“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Training Tuesday: 3 weeks remain

I haven't been doing the training updates the past few weeks for one reason or another.  It's time to come clean on all that's been going on and catch those who care up on where I'm at.

My flight to Washington for my climb is 3 weeks from yesterday.  My check-in with my climb team is 3 weeks from today.  OMG.  I think my heart just skipped a few beats.

A few weeks back, I started having pain in my feet the day after my long hikes.  I was completely calm as I discussed this fact with my trainer.   I freaked out.  It was around this same time that most of my workouts started to suffer.  I wasn't having fun at anything.  Related?  Probably.  I did the smart thing - I spoke in depth with my trainer about any and all symptoms that were going on and promptly added in extra rest days.  When adding one extra rest day didn't completely solve the issue, I scrapped the idea of a 5 hour and a 6 hour hike for the past two weeks respectively, substituting for something slightly less.  We also decided that I was going to "rest and take it easy" while I was visiting my in-laws in Texas this past weekend.

It's funny how much your perspective changes when you are near the peak of your training for a big event.  When you back off so much - you freak out about losing all your cardio fitness.  You complain about how little you are exercising.  Or is this just me???  Then, your husband (and your trainer) point out that you ARE actually still working out and that normal people don't run 3 miles for an easy day.  It's all about perspective.

This morning - I continued to freak out to Brandon.  Telling him how I was certain I was losing cardio fitness and this stupid mountain was going to kill all my hopes and dreams while also kicking a few puppies for good measure.  Okay, that's silly, mountains don't kick puppies, but you get the idea.  He reassured me that he wasn't worried about me or the climb, and we went through a checklist.  I'm probably just being paranoid, but that doesn't mean the mountain isn't actually out to get me.

So - what have I been doing since my last update through July 7th?

Week of July 8-July 14th
Monday:  Rest Day
Tuesday:  1 hour strength training,  Ran 3 miles (w/walk breaks making it a total of 4), hiked 1 hour (thunder ended the hike, but at least I had company)
Is it just me or does it look like Avery is flashing gang signs?
Wednesday:  Rest day - storms kept me away from the dam and trainer insisted I skip anything else
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, ran 6 miles easy, 30 mins Dam steps (40 lbs)(11x up and down)
What is so tough about this Mommy?
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday:  Dash for Donation 5K, Ran addition 3.5 miles easy
Sunday:  Machete Hike
At least she keeps me smiling when I'm beaten down!
Week of July 15-July 21st
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 1 hour strength training, omitted all other workouts to allow feet recovery
Wednesday:  Dam Intervals - 4 miles total.  10x the Dam
The sunrise was awesome enough to stop.
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, omitted all other workouts.
Friday:  Rest day
Saturday:  Ran 10 miles with the 9:45 min pace group
Photo Courtesy of Fleet Feet Columbus Facebook page
Sunday:  Hiked 3 hours at High Banks (pack started at 50 lbs, reduced to 47), Dam Steps with pack (40 lbs) 34 minutes. Quit due to heat/humidity
I'm sadly becoming immune to the pretty scenery at High Banks
Week of July 22nd-July 28th
Monday:  Rest Day
Tuesday:  Ran 5 miles easy.  Hiked 1 hour (40 lbs pack) rain interfered again
Rainy High 5!
Wednesday: Ran 6 miles (includes 10x dam with shorter recovery due to weather).  Flew to TX
Thursday:  Rest/leisure swimming
Friday:  Ran 3 miles easy/leisure swimming
Saturday:  Ran 8 miles/leisure swimming
And watermelon, don't forget the watermelon
Sunday:  Flew back to OH.  Dam steps 74 minutes (43 lb pack), 26x the steps

I am now ready to make the final big push before the mountain equivalent of tapering.  I am so OVER this stupid mountain.  I decided NOT to pace the 10 mile race this Sunday so that I could get in my extra long hike in that day instead.  I may brave Tar Hollow State Park again, anyone have a machete I can borrow?
I fell asleep a few lists ago.  Move it along Mommy.
How did I wind up doing on my Rainier training checklist????

Bullets of things to improve from last year's Humble Pie Post
  • Lose 10 lbs.  0/10 done.
  • Train with a heavier pack (Up to 50 lbs).  Done.  Kind of.  The first 45 minutes of my High Banks hike a week ago was with a 50.4 lb pack.  I dumped a water bottle weight at the break.
  • Start pack training earlier. Done.  
  • Longer sessions without a break.  Work to 2 hours consistently. Done.  Kind of.  My last few major hikes were in extreme heat and humidity and required more frequent breaks.
  • No Rest Step.  Done.
  • Interval training. Done.  I'm tempted to make these longer/tougher.
  • Asthma evaluation.  Done.  Upgraded my inhaler.  Allergies are killing me and I've lost my rescue inhaler.  Time to call the doctor.
  • Tougher, more specific strength training.  Done.  My trainer says we are officially in back down mode on the heavier weights though.  I only used 25 lbs today.
The big hole is the weight loss.  My trainer has told me to not stress about it, that the kind of training I'm doing isn't weight-loss promoting.  The amount of it makes it harder to make diet changes.  While I mostly agree with him, it's hard not to be frustrated.  Nonetheless, for my birthday, my dad ordered me a new soft shell pants layer TWO SIZES smaller than the ones I wore last year.

I was recently asked if I felt I was ready for the climb now that it is less than a month away.  Honestly?  No.  I need to work on the mental confidence aspect.  I am just flat not confident about climbing mountains.   A good friend told me today to think about it like the end of the race and to "trust my training."  I'm finding that incredibly hard to do after failing the first time, and without having a proven schedule to follow.

I promise never to sum up three weeks of training in one post EVER again. 


  1. All the best for this final push - you can do this!!!!

  2. I think your training looks strong (especially since you were "resting") and I really like your trainer just hearing about him through you. FWIW, my friend Jill was *really* nervous about her Leadville 50 miler the other week. She felt she had rested too much and not done enough vertical. Well, she rocked it. And I think you *will* climb that mountain and you'll feel great doing it. So just breathe and listen to your trainer and your body. Wow, three weeks!


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