clevermynnie: (see us waving)
So, heh, I am not going to run that 50 mile race in the Mourne Mountains this weekend.

My shins are still bruised but okay for walking, so I tried a short run! It felt like someone was poking my bruises with every single step, and I only did a mile. I guess the harder impact of running compared to walking just jostles my legs more, and right now I can still feel it and it is painful, and there is just no way I am going to do that for 10+ hours. Plus there was the weather fail in what was supposed to be my 40 mile practice race, and on top of that I have a cold right now! Running an epically long race on bruised legs, without having run much in the last month, while getting over a cold, just does not sound fun. I'm sad to miss out on this race, which was so gorgeous last year, but I can go back next year, and I'm still going up with friends for the weekend. So it's fine, really; again I am surprised by how not guilty I feel about backing out of this. It is just so obviously not a good idea! Oh well!

And if you are extra attentive, yes, I am getting over a cold right before my improv show! Great timing, that! Four days of a very sore throat, which probably would have been fewer days if there hadn't been a six-hour improv practice at my house in the middle of that. But I think I'm to the point now where decongestants are all I'll need to get through the show Thursday. Decongestants and COURAGE.

trailing

May. 4th, 2013 06:55 pm
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
So my recovery from the Hells Hills 50k was easy enough, and I actually got in 22 miles in the Mourne Mountains last weekend, and am now tapering again for another race! The first few runs after that 50k were on the slow side, but I seem to be back down to a normal pace, and the trail runs have felt almost easy. I went up to Howth today and did the circuit there and it was a breeze.

Hopefully that implies this coming race will go well. It's 40 miles, in Wales, in the Brecon Beacons; since I haven't run it before and it's very steep I'm anticipating a lot of, shall we say, human error. I've done the distance before on some hairy terrain, but this is also a very minimally supported race. We'll see! I'm going through my standard pre-race alarm, like Ben getting sick this last week and me wondering if I would get a cold right before a race oh no, or then falling on some stairs directly on my kneecap which was hurting a lot but seems to be getting better. As long as I make it to the start line without incapacitating myself, then I'll be pleased.

Once again I have the goal to enjoy the run and not get too down on myself at any point. And this is really a training run for the Mourne Ultra in June, so whatever happens I can call it good training. Just so long as I'm not incapacitated after, and can hang out with Ben and [livejournal.com profile] erindubitably and [livejournal.com profile] marrog. Should be fun!
clevermynnie: (mask)
Over the weekend I ran the Hells Hills 50k, in 6:55 which is a personal record time for me by nearly an hour! The race went really well despite a few bumps along the way, and I feel well-positioned for the longer races I've signed up for later this spring.

Read more... )
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
I'm definitely on track for my trail 50k in two weeks, having done 20 miles on the Wicklow Way this weekend without any issues. (Well ok, today I am sore, but manageably so.) It was snowy and icy, conditions I'm unlikely to encounter at a trail race in Texas, but everything held together fine, and I was actually able to go pretty fast on the downhills at the end. Which I couldn't do the last time I did part of the Wicklow Way, so great! I also finally signed up for the Mourne Ultra in June, that 52 mile race that I ran 39 miles of last year. I plan to finish, but failing that I plan to enjoy myself, get lost less, and stay relaxed.

And, this weekend I did something I never thought I'd do: bikram yoga. I don't do very well in the heat, generally speaking, but I actually really enjoyed it! I think my sporadic ashtanga practice, plus my endurance from running, plus the familiarity of being drenched with sweat from Philly summers, combined to give me a really good first session. I couldn't do everything, or do everything I did do perfectly, but it was enjoyable and hard and I felt great afterward. I will do this more!

I kind of miss weights, but I'm not a fan of the TCD gym's weight area which is crowded and not that well-equipped. Plus I got into weights in part because it was something Ben and I could do together, and he dislikes the TCD gym so much he is switching to somewhere else. But the TCD gym does have a nice pool, and it is in the same building as my work, so I will continue to use it for that at least.
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
My improv comedy class wrapped up while I was in Philly, and I was pretty sad to have to miss the last class. But, the instructor is offering a second-level course which starts next week, and I am signed up for that! It's another six-week course, and I'll have to miss a day of that too, but I'm excited because the first course was such an enjoyable experience for me. It was interesting and fun and surprisingly, a lot less stress than I thought it would be.

