Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tri Training Week 7

by Rachel

This week I got a present that no athlete wants... I got injured...

It was pretty dumb - I did it to myself, it was totally avoidable, and it didn't even happen while I was working out!

I was rummaging around in the trunk of my car, completely forgot that I had my bike rack hooked up to the trunk door, then stood up and slammed the trunk door down... the bike rack came down with the door, of course, grazed my forehead, then slammed into my ribs right below my collarbone.

This happened Monday morning, and I proceeded to work out per normal on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, it still hurt, so I went to the doctor and verified that there was nothing broken.

It's basically just bruised (inside), and it hurts to breathe hard, or do any movements that involve my ribs - which actually doesn't restrict me as much as I thought - and I am on heavy ibuprofen until it heals up.

Life could be worse, and even though it is annoying and I am in major restriction mode (for me), I remind myself constantly that there are others way worse off than me. For goodness sake, one of our best friends is going through chemo for the umpteenth time and one of my relatives just got cancer - I will just accept this injury and get on living life.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tri Training Week 6

by Rachel

This week ended up really great! I had some great workouts and learned a lot - I realized that I do want to put effort into heart rate zone training. I will not be going as fast as I can - but instead, going at a steady rate in zone 1 and zone 2. The only time I should go above these is when I'm going uphill, or when I'm doing high-intensity strength training.

I need to work on beach entry, and swimming in big waves - my speed just dies when I'm in choppy waves...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

by Rachel

Right now I feel like

Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon

by Paul

I've been to the Grand Canyon before but I had never experienced it like I did this trip. I've been dreaming of this since I was a child. This was a trip my mother and I tried to save up for for many years. We collected coins in jars trying to save up, but we never made it. She got sicker as the years passed by - spending more time in the hospital then out of it, at times. If she wasn't in kidney dialysis, it was to get her blood pressure down to a respectable level. Eventually the coins stopped dropping into the coin jars and we started to live day to day surviving. Dreams fade when you don't have the strength to look that far ahead anymore... when you're doing everything in your power just to keep living for your kids. She was strong willed, survived a long time after her body gave up years before her spirit did. I believe she fought on to make sure her kids were in a good place before she could rest. She fought to live her life the best she could and to give her children everything she could, especially her love.
I have her will now... I had lost it for so many years. I lost it living in the past and holding onto hate of so many things. I forgot the lessons of my mother, the one person I should be living to make proud. I hid for so many years from the true person I could be and fell deeper into that dark place we go when we no longer want to live.
This past year of ultrarunning has helped me learn more about myself than the previous three years running on the road. There is something to this ultrarunning - pushing beyond your physical and going into your heart and mind. Pushing beyond what you thought possible, surviving beyond the point of disaster. My mother did that for years with her sickness and now I want to live for her - to do the things we set out to do and never could.
This trip was that defining moment where I could look at myself and see my mother. I can feel again that love she had for me - that strength she had to hold on for so long. I don't know if there is an after life or not but I could feel her strong spirit with me this whole trip.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tri Training Week 5

by Rachel

Base 2 - Week 1! 12.5 hours actually didn't seem so bad this time around... hmmm...

This weekend was the PCT50 - we all headed up for the weekend and camped out on Saturday night - I think the camping went pretty well this time! I think it helped that we were right next to people we knew and they had everyone over for dinner - and breakfast! Thanks Terry and Jeff!

