Thursday, September 3, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

I am usually pretty good with decision making... if I want to do something, and it feels right, and I can afford it (ok, this is more of a nice to have than a need to have)... I usually go for it.

So, I WANT to do a 100 mile race, it definitely FEELS right, and I can sort of afford the added costs... BUT it means a pretty messed up travel schedule (Mpls-Boston-work 1 day then DC-Virginia-run 100M then DC-Boston-Dublin the next day) and more importantly missing a family commitment back home. It can be done and my family are very supportive of my running... in fact my mother got me pretty choked up on the phone this morning when she was telling me to go ahead and do the race because "I know how much running means to you".

The race is Grindstone 100 and is one of my top "to do" races so it would be awesome if the timing were all good. But I don't know if it's the right thing to do. Couldn't I just be okay with the 50 mile races on the calendar? I guess I need another day or two to figure stuff out. And maybe another 50K run. Yeah, so yesterday, after a few long days and late nights of work I decided to skip a team builder day out from work and go run instead. Team Helen decided that I'd be a much nicer person to work with if I ran for 5 hours as opposed to played golf... so I took myself off to Murphy-Hanrehan Park... and ran, and ran, and ran.

I had originally planned to do my last long hill workout this weekend for AC-100 but then had friends coming into town last night for a few days so when the 'opportunity' to take yesterday 'off' came up I figured I'd make the most of it! Then the race was cancelled and I just felt like running without any real 'workout' in mind. I have been meaning to check out this park for ages and just signed up to do an AS at Surf the Murph' (runners - please send along any special food requests!) - so I wanted to scope out the trails.

I figured I'd try for about 5 hours which I thought would get me around 30 miles - I ended up with 31 in 4:29 (no, I did not set out to compete with Nic's weekend run!). However, I can't claim a 50K PR as my breaks probably added up to about 30 minutes... between refueling, checking emails and a few calls to work (to relieve the guilt) - and chatting to a few mountain bikers. I started out around 10:30AM on the bike trails (the bikers said they didn't mind runners on the trails at all just not ones with dogs - fair enough - and the horses were a bit of issue too - seriously, who brings horses on the MTB trails???!!). With a repeat of one of the loops this got me 12 miles. Picked up my water bottle and headed off on the hiking trails. Another 6 miles or so around the north end - back to the car to refuel - and off towards the southern sections. Heading out this time I figured I'd do another hour or so and finish up around 25 miles but I loved the prairie sections and after finding the water fountain in the horsecamp I was able do a few different loops down there and ended up at exactly 31 for the day.

Ahh... nothing like new trails to refresh the soul. Life has been a bit all over the place of late with crazy work hours and personal stuff and then the race being cancelled. This was just what I needed.

To add to the few posts/comments on nutrition here's my intake for the run...

Pre-run: Large americano, choclate croissant (I know!), granola bar
Run: 4 nuun tabs, loadsa water, 1 can sf red bull, 2 gels, 6oz strawberries, 2oz grilled chicken (try 1 thing new every day/every run)
Post-run: 1 can sf red bull, 2oz grilled chicken, 4oz blueberries, 8fl.oz soy choc milk

And for the post-run run I headed out to Hyland this morning for a very fun 6M in the KSO's - oh I do love running in the wet grass in these shoes! And Hyland is a great location for some 'barefoot' miles with the soft wood chip and the grassy trails. Had two beautiful deer and a whole tribe of squirrels and rabbits for company. My calves were feeling it a bit this evening in yoga - but in a good way. Of course.

Now, from surfing the murph to more surfing the net... to see how much I can possibly add to NWA/Delta's profits.

p.s. the jury is still out on whether or not I'm a nicer person to work with!


Matthew Patten said...

I thought there would be a good chance we would have a surprise showing from you at SS100 after the AC100 cancellation.

Nic only ran 30 on his run. Totally lame

nwgdc said...

Hey it was 30.56, and my time COUNTED the aid stations! Take THAT!

I am now 2-0 against you at the 50K distance.

Carl Gammon said...

I understand your dilemma. The lure of those big races on our wish list is always strong. I know you could work it all out and have a good race, but that does sound like a pretty hectic travel-work-race-family schedule. Whatever you decide, make sure that it's FUN for you. If it doesn't sound enjoyable, they'll always be another chance.

brothergrub said...

If you are fit and ready, take advantage! You never know when something unexpected comes up that sidelines you for awhile...I'm good friends with Christine Crawford who has been out since Kettle 100 in June after suffering a fractured hip - She is missing it all so badly... Another friend has been caring for his dad who got suddenly and seriously ill... Things come up that are out of your control... don't take for granted your fitness and opportunity to run!
Its been fun to see how well you have run at Voyageur and Lean Horse - I say keep that carrot dangling out in front of you and run the Grindstone!

ChrisG said...

Hey Helen, I'm considering Grindstone as a back-up option as well. I'm hoping to be running Superior, but my wife is due with our second child 3 days after the race, so I'm 50/50 at best for Superior. It would be fun and ironic if you and I found ourselves at Grindstone.

Beth said...

I love your advice of trying one new thing every run. I will give it a try. Good luck deciding what to do about your race. I'm glad your family is supportive. I'm sure whatever you decide will work out. Just go with your gut!

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