to pack a backpack full of emergency gear in case something goes wrong out in the wintery weather.

2/23/12: 7 miles
        Headed up Mickinnick with Vern, the first 1.5 miles was fairly hard packed but the last 2 miles to the top we found ourselves trudging through 6-10 inches of new snow. The hardest part of navigating the snow was that the hard packed snow under the new snow had turned soft so when you tried to push off you would sink up the your knees and sometimes crouch. Due the trail conditions we did very little running after the 1.5 mark. About a mile from the top we ran into a hiker coming down. As soon as I was him I could tell he was in pretty bad shape. His jeans were completely soaked and his face was pale and you could just sense that he was completely exhausted. We stopped and talked with him for a little bit, it had taken him 3 hours to reach the top and he hadn't brought anything to eat or drink. I pulled a energy bar from my pack and gave him my water bottle and Vern gave him an electrolyte drink. After he got some food and water in him he continued down the mountain as we maintained our journey to the top. Our conversations consisted of the situation of the young man, being prepared for winter outings, and wilderness survival. Coming down the trail was frustrating and fun at the same time. Frustrating because you really couldn't run or you would post-hole up to your waste yet fun because you could ski around the steep corners. Towards the bottom we caught up with Nick the young man we meet earlier on the trail. He looked a ton better, the color had returned to his face and he seemed to be doing ok. We found out that he had never been on the Mickinick trail before and the it took him over 5 hrs to go up and back. He thanked us for the help and said whatever we gave him to eat and drink really saved him. I'll give him props for making it to the top especially in those conditions but it could have ended up really bad for him. You never know, but I have a feeling that if we hadn't ran into him up there and offered him help he may never have come off the mountain, alive.

Total miles: 25
I didn't run the rest of the week due to a combination of scheduling, snow and lack of motivation. I worked morning shifts during the later part of the week which is normally the time that I run. I had every intention to run at night but for whatever reason I just couldn't get myself out the door at 10pm. It has been tough dealing with the days I didn't run. I don't think it has hurt me as much physically as mentally. For the first time since starting my trainning I feel like I have fallen short of the expectations I have set for myself, and the only one to blame is me. This realization has made me question why I am even attempting to run an ultra marathon, because its much easier not to (no more early morning runs or late night ones). What is the driving force that compels me to want to run 50+ miles in the mountains? I guess what am I'm trying to say here is that the "natural man" (lazy) in me is fighting with the one who wants to see just how far I can go. I know which one I want to win (how far I can go), but the other is not giving up with out giving everything its got.

Vern fighting through the snow
    Week 11:

2/28/12: 8 miles
       The weekend brought more snow about 10" in town and a couple feet in the mountains. So I have had a slight bit of depression the last few days because I was really hoping for an early spring. I did make it out to run the Syringa trail today despite all the snow it was a gorgeous day the sun was out and absolutely everything was covered in pure white snow. The trail was in OK shape, the first mile or so was hard packed due to some snowshoers and the rest was 6-10" of new snow. I took a slow pace while I was cutting fresh tracks and just enjoyed being out in the woods.

2/29/12: 3 miles
        Ran three miles on the treadmill before a 1hr long lifting session.

3/1/12: 14 miles + 6 mile biking
      Ran 14 miles on the treadmill because I didn't want to run in the slushy conditions outside. I was planing on running at least 20 miles but about 12 miles in I just started feeling worn out and my throat started hurting. I toughed it out for another 2 miles before I decide to try biking to see if that would knock me out of my funk. It didn't so after biking 6 miles I called it a day. A few hours latter my sinuses were clogged my throat hurt and I developed a cough. So I know why I was feeling so bad on my run, I was getting SICK.

Total miles: 25

 Started the week off depressed over all the new snow, I just can't wait to run on dirt again. The snow has been fun and challenging but I can't wait till its gone. I did order a par of snowshoes so I'm looking forward to using them to get up into the mountains but still can't wait for spring. Getting sick was defiantly not on the menu and as much as I wanted to run more this week after last weeks dismal performance I'm trying to play it smart and get better so I don't get worse.

Syringa trail head

Syringa trail

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