Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Sense of Relief

I did it!  I completed my weekend run training plan!  Well, with the exception of that 10 miler I left out last weekend.  But that doesn't disappoint me much.  Now, you might ask, "Why this sense of relief and why the word 'complete'? You have almost two months left before Leadville silly!"  Well, in three weeks I will be running the Lunar Trek 100k, a very long training run in the form of a race.  So now I'm beginning to taper for that race.  Next weekend I'm going to CO and aside from a 10k I'll be doing with Nick's family and a couple new running friends, I don't have any solid plans to run that weekend.  We WILL be hiking Mt. Massive though, which I'm super excited about.  We'll see if I can make it up a 14er without hurling.  I've been wanting to hike Massive for a while.  You can just see the beast of a mountain from Nick's dad's living room window.  I took this picture while I was lying down on the couch after puking on an 4-wheel drive up Mt. Zion.  Tip for flatlanders: if you have just traveled from 900 to 10,000+ ft in 24 hours, do NOT go on a 4-wheeling trek up a mountain.

Anyway, I'm not DONE with long runs.  I'll probably do 2-3 more 20+ mile runs, but this was my longest training weekend, with the exception of Lunar Trek, of course.

Well since I jumped the gun, I guess I should recap my weekend in running.  Friday night I did a 30 mile run to celebrate my BUBF's (best ultra buddy forever) upcoming 30th birthday.  Friday night runs can be nice because you get your running done early on in the weekend and they don't eat into your Saturday.  I'm not really sure what I did Saturday.  But it definitely involved eating and napping.  

We started off with a 10.75 mile loop + mini loop of the Lawrence River Trails.  Recently, Art King and the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club added a 1.75 mile loop that shoots off the side of the current 9 mile loop.  The small loop conveniently spits you right back out onto the 9 mile loop very close to wear you left it.  Lots of folks joined us for this part: Amanda, Allie, Nicole, Chris, Constantine, Renee, Jim and a guy who works at Sunflower (don't know his name).  I probably missed someone.  I don't have the greatest memory.  

After the loop with the group, we (Sarah, Nick and I) continued on the levee.  Nicole and Chris joined us for a few miles before they turned back to satisfy their 16 mile goals.  Once we reached the end of the levee we turned onto the notorious ALEXANDER ROAD.  I have run Alexander Rd before.  It's probably been a year since I did this course with Debbie and Julie.  But either I didn't recall or the road had been regraded and it was EXTREMELY rocky.  The road apparently sees very little traffic.  I don't think we encountered a single vehicle along the two mile stretch.  Anyway, there were no gaps in the gravel where tire tracks would theoretically exist.  There was an even coating of gravel across the WHOLE road.  Great for vehicle traction I suppose.  Crappy for running on.

I enjoyed running Alexander nonetheless, because of the hills.  The levee is so flat and boring, I was just dying for some hills.  It also gave me the opportunity to do a little walking.  Before we knew it, we were taking the left onto 238th St.  This street apparently saw more traffic.  There were patches of road on both sides where the gravel had been pushed away.  We saw a few cars on this road.  They were all really nice and slowed down so they didn't kick up too much dust.  Very friendly!  

We were only on 238th for a mile before we turned onto Golden Rd.  In the country, the roads are conveniently space exactly one mile apart.  We speculated they designed them that way specifically for runner convenience.  Must be true.  Golden Rd was relatively flat which annoyed me a little.  I took a couple walk breaks along the way since there were no hills to force one.  We ran on Golden for a little over 2 miles before we turned back.  

On the way back, I mentioned how the miles didn't seem so long in the dark.  No sooner did I say that than I began to get VERY sleepy and the miles seemed forever apart.  Good one, Laurie.  Once we got back on 238th my stomach became rather unhappy so I had to stop for a bathroom break.  Things just seemed to slow down from this point.  I took a bathroom break, and Nick kept looking for water sources at all the houses along the way.  We were all sucking down water way fast.  If anything, as the night progressed it seemed to be getting hotter.  This made some sense as their was supposed to be a storm rolling in the next morning.  That old hot and cool air mixing thing I guess.