And, I signed up for a jazz improv course on Coursera which runs for six weeks too, starting in late April. I am pretty stoked about that. I tried to learn some jazz improv skills on the piano early in grad school, on my own from a pretty decent book, but I found it a huge challenge. This is probably thanks to 20+ years of rigorous classical piano instruction, but I love jazz piano and would like to be able to do some of it myself, and I certainly have the technical ability. After signing up for the course I sat down with that book again this morning, and actually, making stuff up is less difficult than I remember it being! Thanks, grad school! I mean... thanks improv?

Also somehow I have a race in less than three weeks. Ohhh yeah. I'm not where I wanted to be mileage-wise, because of backing off when I was having Achilles tendon pain last month, and then travel and processing so much stuff. I do have enough of a base to run, though, and maybe PR since my 50k PR is kinda soft, but there's also the possibility of this being a more leisurely race later on. So I'll get my runs in beforehand, and during the race just try to focus less on results and more on having an open, accepting, and positive attitude. Which is basically what I'm working on in life at the moment.

physicality

Feb. 7th, 2013 11:48 am
clevermynnie: (and then?)
It's becoming apparent to me that I rely on physicality when I feel mentally out of balance. In grad school, I was certainly aware that I was using running as a way to process complex emotions and stabilize my mood. But endurance running especially has the effect, for me, of shutting down some of the more analytic parts of my brain while flooding it with 'YOU ARE GREAT, THIS IS GREAT' messages. Which is kind of avoidance, a little bit, but when in a complicated morass with no easy way out, it's a big help.

This has been coming up in improv where I notice myself turning to physicality when I don't know what to say. I went so over the top with it this week that I lost my balance, literally, and staggered backward across a room into a wall onto a heater. This was a day after falling into a tangle of mud and thorns on a trail run, and I later ended up falling AGAIN, and basically feeling like when I don't know what to do I throw myself into the physical world in a pretty dramatic way.

But also, to go back to running, just to have a pursuit that provides a physical conduit for the endless striving that sometimes pours out of me is more valuable than I realized. When I am ensnared by thoughts and feelings, having a way to release the frustration that builds up is not only satisfying but provides a lot of mental clarity that I can take back to non-physical pursuits. After I fell in the mud, I ran another ten miles, and I went until my entire mind was consumed by telling my body to just keep going. And then I was able to rest and be still.

muddy feet and sea
clevermynnie: (smile)
Friday after work we drove down to Clonakilty with some friends, partly so three of us could do some of the Clonakilty races (the half-marathon for me), and partly to spend a weekend down in west Cork which is a very lovely place. The weather's pretty variable there any time of year, and I was telling myself that even if it rained nonstop we only had to be outside for a couple of hours and be toasty indoors in the gorgeous house we rented the rest of the time. But we lucked out and it was just gorgeous all weekend! Here's the view from where we stayed:

clonakilty view


The race itself was not the best organized I've done, but I was pretty low-key about the whole thing and didn't really have specific goals other than 'run a bit'. And the scenery was great! We started at the Inchydoney beach and then went along the coast for a bit before going out through some rolling hills, greenery, and finally back over a huge hill at mile 10 and back in along the coast. The times the race posted don't match what I timed on my watch (or what many others timed), but in any case I didn't PR but was 1-3 minutes off the PR I had at Clontarf in July, depending on whose watch you trust. It's cool to know that's a pace I can reliably hold for a half, and is also 0-2 minutes under my Dublin Marathon first half split. But it was also awesome having people at the finish line cheering for me, and also getting to hear about everyone else's good races (a half PR and a really nice first 10k) at the finish!

We also had a pretty nice time out that evening, going to a very traditional pub and then a pretty amazing seafood restaurant. And after dinner we went to a local's pub that, shockingly, had a back room with a pool tables and a piano! So I lost at pool but at least I didn't miss any days of piano, and in fact made a heroic effort to bang some Debussy and Chopin out of an untuned piano with 1/3 keys broken. If that doesn't count I don't know what does.

run clon

Nov. 12th, 2012 02:24 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
Approximately a day after deciding that I didn't want to do any running races for awhile, I was asked if Ben and I wanted to go along on a weekend trip to Clonakilty and maybe run one of the Clonakilty races there. Another road marathon sounded not fun, but a road half along rural roads and beaches, plus a weekend of hanging out with people in lovely west Cork, was too good to pass up. So I'm running the Clonakilty half in a month, with no goals whatsoever, to bringing my yearly race total to some ridiculous multiple of every previous year. I'm excited!

