Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stepping Down and Building Base Mileage

I haven't blogged in over a year now, and stumbling across my page gave me some inspiration to get back on here and continue blogging. Since my last Ultra being Bad Marsh 50k in 2012 I hadn't signed up for any more Ultras. I completed around 18.7 miles at the Bad Marsh before becoming sick and could no longer hold any fluids in my stomach. I tried again at the Mad Marsh (which is the same course just during the day) in November 2012 and fell short again while only completing a little over 14 miles. My training had just not been the right method for completing these races. I usually always went to fast as in running 9-9:30 min/ miles when I should be only running 10min/ mile or slower. I just always hated running slow so I always pushed myself and would eventually "bonk".
 So, as far as my Ultra training and running 50+ miles a week I have come to an end point. In 2013 I stopped running all together for about 4 months. I strictly went to the gym and became lazier. This was the worst thing I had ever done to myself, by the way. I gained nearly 30lbs in about 6 months. I went from my racing weight of 140 and topped my scale at 170 before deciding that I needed to pick up running again. Boy was that hard! I had been used to running at 140-150lbs but with my new weight my knees, calves, hips and just everything hurt. I thought it was from all the ultra training I had been doing for the previous years, all the beating up of my knees and feet had finally gotten to me and I wasn't going to be able to get back into running. Well, I was wrong, of course. I had to start back from running 1-2 miles several days a week and slowly build my mileage back. This is when I decided to start a training plan and stick with it until my base mileage was up.
     After a few months of training I was back up to running 4-6 miles 4-5 days a week. I had signed up for several 5K races and this was going to be my time to see what I had done to myself with all the time off running. My first 5K Jan. 14' I ran 26:47, this was hard, exhausting, and depressing to me. I at least finished this run with my head held high, but I couldn't stand the fact that I had let myself get so out of shape. After the race I went home and looked up a lot of training plans online for 5K. My dad told me about McMillan running so looked that up and got hooked. I also bought his book "(You) Only Faster" and that helped me a lot with my training and fine tuning a plan. I started off right away making a 12 week training plan. It was my goal to get under 24mins by my next race in 2 weeks. I stuck with my plan and did the runs accordingly and at my next race I got 24:43. Better than my first but I wasn't stopping now. I wanted that new time and I wanted to better myself in running again. I started eating healthier, stopped drinking beer during the week and by my next race I ran a 23:10. 4 weeks into my training I lost 8lbs and increased my pace.
     I am now going to be sticking with 5 k races for a yer until I reach my goal of 18:47, at which point I will move up to 10k, then half marathon. This blog started as my Journey to becoming an Ultra Runner which is still a dream for me to do. I have to train smart and long, it's going to take years to get to the point where I'm ready to run an ultra marathon. It's my goal to stay focused and keep blogging in order to keep my motivation strong and hopefully keep inspiring upcoming runners to stay strong and keep going. 

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