I "tried" to give Nick half the water from my pack but I managed to spill some on the ground in the process, which left me with not a whole lot of water.  We were ecstatic when we finally reached the levee, not really because we like running on the levee, but because it was the home stretch!  Less than 4 miles remained.  It seemed to go by quickly for a while, because we could see headlamps ahead.  We knew it was Gary and other Hawks who were doing an 11 o'clock-start run.

Once we chatted with them for a couple minutes we got going and the last three miles seemed pretty long to me.  I've been struggling with pain in my butt for a while.  I broke my tailbone back in February, which still bothers me when I sit for long periods of time.  But the pain I've been feeling lately when I run, seems to be coming from some place further up from where my tailbone was broken.  I think the pain is coming from my sacrum.  I can only assume I have some strange misalignment and the muscles that attach there are pulling funny.  Anyway, I was experiencing an intermittent stabbing pain in the butt, which was slowing me down.  I ran behind Sarah for a while until the pain subsided enough that I could run faster.  I think we both picked up the pace quite a bit when we finally hit the last mile.  Once you start seeing back yards again, you know it's the home stretch!

Well we finished right on time, because we were all out of water.  Nick went to grab some water from a house nearby, while Sarah and I…I don't remember…I was probably checking twitter.  I didn't feel too bad except for my quads being toast.  Just before the run I did a workout with my trainer.  She had me doing squats, squat jumps and lunges.  Thankfully she only made me do 2 sets instead of the originally planned 3.  I think one more would have done me in.

After a fitful night's sleep and Saturday morning and afternoon coming and going, I decided to complete my scheduled 15 miler on Sunday as I had originally planned it.  I just wasn't ready to get back out there Saturday night.  Plus I wanted a glass of wine.  After much deliberation, I decided on a road course *gasp*, which would fit in with my Sunday Smash session and allow me to finish running before it got too hot.  I would run from our house in Old West Lawrence, which is actually nowhere near the west side of town (hence the "Old"), to Clinton Lake.  From Clinton Lake I would run to Dad Perry Park, which was the meeting spot for our Sunday Smash - a high intensity 30 minute group workout.  And then from Smash I would run back home.  

It worked out pretty well.  I knew the course was going to be really hilly because I drive it all the time and when I see people running the hills I think "That must SUCK!"  It actually wasn't TOO terrible.  I think the worst hills were: going up Bob Billings toward Kasold (I was actually weezing) and the last hill up Clinton Parkway before I got to the lake.  I arrived at the lake at the perfect time!  I had to go to the bathroom and whatdya know, THERE'S a bathroom.  But don't think I'm starting to get too civilized now that I've used an actual bathroom.  This road running stuff just requires a little more decorum.  

I finally made it back to where we'd be doing Smash, AFTER I went to the wrong side of the park.  And oddly enough, despite the fact that our workout included running back and forth and doing split squats, my quads actually felt a little better after I finished.  The last three miles breezed by.  It was nice to be running through older neighborhoods with tall trees and some decent shade.  So that's it!  I'm done running for the weekend!

When I got back I watched the live feed of the Western States finish line in hopes of seeing my friends Coleen and Danny finish.  Unfortunately, the feed cut out write before Danny crossed!  And it was out for Coleen's finish too.  But it turns out video was captured of their finish and we got to see it anyway, just not LIVE.  :(  Now I'm thinking of trying to get in next year, but I'm not sure yet.  Nick will probably try for the lottery too.  He actually got in last year but couldn't go because he had to have back surgery.  It was a major bummer.  And if by some freak chance I got in and he didn't, I would feel terrible!  But it would be really cool if we BOTH got in.

So if you didn't tune out after the first or second bathroom break, I have something MUCH more important to go on about.  My good friend Elizabeth is running the New York City Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer's.  This means a ton to her, and to me too.  I don't have any loved ones with Alzheimer's, but Elizabeth is a great friend and it affects her family directly, so I want to see her efforts succeed!  You can follow her marathon training and her reflections on how Alzheimer's had affected her family.  You won't be disappointed.  She's an excellent writer!  And if you feel so inclined you can donate to her efforts to raise money for Alzheimer's research.


  1. Great post, Laurie! So glad you reached your goals this weekend. Thanks so much for doing my 30 for 30 with me! :)

  2. Incredible view...take me to CO with you?

  3. I love night runs. Congrats on finishing it.
    Sounds like you have some great adventures planned this summer!
    Get your butt issues figured out, you don't want to ignore that until Leadville.