I've also been running to work with Ben some, and sometimes he runs to work without me and I do other runs... this is awesome because I've wanted to run with him for awhile. We were supposed to run to work together on Friday, but didn't end up doing it, so on Saturday we ran along the Royal Canal to the quaternion bridge, then walked on to Ashtown, caught a train back to Dublin, and had a nice late lunch at Brew Dock which is one of the good craft beer pubs here. I like running on my own plenty, but it's also a nice thing to share.

I do want to do more weights and swimming, though! If only the Trinity gym were less full of undergrads at all hours.
clevermynnie: (Default)
The long weekend was pretty nice, with a house party and fancy cheeses and a recording of Doctor Atomic on our giant screen. But it was dominated by the Dublin Marathon, which I already wrote up half a race report for that got eaten by the internet, so I will briefly summarize there.

I ran it in 4:51, which is a PR by 17 minutes! The main reason I signed up for Dublin, which is a flat road race with tons of runners, was to go for a PR under 5 hours so on that account it was a success.

But, I had a hard time motivating myself before the race. Running for time didn't sound fun, and I was interested in seeing the course but not nearly as excited as I was, say, for the Causeway Coast race. I signed up for this marathon nutrition study, to get a bunch of free stuff, and even as I was doing it I knew that changing up what I ate was going to be a mistake. But I did it anyway, and I didn't get good sleep the couple nights before the marathon. And so the first half of the race was nice, easily keeping a good pace through city centre and Phoenix Park and some cute little suburbs... but then just past the halfway point I started feeling really nauseated, probably as a result of the large quantity of untested gels I was having. By the time the nausea had passed I had slowed way down, and was feeling tired and achy, as well as bored with the surroundings. There were tons of people cheering along the course, but actually when I'm not feeling well I think that's a net negative for me! By mile 20 or so, I realized that I was going to easily make my time goal even if I continued running slowly, so I just waited it out. I'm definitely pleased with my time even if it feels like a very soft PR. But I'm not sure pouring everything into a road marathon is my cup of tea, not when you compare it to crazy trail running.

It's also possible I'm a bit burnt out from doing so many races this year. I ran two half marathons, a marathon, a 50k, and two 40 mile races (well, one of which was a 50 mile races that I ran 40 miles of). And I got a personal best time at every distance, plus increased my record distance in a day by 10 miles! That is pretty cool. But I think I'm ready to run a bit less and change things up a bit, maybe with more things in the gym now that it's dark most of the time.
clevermynnie: (mask)
So, earlier this year in June I attempted my first 50 mile race, the Mourne Way Ultra, in which I completed 39 miles, missed the time cutoffs, and was in a lot of pain and really unhappy with myself for several miles near the end. Most of the race was fun but the bit at the end really made me take a step back and think again about what I was trying to do with my running, and I didn't run much for the rest of the month as my body recovered. But I signed up for a local half-marathon at the beginning of July, PRed, and then following the Hardrock results in mid-July got me pretty pumped about trail running again. So I signed up for the Causeway Coast Ultra (65km or 40.4 miles), which was this past weekend, and the Dublin Marathon which is in a month.

Training mostly went well, but I got a nasty cold three weeks before the race which up-ended my taper plans. Then the last two weeks before the race ended up being really stressful, and as the race approached I started thinking to myself, I can't do anything about getting sick and I have to just trust that I have miles in the bank for this. But I need to put up more of a fight mentally when the going gets tough, and I can't focus on how bad things are or could be. I was really trying to prepare myself mentally, because even though the distance wasn't new, I wanted to have more fun than I did attempting the Mourne 50-miler. I was excited too, though, because the race sounded gorgeous. The main attraction along the course is the Giant's Causeway, a national park in Northern Ireland with huge hexagonal basalt pillars rising up out of the sea. Much of the rest of the course goes along tall cliffs of the same pillars, with grass and grazing sheep on one side of the trail and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet into the water on the other side. There were also some beach sections, some rock sections, and some paved sections, but never out of sight of the sea. The marathon course goes from Portballintrae to Ballintoy Harbor and back, and then for the ultra they took us all up to Portstewart by bus to do an extra 14 miles at the beginning. There were some steep climbs, but there were also a lot of flat sections, and the total elevation change for the course was only 5500'. Here is a short video that shows some of the route, from the race last year:



my race! )
clevermynnie: (mask)
So, earlier this year in June I attempted my first 50 mile race, the Mourne Way Ultra, in which I completed 39 miles, missed the time cutoffs, and was in a lot of pain and really unhappy with myself for several miles near the end. Most of the race was fun but the bit at the end really made me take a step back and think again about what I was trying to do with my running, and I didn't run much for the rest of the month as my body recovered. But I signed up for a local half-marathon at the beginning of July, PRed, and then following the Hardrock results in mid-July got me pretty pumped about trail running again. So I signed up for the Causeway Coast Ultra (65km or 40.4 miles), which was this past weekend, and the Dublin Marathon which is in a month.

Training mostly went well, but I got a nasty cold three weeks before the race which up-ended my taper plans. Then the last two weeks before the race ended up being really stressful, and as the race approached I started thinking to myself, I can't do anything about getting sick and I have to just trust that I have miles in the bank for this. But I need to put up more of a fight mentally when the going gets tough, and I can't focus on how bad things are or could be. I was really trying to prepare myself mentally, because even though the distance wasn't new, I wanted to have more fun than I did attempting the Mourne 50-miler. I was excited too, though, because the race sounded gorgeous. The main attraction along the course is the Giant's Causeway, a national park in Northern Ireland with huge hexagonal basalt pillars rising up out of the sea. Much of the rest of the course goes along tall cliffs of the same pillars, with grass and grazing sheep on one side of the trail and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet into the water on the other side. There were also some beach sections, some rock sections, and some paved sections, but never out of sight of the sea. The marathon course goes from Portballintrae to Ballintoy Harbor and back, and then for the ultra they took us all up to Portstewart by bus to do an extra 14 miles at the beginning. There were some steep climbs, but there were also a lot of flat sections, and the total elevation change for the course was only 5500'. Here is a short video that shows some of the route, from the race last year:



my race! )

race prep

Sep. 26th, 2012 03:56 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I'm getting nervous about the race this weekend. I just got the final information email about it and apparently there are time cutoffs! There weren't any on the website! They aren't horrendously difficult but then again, I've never done the course before, and it's got some very steep sections and apparently a road detour due to a landslide that may be somewhat confusing. I did build up a bit last week, but then the longish run I was supposed to do this weekend didn't feel great so I cut it off at 8 miles, and now I'm winding down again. What with getting sick, who knows what my condition is at this point.

The past week and a half have been really stressful, which has somewhat eclipsed the race stress, so at this point I really just want to relax. Once I am out there running, I think I will calm down, but before then I am going to really focus on deep breathing and not focusing on any of the little pieces stressing me out. All I really have to do is get up to the race location (which I'm doing early with family), hang out for a day with Ben and his folks, read by myself for an evening, run for a day, read for another evening, and then come back here. This isn't really trying a new distance, just a new location, and whatever happens I'll probably be fine for the Dublin Marathon next month. In fact, mostly what this race should be is mental training, to try to enjoy myself even after 7 hours and not get down on myself. Opportunity for personal growth!

race prep

Sep. 26th, 2012 03:56 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I'm getting nervous about the race this weekend. I just got the final information email about it and apparently there are time cutoffs! There weren't any on the website! They aren't horrendously difficult but then again, I've never done the course before, and it's got some very steep sections and apparently a road detour due to a landslide that may be somewhat confusing. I did build up a bit last week, but then the longish run I was supposed to do this weekend didn't feel great so I cut it off at 8 miles, and now I'm winding down again. What with getting sick, who knows what my condition is at this point.