I did start to feel tired with the increase in hours - I am going to have to force myself to go to bed at a decent time during this training or I will just burn out...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

by Rachel

..."and Never..."
                    ..."and Never..."
..."ever Ever..."
                    ..."ever Ever..."
..."complain about hiking..."
                    ..."complain about hiking..."
..."in the Grand Canyon!"
                    ...." the Grand Canyon!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tri Training Week 4

by Rachel

This was my first Recovery Week in my new training plan - I used a concept called periodization to plan out how my training weeks would play out. The first training chunk was something like this:
Base 1
Wk 1 - 12 hours (actual 12.5)
Wk 2 - 14.5 hours (actual 15)
Wk 3 - 16 hours (actual 13)
Wk 4 - 8.5 hours (actual 15.5)

Even though my recovery week 4 was many more hours than planned, I really felt like I pared back my training. Exhaustion caught up with me (and possibly more), and I ended up sleeping a whole day - I just could not get up and out of the house. Also, this weekend, I enjoyed an awesome trip to the Grand Canyon, hiking with my 6yo at his pace.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

by Rachel

Have you ever hiked down into the Grand Canyon? How about instead of hiking, you ran down, and ran/hiked back up? And, how about instead of going down to Phantom Ranch, you went right on by, continuing up to the North Rim, and then immediately turned around and traversed the whole thing again?!

We are going to the Grand Canyon!
I will be hiking with my 6yo down Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden, hanging out, eating lunch, and then hiking back up - same day.
Our 15yo will be running down to Phantom Ranch, not sure if they're going to hang out there or not, and then run/hike back up - same day.
Paul will be running down past Phantom Ranch, up to North Rim, then turning around and going back to Phantom Ranch, followed by what I'm sure is to be a hot, sweaty, emotional, beautiful, and awesome run/hike trek back up to the South Rim - same day.

We will take lots of pictures - and I'm sure each of us will have a different story to tell, at the end of that day!

I have been to the Grand Canyon four times that I can remember - each trip was special for different reasons. My favorite memories include seeing snow in the middle of June, hiking with my Dad and staying the night at Phantom Ranch, being there for Paul's first glimpse of the majestic views, having our train robbed by outlaws on the way to see it, and being able to share the beauty of the canyon with both of our boys.

What's your favorite memory of the Grand Canyon?

P.S. I wrote this on Thursday - but never got a chance to post it! So many stories to tell now, but for now this needs to be posted!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Leona Divide 50M run and lessons learned

by Paul

I find it nice to go into a race without being nervous and full of anxiety. This race was another preparation for the San Diego 100 miler. Time to get my pace down and hopefully learn something new along the run. WOW, did I ever learn something, but I'll get into that a little later.

My family and I decided to go up early Friday and find a campsite so we were close to the start line in the morning. That way we are close and we get a camping day in for the year. It was nice to get up there and hang out with other runners and friends volunteering at the race. Chatting away about races and life as we sat around getting our race packets and getting ready to eat the race-sponsored pasta dinner.

The race was held in the small lake community of Lake Hughes - which had one store and a hotel/ restaurant in it. It was nice to be away from the crazy city life for the two days we spent up there. So a bunch of ultrarunners come rolling into town and fill up the place with fit and sweaty people all over. It was a cool to see people from all over going in and out of the Lake Hughes Community Center. This race is part of the Montrail Ultra Cup Series so it brought out some of the elite runners from all over. It was cool to watch them run by you during the race. The RD is Keira Henninger and she always puts on a great challenging race. The swag bag is always awesome and the race shirts kick ass.

I found that sleeping in a tent the night before a race is bad if you don't have the right sleeping bag. It gets cold up in the mountains at night in late April. I made it through the night tossing and turning, but overall I think I got enough rest for the race. We learned we need to prepare a little better when we camp up at the SD100... need a little more blankets and cushion. It was a great experience though - camping out near the start line helped me relax! It was also nice to have the dinner before the race and watch the movie "UNBREAKABLE" with my fellow athletes.

I was pretty relaxed during the race - I just wanted to get a good pace down and see how that went for me. I didn't have to be anxious about running the race as a race, just sit back and enjoy the scenery. For most of the race I did just that. I sat back and was in awe of the beauty of the mountains and the trails we ran on. I made a ton of new friends just sitting back and relaxing, running with the crowd for most of the first 20 miles. I was having a great time running these trails and hanging out with my fellow runners - until I had an experience that just about handed me my first DNF....