A blog about Trace and her races.

Time To Put In Work

@ 10,060 ft elevation: My first time up to Mt. Baldy from the village and I didn’t think I could make it — quick elevation gains over a short distance and I found myself ready to head back to the car. Thankful for the extra motivation and patience of my running partner that day.

When I got injured this past May during track season and set my new sites on trail running, I knew I was in for a change but wow, I had no idea I’d have such a hard time adjusting.   Here we are four months later (I did take some time off in between) and I still find myself adjusting.  I haven’t had much trouble with the actual long-er runs, but I am finding it challenging to find enough time to fit them all into my schedule.  I am not just referring to the extra time that goes into all the extra mileage, but also the time it takes getting to and from the trail heads.  Before, I’d simply jet home from work or where ever I was, throw my bags on the floor and quickly change into my workout gear before heading out the door and running on the pavement.  Now, it seems like I have to drive at least 40 miles (1 hour in LA traffic) to get to the start before I head out on a 3-hour plus run in the mountains somewhere.  By the time I get back, it’s already near noon and my day is toast.

Being very ambitious, I registered for a few races, giving myself ample time to train and prep and yet with less than two weeks away, I will be toeing the start line of a 100k.  Talk about having the jitters — I am constantly replaying the times I went on a 30+ mile run, and there are only a few, and then I imaging multiplying that feeling or distance by at least two.  I would be lying to say that I have done everything I could to be better prepared but I really haven’t.  The initial feeling I got transitioning to ultra training was that everything was less intense – looooong SLOW runs, no coaches to report to — just get the miles in, and hopefully they are at elevation.  I have always been the good athlete to coach, doing exactly as I am told and absorbing as much information that I could. Heck, to be honest, before the coaching I was pretty on task to do what I needed to do to reach my goals. I guess it just seems apparent that I haven’t made my new ultra goals a priority in my crazy current life or maybe I just have been too laid back. Either way, I now know my mistakes and I know that this 100-miler coming up in November is no joke and if I want to finish, and finish proudly, I have to put in some work!  Recently I have been in talks with Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman and it is only a matter of time before we start working together.  Working with Jimmy will be great for me, he is a great motivator, has a great record of successful coaching (including his AMAZING wife Kate), and, I will have the accountability that apparently, I need.

Although it may sound like this transition has been a negative experience, I actually feel the opposite.  Never in all my running days have I been able to clear my head to such beautiful landscapes. To experience nature, to finally be able to respect and love the outdoors, is amazing, and at times, overwhelming.  I have been living in So. Cal forever and it wasn’t until recently that I ran the trails of Mt. Wilson or Baldy (a few others of course) and there are so many more out there for me to explore! For me, getting out on the trails is a little scary because I have a horrible sense of direction and will get lost, even with printed turn-by-turn directions.  Mt. Wilson is a great example of that — I love that place, but I always get lost and I won’t dare go alone just yet. And because of trail running, I find myself constantly thinking of other things that I want to do, like hiking and camping, fishing or anything related to being out there.  It used to be Nike sucking all my money but now it is REI and don’t get me started about that place. I even thought about getting a job there but heck, everyone must have that same idea because they are never hiring!

Anyway, I leave this post with the intention of running 10 miles today and 36 miles tomorrow with someone who wants to run one mile for every year they have been alive. To me, that is the best way to spend your birthday. 😉

I have been fortunate enough to run into a few inspiration trail/utlra runners including Michelle Barton, Catra Corbett and most recently Dominic Grossman. These runners are amazing and it feels good to know we are all running the same terrain (but at totally different paces ;))

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