Sunday, April 13, 2014

Taking a leap

I bit the bullet. 
I might regret it later, but...


On April 1st I entered the lottery for the McKenzie River Trail Run - #MRTR 50K. It is not a large race, but it's popular for the area, so race organizers have capped it in order for the atmosphere remain outstanding. If you have already finished it 5 times, you are given an automatic entry. For new readers here- I have yet to run past 26.2 miles/42k. 


Of course I hope to get in, but I am also a bit nervous about it. 

The race is in September. My mileage has been pretty low (I haven't had a week over 50 miles yet) since the PF "Comeback". This is partly due to some issues I have had in the right hip, which I am working on with stretching, prehab, and weight training.

If I get in, I will enlist some sort of training plan or coach.  If not, I might stick with racing shorter distances for a bit while I continue to build my weekly volume.
***

On another note, I have been blessed with some OUTSTANDING trail running recently. It makes a huge difference to have a buddy to run the trails with. I am so grateful to have friends willing to drive a couple of hours to run the North Umpqua with me...in the pouring rain.



I've been trying to convince Emily to get down this way to run for what seems like decades. This day will be treasured for a long time! 




We traveled the Marsters and Calf segments, going down river- about 7.4 miles.

Scene from the Apple Creek fire location, regrowing naturally.


Little waterfall - just a bit bigger than your shower.

I don't want to bomb you with too much photo overload, but it's hard not to when you have places like this to run and only blog once a week!

If this isn't enough pics, you can also flip through my album on G+ from the weekend before (with other friends), below...







Relay coming!!
Training is going well, now and I am looking forward to testing out my Altra Intuition 1.5's in a relay race next weekend. Our team of 5 men and women will traverse the Oregon coast range, running 3-5 mile segments from Roseburg to Coos Bay.

The goal is to maximize every second of friendship on the 67 Mile Run. No trophies necessary. Lots of food at the end :)

Since this is my first relay, I could use some tips!

  • This is not an over-nighter 
  • 3 x 3-5 miles: 1 uphill, 1 downhill, 1 relatively flat 
  • Some paved, some gravel 

Pacing strategies? Shoot them at me! So far none of mine involve going all-out for each leg! ha! (It's been advised not to). But I also don't want to let a van full of people down...

Do you have any tips for someone running her first relay event?     Please share!

40 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to see if you got in the race!!! You will totally kill it. I believe you are made for ultras. It's in your blood :)

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    1. AH!! I am so happy to hear from you! It's been a while. Just a few years ago we were getting ready to run Boston. Hope you are well, lady! :) Thanks for the positive thoughts. My body has not agreed with them in 2013, but 2014 is looking more promising. Anything is possible!

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  2. I have my fingers crossed for you! Gorgeous pics as always, and its awesome to have a running buddy! Carri~A Running bee

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    1. You are 1000% right about having a running buddy! She is so awesome. I love to run with Emily. Thanks for the finger crossing! I can use it on several accounts. haha!

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  3. Ahhhhh - running in all that beauty must leave you completely refreshed...! Beautiful. And I agree about having a running buddy - buddy runs are the best!

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    1. They sure are, Karien :) Thanks! It's such a soul-renewing place to run.

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  4. More photos not less please Raina :) We don't have some many trails, or hills, or even trees around here. Wishing you luck with the lottery, that would certainly give you a barn sized target to aim at :) I imagine a 50k trail must feel like 60 on the road!! Glad you have found a buddy who can keep up...

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    1. Ha!! I think you are probably right about the 60 on the road. I sure hope that if it takes me forever (and it probably will), that it is a good forever!

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  5. I just signed up for my first 50k this week too! Great minds think alike. I'm a little nervous as well, but we've got lots of time to train smart.

    Beautiful photos!

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    1. Ah! When is yours? For some reason I thought you were already registered!
      Gonna be fun virtually training with you, E!

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  6. I just wore my body down training for my first 50k in 2012; typical high mileage with the typical injuries...IT band, PF, etc. By the time I finished the race I was just flat worn out and didn't run again for some time.

    In my quest to reconquer another 50k I have switched to a combination of CrossFit Endurance and FIRST (Run Less, Run Faster) type of training. Essentially three quality runs a week...intervals, tempo/fartlek and a long run. Also throwing in various cycling, CrossFit, lifting, etc.

    So far it has worked for me...food for thought.

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    1. I'm putting a lot of thought into this comment, Geoff. With my current mileage running something that is more FIRST-like is not out of the question. No cross fit in my area, but I am sure something similar can be done on an individual basis. Maybe some good-old living room dance sessions to Pandora songs played through the Roku. :)

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  7. Since it's not an overnighter of a relay, my only advice is to bring easy-on-the-tummy-but-satisfying food and some of those "athlete wipes" to clean up a bit between legs. I got so sick of my own stink by leg 3! Good luck, Raina! And I too hope you get into the 50K.

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    1. OK... googling "Athlete wipes" now!

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  8. I really hope you get into that 50K! I know you will do fabulous! I know those ultras sound intimidating, but I know you have what it takes to do great. Really! You just need to take that leap of faith, and trust in God. And have a little faith in yourself too! Believe in yourself. We all believe in you too.

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    1. Thanks John!! Great advice. :)

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  9. Bombs away with the pics! Yours are always gorgeous! I hope you get in the race. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Always great to hear from you, Marcia! Thanks for crossing your fingers :D

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  10. The best advice I've seen for pacing during a relay, is to pace up a distance or run threshold effort and adjust from there based on how you feel.

