Friday Coleen hosted the Lawrence Trail Hawks' Sweaty Ass Run. The course was a 3.5mi loop and you could do as many loops as you wanted. For free. All night. The thunderstorms that rolled through were more of a blessing than a curse as it had been over 100 degrees for a week. We got held up a little when the rain was extremely heavy or the lightning got so close it made us scream like little girls, but the cool temps were welcome. I even felt a little chilly at times! I totally crashed half way through the 5th loop. One second I was fine, the next I wanted to lie down on the ground and go to sleep. I learned a lesson here, to be shared later. I tried to quit after 5 loops but everyone was nagging me to go back out so I did one more. I needed the sleepy training for Heartland anyway. Glad I did it. Oh did I mention the Prairie Center is AWESOME? It's full of stuffed animals native to KS. I mean real stuffed ANIMALS. Here's a shot of me getting friendly with a beaver.
Saturday afternoon Sarah and I hit the Lawrence River Trails for 10 miles. Thinking it would be a gorgeous day after the cool temps Friday night, we started running at 3pm. We were wrong. It was awful. It was extremely hot and humid. We probably could have speed walked faster than we were running.
Sunday we met up again. This time at 8am. It was pefect with the exception of the first couple miles being pretty webby. It was cool again. The 10 miles went by much faster in both the relative "feeling" and actual sense.
Monday was the normal group run at the river. Nick set a good pace and we had a great time. We even had a few new faces!
Tuesday was a special treat. I ran the Shawnee Mission Park trails with two good friends, Coleen and James. I've really missed these trails! I'd forgotten how technical they are. The rocks really kept me on my toes. Literally. After we did a 6mi loop, we did three hill repeats at Ogg Rd. I've missed these too, even though they're brutal.
Wednesday I just needed to relax at home. It was a long day at work, plus my knee was a little sore so I thought a day off was in order.
Now for the truly deep thoughts. I was trying to collect a mental library of lessons learned and advice I would give myself for running Heartland in October. As I've never run 100 miles before, I pretty much just thought of normal ultra running advice. I imagine that this advice is just that much more important to follow for 100 miles. In a 50k or 50 miler maybe you can get away with making some mistakes but if I'm going to finish 100 miles I need to be on top of my game physically and mentally. So here goes:
- Think about NOW. Thinking too far into the future will lead to despair! This behavior can take you down a bad road, even if you're physically feeling fine. It will lead you down a worse road if you're not feeling fine. A smart woman named Coleen once told me, just think about getting to the next aid station. Good advice, I say. This is as far ahead as you should look.
- Do not focus on a point in the distance. This is similar to 1 and is important for wide open expanses. Things look closer than they really are when you're running out in the plains. Focusing on some structure off in the distance will lead to disapointment and frustration, just like 1.
- Constant stream of calories. Stay on top of eating. Frequent, small amounts work best. I know I said don't live in the future, but if you wait until you are HUNGRY to eat, it's too late. Things will get worse before they get better if you start eating when you're tummy is grumbling.
- Number 3 also goes for caffeine. If you wait until you want to just lie down on the ground and nod off to take in some wake-up juice, it'll take a while to bounce back. So far, Coke is my fav. A couple ounces every 5 miles seemed to do the trick at Lunar Trek. (Like I said, I totally crashed at the Sweaty Ass because I didn't caffeinate properly.)
- Go into the race KNOWING you are going to finish. There is no room for negotiation unless you are hauled off in an ambulance. This is also courtesy of Coleen!
Well I must say, I'm really lucky to have such a large group of friends to support me in these new adventures. Coleen "Little Big Hawk" will be running with me from the start although I might make her leave me behind if she's feeling too good! Pacers are allowed for the last 40 miles and I have a few recruits to keep me company on the way. Sarah "Scoop Hawk" has agreed to come out and run as far as she can with me. I've also recruited Levi "Smilin' Hawk" to fill in some miles depending on how Sarah's IT band is feeling. Darn those IT bands. They can be a real pain, literally. And finally, my man Nick "Colo Hawk" will be there crewing for me and might run the last 5-10mi with me. It's nice to cross the finish line with a loved one. I'm also sure I'll see loads of other great friends at the aid stations: the Clarks, the Amoses, the Sheridans, Mr. Gary Henry. The list goes on.