Today's Mighty Oak

Miakonda Training week 19

This week was a bit of a blur. Work is as busy as it has ever been, and these last two big pushes of the training plan are all falling right as other events are happening and it’s taking a toll on me a bit. But, I’m super excited I did a self-supported 50-miler!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 4 miles, tiny loops.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 4 miles, tiny loops
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 50 miles. See below.
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Skratch, Gatorade, Bobo’s Bar, GU, Pringles, Complete Cookie, Ginger Ale, Diet Coke, vanilla double decker Moonpie.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically this week.
  • Yoga: No yoga this week.
  • Stretching: Stretched after every run and on my rest days!

To do 50 miles self-supported, I drove out to park at a different trail head, putting me in a better position to refill my bottle and not go 10 miles on one bottle (which I know when it gets warm and after mile 20 or so, isn’t enough liquids).

The weather was cool in the morning (60’s!), which was a great change, although I certainly went out too fast to start with. My first two out and backs, I ended up going further than I originally expected, but it saved me from having to deal with the most dangerous road crossing even more times later in the day.

As it got closer to noon, the clouds went away, and the sunlight definitely took it out of me, but not as bad as I had expected, due to the temperature being lower. I tried out two new bits of gear on this: the first was a hat shield that you soak and water and then hang from your baseball cap, covering your neck. It was certainly cooling and helped, and I’ll be making sure to keep it in my gear going forward.

The second, was a ridiculously oversized, large-brimmed hat, a recommendation from a friend and teammate. I had to get used to the sounds it made when I moved my head and it hit my back, but it was a really big lifesaver and I’m glad I had it!

Seen here in said ‘ ridiculously oversized, large-brimmed hat ‘ cheesing for the camera around mile 40.

Fueling was pretty much normal, although I was pleasantly surprised that my stomach cooperated. I kept in front of it with some premptive ginger ale, which helped a lot. I used Tailwind for the first 37 miles or so, and Skratch for the rest, which was a nice change in flavor, and I’ll need to pick up some more Skratch.

My legs got a little achy around mile 36, and again around 43, but it passed, and wasn’t anything unexpected. I did use TrailToes for the first time, and while I’ve never had a blister problem before, I’m not sure if it helped much or not. I did end up with one blister that has already healed, I felt the hot spot around mile 46, but I was so close to the end (and away from my car) that I just powered through.

Speaking of, I had tried to run a self-supported 50-miler last year, but a tree had fallen, blocking the trail and mentally I was just done after 31 miles, so this was a goal I really wanted to get done. Heading out for my last six miles, I turned on some music and sang along, and I was super pumped to be reaching my goal!

After getting back to my car for the final time, I sat down for the second time that day (the first was for the picture above), and relaxed a bit before I packed up and headed home (with a stop at McDonald’s for nuggies). All in all, it was just under eleven and a half hours to run 50 miles. Strava has my moving time at 10 hours. When I ran 100K at Eagle Up, it was just under 16 hours and moving time of just under 13 hours. So, much to my surprise, faster than both I expected and my pace at Eagle Up.

Eagle Up, of course, had a crew and pacers and an aid station, so ninety minutes or so of my own self-crewing time, as well as a bit of rest and bathroom breaks here and there, seems pretty efficient, or at least, more efficient than I was expecting for myself (maybe it’s my chart, seen below, that keeps me focused). And yes, I was a bit over-anxious with my pace for the first 20 miles, but the cooler temps made a huge difference.

I learned a lot, and I’m so glad I finally got this distance done by myself, but I’m very much looking forward to a race with friends and teammates. I know that a big portion of the day will come down to the weather, which is beyond my control, so either way I’m going to enjoy it. My A goal is going to be a 100K PR and then I’ll go from there. I’m interested if I’ll make it through all 24 hours, would be fun training for O24 next year, but we’ll see what happens.

I use a little chart to take notes during the run and make sure I’m getting everything I need each time I’m back at my car (the first aid wasn’t really, it’s where I swapped out headphones, so not to worry about my chicken scratch).

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