Friday, March 23, 2012

The Effects of a Taper

ta·per  /ˈteɪpər/
verb (used without object)

1. to become smaller or thinner toward one end.

2. to grow gradually lean.

Adverb (used with object)

3. to make gradually smaller toward one end.

4. to reduce gradually.

Above is the definition of taper.  Let's go through and see how accurate these so called definitions are;
1) to become smaller or thinner at one end____if you are talking about candles or pants, that makes sense.  If you are talking about a person "tapering" for a sporting event, like myself, that makes no sense.  I simply have not gotten and thinner at either end....especially the REAR end. 
2) to grow gradually lean_____again, if you are talking about candles or pants, this makes sense.  But with regards to me, no I have not become any leaner, thanks to my love for baking and eating.....
3) this is too similar to the first 2 definitions so #1 and #2.
4) to reduce gradually.  Ok, this could touch upon my situation here tapering for Umstead, I am gradually reducing my running and workouts.  However, what it doesn't say in there are the some of these definitions:\




But seriously....I am feeling quite energetic and contained at the same time.  My mind is going nuts at work like I have no attention span.  I **feel** like I won't be able to fall asleep at night yet I am asleep in less than 1 minutes after my head hits the pillow.  I am getting 8 hours of sleep and WOW, it IS true what they say about getting proper amounts of sleep.  I feel human again. 

This has been a fun journey, I look forward to see what I have learned this far (and paid attention to enough to make changes) and what I need to further learn.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The RoadRunners, BEEP BEEP

Hee Hee, no jogging allowed.  We sure were disobedient.....we jogged on this here roadway by the Renton Airport as we were going around the south end of Lake Washington.  Not only were we disobedient once, but TWICE.  After Owen and I signed up for Umstead 100 we started to drum up some training plans. Umstead 100 takes place in a state park in Raleigh, NC.  My parents live about 15 minutes away so we thought we'd visit them and run 100 miles. The run consists of 8-12.5 mile loops with a total elevation gain of 9000ft.  This is very different from any 100M we have done, with the exception of PAC RIM 24 hours run, which we were ridiculously unprepared for, sadly.  In effort to not make that mistake again, we kicked around a few ideas about training runs.  Let's run the south end of Lake Washington!  Let's run at Lake Youngs!  Let's run 5 loops at Lake Youngs!  Let's do road runs!

I decided to keep a training log, something I never do.  I wanted to keep track of how many hours I spent training for this and how many miles I ran a week and how much I cross trained.  I realize this is hardly a new concept, but for me it was new.  It all started when someone gave me a goofy calendar.  I decided to make that calendar into something and so it began, my training log.

Training for a flattish 100M has been interesting.  I've put in more miles that usual, but probably not much more time.  It takes a lot longer to get in 25 miles on the trails than it does to get in 25 on the road.  But then the road beats me up and I feel as if I've run a hell of a lot longer.  I did more cross training than usual, ran plenty of 50k's, on the trail and on the road. I'm also planning my wedding, so fun things mixed in that take time as well. Let's see how it goes, Umstead is just a few weeks away.

The nice thing about going into Umstead is that pretty much, I hit my training goals. To name a few, we ran around the lake twice, and ran 50 miles at Lake Youngs.  The 50 miles went ok, we ran 3 loops with our friend John and he left us to run the last 2 laps dependent on our iPODS.  When we were running with him, he said, 'when you finish 5 loops, you'll be at about 47 miles, why don't you just run 50'.  I had of course thought of this but decided to stick it in my back pocket and pull is out as we rounded into the last turn of the last loop.  But it was now out of the bag.  It was a goal we had to attain.  As John left us, he said, 'while you guys are still running, I'll be taking a nap on my couch after my wife makes some soup for me and I pig out.' Thanks....thanks a lot.  Well, as we rounded the last corner of the last loop, I looked at my watch and it read 47+ miles.  Owen and I looked at each other, gave the nod and we kept running.  Within 2 minutes is was so dark that we could hardly see and our lights were in the car.  However I could see that the battery was getting low and I did not want the evidence of 50 miles to diminish before I could get a photo and send it to John.  So we rushed to the car, tried to find out lights but could only find a small pen light.  So basically we ran up and down this little road until we hit the 50 mile mark.  And literally, it was up and down.  We would run up, turn around, run down, turn around run up, felt like hill repeats after the long day but on fresh legs it probably feels like a bump in the road.  I kept trying to run fast so the battery didn't die, it literally was a race against time.  I heard the last beep signifying 50 miles and BAM, we were done.  Ran to the car to grab my phone, took a photo and phew....The evidence is all here!

The 2 runs around the lake were actually kind of fun, an adventure.  We have biked around the lake countless time and so it was interesting to run it.  The hills are felt much more on the feet than on the bike, that is for sure.
We started out going through the bike tunnel
Then headed over the I-90 bridge
To Bellevue
Next to the freeway.....
Following the bike trail
To the Renton Airport
Towards Seward Park
On the busy streets....

Following the speed limits....
Back home towards the bike tunnel
And, we're done!
It has been a pretty wet winter with lots of low level snow, so perhaps we would not have made it to the mountains as much as we have in the past. However, when we get back from North Carolina and the weather has warmed up a bit, I am looking forward to hitting the trails in the mountains again.  I've enjoyed these last few months of training and I am excited for Umstead.  I am also excited for some warmed weather and some trails.  Umstead here we come!