Sunday, January 13, 2013

The first 9.8 is uphill after that its a picnic. Right?

I have often heard that the first step is the hardest and I will agree that the last month and a half has been a uphill climb but then again the first 9.8 miles of this challenge will be uphill. What surprised me today is that when I reached the gatehouse at the top of Lanape Lane I was not at all winded despite the nearly 4 mile climb with a 25 mile pack. I wanted so badly to keep going another few miles to the Crag despite not being able to see anything on a day like today but I had to remember I wasn't alone. I did need to be able to get my companions back in one piece. I didn't want them to be soured by a bad experience and working beyond your means can often ruin it for good. Company was not something I wanted to give up just yet so killing them with the distance was out of the question. I would just have to make up the miles later in the day. The walk down hurt but I did expect that. At about 6 miles my friend told me she was starting to feel it. I encouraged her to eat something and to continue drinking. Ten minutes later she asked me how I knew she was hungry? Andrew was right, I have been around this world of endurance efforts long enough to see tell tale signs in other people. By mile seven I was feeling a bit behind the curve. I had a few handfuls of dried fruit along the way but I knew I was running into the need for protein. I had packed almonds and was craving them, however my friend Diane informed me on the way up that she has an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts, even if the exposure was minimal. I didn't dare get nut oil on my hands. I had contemplated asking them to meet me in town. I would walk. By the time we got back to the car though I was hungry enough to know I was teetering on bonking. I think I started the day behind the curve a bit after chasing blocks all day yesterday without much to eat. So I opted to go eat with them and finish the workout later. I have to admit on the way home, I napped and thought I would blow the last few miles off. Heck who would know? That little training voice stepped in however and reminded me I was only hurting myself. So when I got home I rolled a few cramps out, grabbed my headphones and headed out the door. The first 1.5 miles sucked but then again most of that was downhill. The second half I was elated as my training plan was finally clear. According to my calculations just adding 2.5 miles a week will put me at 45 miles two weeks (taper) before the event. I can do this! Small steps will bring HUGE gains.

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