The past week and a half have been really stressful, which has somewhat eclipsed the race stress, so at this point I really just want to relax. Once I am out there running, I think I will calm down, but before then I am going to really focus on deep breathing and not focusing on any of the little pieces stressing me out. All I really have to do is get up to the race location (which I'm doing early with family), hang out for a day with Ben and his folks, read by myself for an evening, run for a day, read for another evening, and then come back here. This isn't really trying a new distance, just a new location, and whatever happens I'll probably be fine for the Dublin Marathon next month. In fact, mostly what this race should be is mental training, to try to enjoy myself even after 7 hours and not get down on myself. Opportunity for personal growth!
clevermynnie: (mask)
I've been trying to expand my trail running repertoire by finding some new routes, especially anything with a lot of elevation change. I've had mixed success, though, thanks to the worst things about trail running in Ireland: lots of false trails, gorse and blackberries, and golf courses everywhere nice. My legs have been covered with little cuts for several weeks now, because of 'let's check out this new trail!' efforts that have ended with me pushing through brambles and thorns in shorts, cursing the rapid growth of such mean plants. What should happen eventually is what happened with Howth, though, that eventually I will find nice routes and then be able to stick to those. I've scouted the beginning of the trail that goes up the Little Sugar Loaf and Sugar Loaf mountains, down by Bray, and also done the first part of the Wicklow Way out of Marlay Park. The only downside to these routes is the travel time, though, which is a lot more than the travel time to get to Howth. But for the next couple months of training for Causeway Coast and the Dublin Marathon, I am willing to put up with some travel time in order to do challenging new trails.

Also, incidentally, I am really enjoying Fitocracy and trying to drag anyone and everyone over there. I don't want to be spamming about my workouts everywhere to people who may not care, but having a site just to talk about workouts is kind of awesome, and doing quests/achievements/leveling of any sort really appeals to me. It's also pretty fun to read other people's workouts, humbling and inspiring and great. Perfect for getting excited about sports!

And this is way too early, but I have a tentative spring race schedule for next year. I want to run the entire Mourne Ultra (instead of DNFing with 39 miles as I did this year), and I'm planning to go to a conference in the US in April so it would be great to snag a new state (for 50 marathons in 50 states) while I'm there. So I'm thinking of doing the Hells Hills 50k (33 miles, Texas, April 6), Brecon Beacons (40 miles, Wales, May 11), and then the Mourne (52 miles, Northern Ireland, June 8). I think it sounds like a great run-up to finishing my first 50+ mile race... though we'll see what happens between now and then!
clevermynnie: (and then?)
I spent June recovering from the Mourne Ultra, and then had that great half-marathon at the beginning of July which seemed to indicate that I was ready to step up my activity again. So I had been thinking about what to aim for, both in terms of workouts and in terms of races, and then after following the Hardrock 100 last weekend and thinking wistfully about whether I'll ever be able to run it, I felt motivated to sign up for some races and make a plan.

First, I'm hoping to keep weights and swimming in my regular schedule, rather than drop them when races loom as I usually do. And I think that'll be easier with a workout schedule. Also, since Ben has expressed interest in running to work, that'll give me the chance to do more short runs and get my overall mileage up. We ran to work together this week! It was pretty awesome, the first time I have actually run with Ben. And it's extendable mileage-wise, since I can run on the grass track once I'm here, or do yoga or whatever seems reasonable. So here is my weekly plan from here on out:

Monday: Run to work, yoga
Tuesday: Weights
Wednesday: Group run
Thursday: Run to work, yoga
Friday: Swimming
Saturday: Hike or bike
Sunday: Long run

This week I'm doing as much on the schedule as I can, at least before we have weekend houseguests... which means I had sore glutes for two days from restarting deadlift, and then still have sore glutes because of the tough group run. I love my running group, but the pace really challenges me and I didn't go at all in June. Hopefully by the time August starts this schedule will feel alright.

And, I signed up for races! I love signing up for races. It's exciting and gives me a solid goal to work toward. I'm doing the Causeway Coast Ultra in September, 39 miles which I now know I can complete, and then the Dublin Marathon in October because it's local, flat, and for the life of me I can't stop wanting to break five hours for my marathon PR. In between now and then I'll do a mix of long runs on trail and flat, and I've actually already put all my long runs with distances and locations on my calendar. It seems anal-retentive, but it's giving me a good idea of what weeks I'll have to work around travel and such, and hopefully it'll eliminate last-minute surprises where I schedule weekend activities only to find I forgot I was supposed to spend 5 hours running. (I am remembering a long run in Philly where I got home, took a very fast shower, and then ate a sandwich in the car on the way to D&D where I was quite tired.)

