Promise To Keep 135 and 189.5 Mile Week!

This week was far from mundane: I logged my highest weekly mileage to date and participated in a great cause! For those of you who read my blog last week, you will remember I was talking about the Promises to Keep 135, an opportunity I had to help out some friends and support a great cause. Promises to Keep 135 was an event supported by My Team Triumph WI that honored soldiers from Wisconsin who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brian Gruender and Roy Pirrung ran the entire 137 miles, and I was privileged to join them for 68 miles along the way. I was reminded of some important logistical elements of ultrarunning during this event. I was actually planning on joining Roy and Brian for 73 miles (I had met up with them around mile 64). However, my blood sugar levels and blood pressure had other plans. With 30 miles to go, I blacked out when we stopped for a bathroom break. I ate three granola bars, drank some water and took in some sodium, and I felt completely rejuvenated. After missing about 2 miles, I rejoined the group. I felt fine the rest of the way until we only had 3 miles to go, when I started feeling lightheaded again. This time I grabbed someone for help in attempt to avoid taking another dirt nap. The team was great and had me refueling within seconds. Once again, as soon as I got some more fuel in me, it was like a light switch went on. I sat out the next couple of miles as a precaution, and then rejoined the group for the finish.

So, what did I learn? You have to fuel based on time, not mileage. Fueling based on mileage was a problem because Brian and Roy had already run 64 miles when I met up with them, so naturally our pace was slower than what I was used to running. Consequently, I probably was not taking in the necessary amount of nutrients. A valuable lesson learned indeed. I also was able to meet some amazing service members who joined in for segments of the run, all of whom were amazing people who I will never forget.

My other workouts this week were focused on trail and hills. I tried to attack as many trails and hills as I could, and I managed to log trail miles on a number of great running spots in Wisconsin. I started with Door County, WI. Here I was able to access some of the rolling hills of Peninsula State Park. During the middle days of the week I was able to maneuver about some tight-turning, single-track trails in the Ice Age Trail circuit. I was thrilled, as always, to join the Lapham Peak Trail Runners (LPTR) on Wednesday night for a solid bout with the challenging terrain the “Black Loop” at Lapham Peak. The end of the week provided some flatter trails in the Milwaukee and Oshkosh areas before I logged the 68 miler Saturday.

In the coming weeks I am going to work on incorporating more hill work, as well as lunges in attempt to target eccentric muscle contraction. I will be looking to benefit from the uphill climbs of the hill workouts too, but my main focus will be the descents. I really want to start training my muscles to remain strong throughout eccentric muscle contraction demands that are found most notably running downhill.

If you would like to see this week's miles broken down, please see below.

Sunday 17 mile long run
Monday AM: 18 mile long run
PM: 5 mile hill repeats
Tuesday 19.5 mile long run
Wednesday AM: 10 mile easy run
PM: 15 mile hills (Lapham Peak)
Thursday 17 mile long run
Friday 20 mile long run
Saturday 68 mile long run (Promise to Keep 135)
Total 189.5 miles

March 2012 Training