Monday, August 11, 2008

Fear is a powerful motivator

Whew! It's been a long time since I've had time to post to my blog. I've been so very busy. Believe it or not, I have more than DOUBLED my weekly mileage. Now, remember, I am a low mileage runner, always have been. I have averaged 25 miles per week since I started running marathons in 1995 (or was it earlier than that?). When training for ultras, however, I may increase my miles and/or run more races for training, but still, I come up with the same average, including race miles, because of the time off for tapering and recovery. And for the record, it's not that I think I train well on low mileage; it's just that low mileage is all I have time for in my busy schedule. I would just LOVE to be able to train more and be able to rest more in order for the extra miles to build me up instead of break me down.

So, that said, the Spartathlon is in 6-1/2 weeks. I am scared to death. Now, I LOVE road races, hot races, long long races, and mighty challenges.... BUT I am just not sure I can make the cutoffs in this race. I need to do 246 km (253 miles) in 36 hours, and while I think I can do THAT, there are very tight cutoffs along the way that I'm not sure I can make. That's because I have never been a fast runner, only a steady-ish runner. I think if I get pulled because of cutoffs, it's going to be early in the race. I am scared!

Fear is a powerful motivator!!

So, despite not having the time, I've been running more. I am even running in the mornings before my 12 hour work days. I try to get in 7-9 miles in the morning. I'm fried by the time I get home from work. I can do this usually 3 days during the week, and then I try to run one or two medium runs around 15 miles, and one longer run between 20 and 25 miles. There is no fixed schedule. I don't work well with fixed schedules; my life is too hectic. But I'm doing my best. I ran one 70+ mile week and nearly died. I was falling asleep in the car and lost 5 pounds that week and was hungry all the time. My body was so fatigued and I started to break down.

However, I've been able to hold at about 65 miles per week for the last 4 weeks. It's tough for me. But I'm scared. Hopefully, I can keep this up for another 3-4 weeks, running Uncle Joe's 50k as my last long training run.

I head to Greece a week early for some beach training and R&R. I have a fabulous crew coming with me! Also, I am so very honored to be sponsored by two fabulous companies that are leading the way in endurance sports - Drymax socks and AdventureCorps.

Here is an enlightening video of the 2006 Spartathlon. Just scroll down a bit to find it. It's long but very worth it! Enjoy!


olga said...

Lisa, you are one tough chica, you will pull it through. I don't know how, but you will. I know it doesn't help you a bit to hear it, but I have huge believe in you!

Lisa B said...

Help?? It makes ALL the difference when good friends believe in you! Thanks, sweet Olga.

AnthonyP said...

You will be great ! Can't wait to see how well you do.

Bob Gentile said...

(253 miles) in 36 hours
OK now I am scared for you :-( ummm just keeping it real.

When I am at GTR and have 36 hours to run 100 little ole miles and I feel like chitt at mile 80, I will be thinking of my friend Lisa and her 236.

soooo did I get you fired up yet? did I motivate you to not be so scared ?? answer: noper

some races you just have to go in with a scared but gonna kick your ass attitude !!

I am in "taper land" in a few days I will send you a postcard :-)


you have determination! 12 hour work day with long runs? you go girl. if you can maintain that schedule, maybe the miles won't seem as bad for 36 hours. ah, perhaps that's just optimism talking. regardless, you go get 'em girl!

Jon said...

Typos?! You must be fearful! (153 miles, not 253). :-D

And I know you can do it!

Melissa K said...

This comment might be wierd for you to get, seeing as you don't know me, but I look up to you soooo much. I'm a 23 year old female who lives in Mesa, Arizona. I feel like I have some sort of short person bond with you!! I'm 5' nothing and I feel like i want to conquer the world, ultramarathon style!!! I'm doing my first ultra Sept 27!! It's a baby one-50K but I'm REALLY excited. I just wanted to tell you that what you do inspires people you don't even know! Thank you!

Lisa B said...

Thanks, Tony, I appreciate the encouragement! God knows I need it with this one!

And, um....thanks, Bob. (?) :)
Taper well, visualize that mile 80 and how you MAY feel at that point, and visualize working through it. You CAN do it! Looking forward to the postcard.

Thanks, Deanna. Honestly, you are right...running ultras is such a break from my work and daily grind (which I DO love, by the way) and I always so look forward to the simplicity of just focusing on running and enjoying the moment. Hopefully, the same will happen at the Spartathlon.

Yes, Jon. 246 km = 153+ miles. I'll shoot for 253 after I retire. :)

Welcome to my blog, Melissa, and thanks so much for your note. It's always so exciting when we start running ultras. It's the coolest thing to take on what seems like we shouldn't be able to do. Congrats on getting started. I wish you all the best of luck on Sept 27th! My race starts on the 26th and I'll still be running when you start, and probably when you finish too. So, I promise I'll send some good mojo your way across the seas for a fun (which defines success) first ultra. Go girl!

ALM said...

Lisa-the beach training will help tremendously! Although I have never met you-I have heard enough amazing things about you that I believe you can do it. I am looing forward to being there to support you!

Marathoner in Training said...

We will all be here cheering you on. You will do fine with the cut offs. Enjoy your taper in the meantime. Looking forward to meeting up with you again at the ATY.

Lisa B said...

Thanks, Allison! Good to see you at CCC. Hope you had fun on the trails. I'm so lucky you'll be with me in Greece!

Hi Eric. Thanks for the encouragement. See you at ATY!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I noticed in a previous post you mentioned that you were running with a torn plantar plate. I've been diagnosed with the same issue. How long did it last, and how long did you have to tape your toe for? Thanks a lot, I've been injured for a few weeks and it's good to find somebody who has had experience with that injury.

Minnesota Runner