Snow, Ultras, and a “Crew”

WIMG_0009inter has finally made its presence known to us.  It’s been mighty chilly and snowy lately.  I enjoy the different challenges
winter brings to running.  I had a blast this week running 10 miles on trails near my home in 3-4 inches of snow (some areas of drifted snow were knee deep, yikes!) while climbing 1,500 feet.  Taxing, yeah.  Fun… You bet!  I actually even managed to keep my feet relatively warm and dry by putting a plastic bag between 2 layers of thin socks and wearing gaiters.  I felt like my Salomon Crossmax shoes did exceptionally well in the snow, mud, and icy patches.  These shoes have yet to disappoint me.  However, I think for muddy or very slippery descents, the Salomon Speedcross would be even better.

I ran my first 30-mile training run (or was that just for fun?) a couple weeks ago.  I just really took my time and wanted to enjoy being out there more than anything.

There will be a time soon enough to focus purely on training.  So I lollygagged some here and there and took some photos.  I ended up wasting a good deal of time trying to adjust my new hydration pack.  I bought the Nathan Endurance Vest to use for my runs over marathon distance, and I really, really love it, but I’ve just had issues getting it adjusted just right.IMG_0008  I’ll figure it out.  So, I did a 15-mile out-and-back with 1,966 ft of elevation gain.  Took me a little over 5.5 hours.  I felt really strong almost the entire time.  I hit one spot of funk around mile 21-22, but by mile 24, I was completely mentally rejuvenated and had a very strong finish.  I felt really good about this one.  By the way, I discovered the magical powers Almond M&Ms have on my long runs!  Those things will definitely be accompanying me on every ultra run!

I finally decided on my first ultra race for next year.  I’m planning to run the Highlands Sky 40M held near Canaan Valley, West Virginia on June 15th.  I figured it’d be a pretty good entry into ultra running.  I definitely did not want to do anything “flat,” but neither did I want to destroy myself on monstrous climbs either for my first ultra.  The HS 40M has an elevation gain of 5,474 ft which I feel I can train for quite reasonably.  I definitely need to do more training on technical trails in preparation.

I’m ready, I’m ready!

Another awesome development is that I have a “crew member” in training!  Oh, yeah!  I’ve finally managed to get my daughter interested in fitness.  She bought herself a mountain bike just so she could accompany me on my long runs and provide support.  How cool is that?  It definitely eased my husband’s apprehensions about me going out for 40-50 mile runs.

Last week my daughter actually went running with me.  I told her we’d go however far she could run and just have a good time.  We ended up doing 9.5 miles!  What??  I was thoroughly impressed.  There was plenty of walking involved, but I was just out for the active recovery aspect post my 30 miler.  However, she did really well considering that she almost never runs.  The best part was that she actually ENJOYED it.  I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more had I known just how freaking cold it was going to be.  Regardless, I was thoroughly impressed with her perseverance and determination to hang in as long as she could.  We had a great time, and I feel she will be a great asset and companion for me in the long, long days ahead.  (Now she can feel honored to adorn the pages of my blog! LOL! j/k)

Weight lifting… yes, I was cleared to resume heavy weight training!  I’m more than a little nervous about it, but I’ll take it easy (err… try to take it easy) and see how it goes.

2 thoughts on “Snow, Ultras, and a “Crew”

  1. Lace says:

    Woohoo! Go, Mal! So what’s your team name?? 🙂

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