Sunday, 25 January 2015

Intuition, running in the US, Training

  1. Follow your intuition. My intuition has never failed me and I live my life surrendering to the heart, because the mind judges and overt thinks things. Going by the way I feel has not failed me yet. Often when you start to analyse and think about things your point of view can be changed, such as negative thoughts creeping into the mind. My intuition has helped me in a whole raft of situations, such as knowing I was going to be robbed in Seattle and taking evasive action, knowing that the multi day training would help me in the Kaimai Killer 60k earlier in 2014, knowing that I had to end a friendship that wasn’t good for me psychologically before the 100 km 2013 road champs in order to achieve my goal, following a hunch in an ecstasy dealing trial  : the list goes on and I could write for hours about this but I’m sure you get my drift. LISTEN TO YOURSELF – you are right, your heart is right. My mind has told me I cannot continue though my heart hasn’t. RUN with Heart. I train by the way I feel!
  2. When I went to the USA last year I started to post motivational quotes on my page. The reason for this is because I felt this would help me in my own racing.. They were more for my own motivation and I would often refer to them in races, such as “keep moving forward”, “Can”, “don’t look back”, etc. Very slowly I gained back a lot of positivity by the quotes. It didn’t happen immediately, though it was incremental, I couldn’t see the progress because it was slow. It still is slow.
  3. I left NZ in July 2014 to live and train in Colorado where I lived in Boulder for two months. I arrived and had been injured for the first half of 2013 with a glute mead tear. Prior to that I had been dealing with injuries as a result of being hit by a car on a busy Christchurch Street where I kept moving forward though and made a full recovery finally.
  4. I feel soo grateful that I gave myself the opportunity to travel in the USA and race over there as I feel I know a lot more about myself now.
  5. I went to Badwater and supported Nikki Wynd, who was 3rd female. I learnt a huge amount over there especially about heat training.
  6. Going to the USA pushed me out of my comfort zone. I ran a marathon at altitude in Denver where I was 3rd female (3hrs 11, 50 secs unofficial time). I initially led the race for the first 10 km and got a PB over 10k!  I then dropped to 8th. It was a mental test to be patient and know that I could maybe make a move later in the race. I did not give up. It was 36 degrees and probably the only race where I vomited through the race due to the heat and at the finish. I managed to get 5 places in the last 10 km of the race and only running for such a short time there wasn’t a lot between the top ten women, the winner won in 3 hours and 7 mins.
  7. I did a few other races where I did not taper, including the Devils Mountain 50k where I had a nasty fall down some rocks after I was challenged by the eventual 2nd place women, I started to go faster and then hurt myself. I specifically went to the US to race the 100km Ultra Race of Champions which was a trail/mountain race. The course suited me because there wasn’t a lot of rocky terrain, lots of single track and any technical trail where tree roots. The altitude affected me in that race in that I had a lot of swelling to my legs. I pushed through and was happy with a 5th place in that race.
  8. A day before I flew home I did a 80km race as a training run after a marathon the day before on the beautiful Boulder trails. I wanted to run on tired legs and the course had stream crossings and was single track.  I arrived back from Boulder with a lot more motivation and inner peace within myself. Hiking / running up Mount Sanitus and Green Mountain a few times, (in Boulder), I got a chance to think about a lot of things. I practiced running with poles.  I also spent time in Leadville and could barely break 6 minute Km’s on the road – it is at 10,000 feet and so running is a lot harder there! When I came back to NZ the 4 minute Km’s felt like 6 minute Km’s in Leadville!
  9. I came back to NZ and planned out a race schedule for the rest of the year. Since I came back I have raced a lot. My favourite type of training is multi day 50Kms where I run on tired legs. I used to do a lot of 20km runs one each day for three days.  Once a month or every five weeks I will hike/run for time, around 9-12 hours. I will often start off with a group for a couple of hours and then sometimes I may run with others during the day for company. I find this low intensity keeps up my endurance and works for me. It is something I look forward to and I do it in a location that is convenient. I will do this even after base endurance training is completed.
  10. Part of my training the last 4 months has been running a half marathon every two weeks, whether that be on the road/trail. I have now stopped seeing the benefit of this and so will be trying something new later in February for a period of 12 weeks. Changing my training is something I do regularly. Before I raced the 6 hour track race in Auckland I ran for 8 weeks with sand bags on my legs 20km a week on soft sand down the beach and it helped me be strong during the race. I was surprised that I broke the record as I had no intention of doing so I just wanted to finish!
  11. I am still learning what works and what doesn’t. Less can be more. I have raced a lot of 100km races and have experimented a lot with them and documented what I have done. What works for one person might not work for someone else. I try to fit what works and strive for my best. It is not often that I dislike training or going out for a run. Running has helped me become a better person and I never dreamed I would have ever run 100k. Ultra running is tough and I totally admire everyone who is out there doing it! It isn’t the races that go well where we learn a lot, it is the ones that are tough and I have had my fair share of knocks. I have also had some races where the stars have been aligned and everything falls into place!
  12. Just briefly I want to talk about a race where I got a good result. Recently, I went to Australia in December 2014 to run a 103 km race called Duncan’s 100, much to my surprise I did in 12 hours 29 mins. The goal with the race was to see how my body would respond to eating sugar through the race after a 4 week sugar starve and the goal was always to run the first 50km as fast as I could. I needed to do this to see how I would go in the latter part of the race as I had been concerned that I was taking the first half of 100 km races far too easy. I kept up with a lot of the 50km runners and this seemed to work. The last 53km in terms of the elevation was harder. By the time 90km hit I was really really hurting and I thought this was a good sign that I had maybe paced it correctly. That was the focus of the race – consistent pacing was. My body went into overdrive with the sugar and when I returned to NZ I decided that eating any form of sugar didn't make me feel very good at all. This is another blog which I will incorporate into my HK report. (This race had a similar amount of climbing to the HK 100 albeit without stairs)>
  13. Because I do the majority of training by myself, I find actually entering events as training runs helps. I know I am becoming a serial racer!  Racing a lot has helped me practice mental toughness. I believe that mental toughness can be practiced and by practicing it is part of the training for ultra running and running in general.
  14. I have scheduled in my training for 2014 to take the whole of June off racing and only race once in July.
  15. I am so grateful that I can put one foot in front of the other and run. Running is a GIFT – Embrace itJ Something that does help me with my running is trying to strive for my own personal best & being kind to others and positive.
  16. One day I would like to help others improve their own long distance running though right now I am focusing on trying to focus on myself in the races. Every race is a new learning experience and after every race I have a journal that I write in, and look back at my training. On the runs I often think about new recipes and so I have written those down too.
  17. I am currently working on a project for getting beginner runners out there on the trails which is a Beginners 0-5 km running programme. This is something I have worked on for a while now and I have found it incredibly rewarding writing this. This is specifically focused for trail running only, not road running as it incorporates a lot of my own learning from transitioning from the road to the trail.
I wish everyone a healthy year on the trails J

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