"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
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!
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!