    Love the pics you post and think you will totally rock at 50k.

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    1. Good tip, Kyle! I am thinking I might do something like that. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  11. Congrats on registering for the 50K, hopefully you'll get in!

    Jealous that your trails are so green already, I took some pics of mine on Thursday, everything is brown. Ew.

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    1. Thanks Kristy!! Our trails go brown in the summer when there is no rain. In fall, winter and spring they stay green - even if the grass is not growing much.

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  12. Congrats on taking the leap and entering your name. I hope you get in because I know you will be ready when the time comes. Yes that relay will be fun and I have a feeling no matter what pace you pick, you will not disappoint anyone. Have fun and enjoy every running moment you get.

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    1. Sure am glad to have your friendship here and on G+. Great advice again from you. Thanks for always having a kind word!

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  13. hey Raina, I'm so excited for you entering the lottery for McKenzie River Trail 50k! you'll have to update us all if you get in. you'll do great. if it puts you at all at ease, when I trained for my 6-hour ultra (which turned out to be 38.2 miles), I never ran more than 55 miles in a week. there were some weeks I only ran 20 even. I think as long as you build up your long run, you're going to be fine. update us as things move along! :)

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    1. That's sure something to think about! You have always impressed me with what you do on your schedule. I might need to pick your brain some more on our next run together :)

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  14. Hope you get in for the 50k. You will love it! Your training is not that bad at all. You will cope easily with 50k on the trails. Beautiful pics!

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    1. Thanks Johann!! I hope I do too!! LOL
      I am way more trail ready than I thought I was last year.. but still not as ready as I hope to be in Sept. :) Great to hear from you!

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  15. Those trails look beautiful!!

    Because I've also been having some issues with my right hip--do you mind sharing what yours feels like and what you have been doing for it?

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    1. Here's the best I can describe, it's been acting sore- deep inside where I can't get to it.. and also at the top of the thigh where it connects with the pelvis, and also on the glute where the leg attaches/ pivots. As I run long, it would feel weaker and tighter after about an hour, but was fine for any kind of run (even speed) less than that.
      Now it miraculously seems to be improving! After several weeks...It only becomes noticeable as I go near 2 hours. On uphills I can still feel it in the glute and on down hills, the thigh. It has lessened in severity.
      What I have been doing might (or might not) have been the proper treatment. I cut back my running - took a few days in a row off. Then I started back and ran only short runs of 30-45 minutes. Those felt fine, so I did a few days of that twice a day, resting between days... then I did a longer run of 12 slower miles that made my hip feel very weak, but I was fine to run again short after a rest day.
      Also, I have been doing stretches for hip strength, flexibility, and for the psoas.. daily, when I remember.. And I have poked in my abdomen and tried to massage the psoas (hard). I hope that helps you! Get better!! Thanks for commenting too :)

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  16. AWESOME news about entering the lottery. My hubby and I don't gamble, and his best joke regarding the Houston Marathon, "This is the worst dang lottery I ever won!" Haha. I really hope you get in. :)

    Hmmm, the relay... Agree with other comments above about pacing. Make your first one slow enough where you aren't hurting on the 3rd leg. Along with that, I would suggest bringing at least one extra pair of shoes. If it's on a trail, your feet might get wet or super muddy. And that would really stink to put them back on before they're dry. Also, they might even give you blisters or something, or just be regularly uncomfortable.

    Also, you probably want to consider complete changes of clothes for each leg, or at least the final one. I know I started to feel super gross on the relays I've done, and the fresh clothes along with some baby wipes helped tremendously.

    Have fun!

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    1. Too funny about the hubby and the marathon! Haha!! Winning a ticket to pain :)
      It would be good to know soon so I can start training properly, eh?
      Great idea on the extra shoes. I think I will pack a few pairs and make sure to stock up on the wipes. We have a lot of driving to do afterwards and I should see if there are showers at the finish line!!
      Good to hear from you!! ♥

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  17. Wow, great pics. Good luck with the lottery, it is hard to train for something if you don't know if you are actually entered into the race. lol. Also have fun at the relay, such a great way to run and spend lots of time with running friends.

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    1. You are so right!!! I hope I am not missing something important by not knowing... best I can do is just run and run long a bit :)
      So I will....
      Thanks for the well wishes and for taking the time to comment, David!

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  18. good luck on your relay! they are SOOOO much fun, you will love it!! I wouldn't worry too much about pacing--- just take each leg however you feel- it you can go hard, go hard, if you need to stay conservative- stay conservative!!

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    1. Thanks so much!! We had a great time! Pacing went well too. :)
      Hope you have a Happy Easter!

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  19. Gorgeous trails there; vastly different than ours here in dry-ridden CO. But the trails, no matter where, are just so good for the soul and I'm happy to hear you're out there enjoying them.

    I found when I did some 50k trail races that you don't train anything like the road races. Just get in some time climbing and don't worry too much about the watch.

    Hope you got into the 50k. If not, hopefully there's others out there that may work for you!

    Happy Spring! :)

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    1. I will try not to worry about the watch... just want to get there alive, Jill!

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  20. Sounds like an amazing race. Hope you get in so we can follow the training process. Wish we had a lottery for Six Foot Track - you have to qualify by running a sub-4 marathon!

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    1. A lottery or a sub 4 marathon... hmmmm... well, I guess I would prefer the lottery. Don't want too fast a group to race against ;D

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