BMC50K Training, Week 16 Recap

It sucked.

To start, I felt “off” most of the week. I chalked it up to a variety of reasons, the first being tiredness. I arrived home much later than anticipated last Sunday evening, which cut a few hours off my time in bed that night. Tuesday’s run was difficult, even though it was an easy run. I taught a class Tuesday night, which again cut into my sleep. Wednesday, I felt downright maudlin. I also feared I was coming down with a cold. It started with slightly crabby sinuses, then Thursday brought a somewhat scratchy throat. I skipped Wednesday’s and Thursday’s workouts. I entertained the idea of going for a run on Friday. It was supposed to be a rest day, but since I’d skipped a few workouts I figured I’d be okay. My justification was moot  because I did nothing.

Saturday brought a 5-mile easy run. I am sick of running on asphalt, and we all know my feelings toward treadmills. (If you don’t, here’s a quick recap: I hate them so much I’ve run outside, at night, in single-digit temperatures more than once this winter.) I heard Badger still had drifts on it, and I knew Chamna was likely still a mess. I first headed to the Amon Basin, hoping its snow might have evaporated; no luck. I then headed to Zintel Canyon. It was snowy, but the path through the snow looked well-packed.

In other words, I told my possibly sick and clearly tired body that it should run on snow. I decided on one loop (about three miles) instead of the two I’d planned.

I ended up walking most of it, as my fast walk was not demonstrably slower than my slow run. Afterwards, I headed down to the road used for the Jump Off Joe marathon. Turns out it’s been plowed. It’s gravel, not asphalt, and it’s probably boring as hell to run, but I suspect that’ll be my next long run.

After arriving home, I felt not-so-great. I finally decided to lay down a bit. My laying down a bit was interrupted by repeated attempts to force myself to vomit, and by one episode of vomiting. I hate vomiting – possibly more so than I hate treadmills, but that’s debatable – but if I feel it’s a possibility I’ll try to make it happen. I almost always feel better after vomiting, even if it’s short lived.

I ate some toast, and felt queasy again. Fortunately, there was no more vomiting, but feeling like I’m going to vomit is not exactly a picnic. (OMG – how do people survive chemotherapy?) I spent the night sleeping on my back with a couple of pillows under my shoulders & head to help keep that pesky stomach acid where it belongs. So I slept like crap. Sunday also brought on the diarrhea part of the equation. I’m grateful this was both short-lived and not awful. But it still sucked.

I can report that Skratch Labs hydration mix is wonderful stuff when you’re nauseated. It lacks the cloying sweetness and scary chemical stuff in its mainstream competitors. I’m glad to note that I cannot advise what it tastes like coming back up as I didn’t puke any of it.

It’s now Monday. I have what appears to be a head cold. I’m not sure what kind of dreadful behavior I must have engaged in to warrant a day of gastrointestinal distress as my body was declaring was on a rhinovirus, but I assure the universe I’m very sorry for whatever I did.

I’m supposed to do an easy run today. I may attempt to go for a walk. Last week was a recovery week, and this week dives right back in. Tomorrow has an interval workout, Wednesday is supposed to be a 6-mile run at steady pace, Thursday is a 2-4  mile easy pace run, and then comes the weekend. Eighteen miles on Saturday, ten on Sunday. I’m inclined to take it easy this week – do short (3-5 mile) easy pace runs in lieu of the prescribed workout – in the hopes that’ll increase my chances of being healthy enough this weekend to do those workouts.

A rational person might chuck it all until this cold passes. But rational people don’t decide to do a 50K with 5500′ of elevation gain and loss as their first ultra when they haven’t yet run a marathon. I’m growing increasingly concerned about my performance on the hills come race day. Last Sunday, I could barely survive uphill portions of the trail run I did, despite cutting it from eight miles to five.  I may only get a month of running on the race course prior to race day, and I’m afraid that won’t be enough to get my body ready.

I’m balancing that against my fear of burning out prior to race day. My primary goal going in was to survive training. Running eighteen miles on Saturday will do me no good if I end up with pneumonia or bronchitis. <– That part is a bit melodramatic, but I’m throwing it in to remind myself that I need to be extremely tuned in to my body this week. I have little appetite right now, which is fairly common when I’m sick. I need to remember that I have to fuel if I’m working out, and I can’t forget that fighting an infection is work, too.

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