We'll also see how my body does with this. I was a little wary of doing two fall races, because the last time I did 4 marathon or greater distances in 7 months, I ended up with plantar fasciitis. But I have done all sorts of things to try to prevent that from happening again, plus I am noticing a trend where I never have the same problem twice with running as I level up my muscles, bone density, and form, so hopefully that will not happen again? In any case I will of course be listening to my body and trying to optimize its function. And hopefully this will lay some groundwork for doing a 50-mile race next year.

I'm really excited!
clevermynnie: (smile)
I ran the Clontarf Half-Marathon this morning and PRed, with a final time of 2:07!

I had sort of forgotten about signing up for this race, but it's right in my backyard and I thought that it would get me back on the horse, so to speak, after my ultra adventures in early June. So I didn't really have goals, or training, or tapering, I just showed up to see how it went. If I ran it slowly then I could always blame it on the Mourne ultra! Since it started less than half a mile from my house, I went to registration early to pick up my number, and then headed back home to relax and put on sunscreen and use my own bathroom. This backfired a little as I belatedly realized that my timing chip was not with the race number, and I had to speed over to the start and find a race official who would give me a timing chip, but that all got sorted out okay pretty quickly. This race was organized by the same people who do the Wicklow Half, which I ran in March, and that went off without a hitch just as this one did.

The course was very flat, along the Clontarf waterfront and then the beach, very easy out and back along paths that I run a lot. I tried to just focus on having even splits, since there was not really any terrain or anything. And I was really pleased on that front; I started out getting 9:30-9:45 minute miles, pretty fast by my standards, and after 3 miles or so I started to wonder if I'd slow way down from overreaching, but that didn't happen until nearly the end and even then my slowest mile was only 10:19! That is really good for me, and I was surprised by how natural it felt. Here are my mile splits, because I am proud of them:

Mile 1 9:24
Mile 2 9:27
Mile 3 9:37
Mile 4 9:47
Mile 5 9:41
Mile 6 9:35
Mile 7 9:28
Mile 8 9:46
Mile 9 9:43
Mile 10 9:54
Mile 11 10:02
Mile 12 10:19
Mile 13 10:05
Mile .1 1:02

Even though I slowed down near the end, I was feeling really good because I knew I had at least a slight PR, and in the end I came in 7 minutes faster than my previous PR. Yay! I am now sold on the concept of signing up for random races close to home. Great start to the weekend!

half

Jun. 28th, 2012 04:05 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
After the Mourne Way Ultra, I was sore for a few days and then spent a few days on vacation, and didn't do any exercise other than lots of walking in that time. Then I had a few days with weird chest and back pain, and then I went for an easy swim and finally an easy run and was thinking, two weeks on and I feel pretty good! Time to get back into exercising a bit, nothing too strenuous...

Then I got an email about the half-marathon I'm signed up for next weekend!

I hadn't really forgotten about it, but I thought it was farther off; this race is very close to my house, and most of the course is on the route I run most frequently. I signed up for it because it sounded easy and close and like it would get me back running a little after my big race in Northern Ireland. But, heh, now it seems very close! I did my first weight training in months this week, and another run, and will do a couple hour run this weekend, and then a slight taper next week and hopefully that'll do it. I mean, obviously I am ok to go the half-marathon distance, but running three times that distance a month beforehand is probably not the recommended training and I'm in recovery mode now. The course is flat and for most that would mean fast, but who knows what my legs are going to do. I won't push it, so it should be a nice morning. Hopefully.

yay

Jun. 14th, 2012 08:53 am
clevermynnie: (smile)
I am no longer sore from the race on Saturday! And I submitted my first paper with my new group yesterday! And now I am at the airport with Ben heading to Budapest for a long weekend!

Life is good.

mourne way

Jun. 11th, 2012 03:55 pm
clevermynnie: (and then?)
I ran 39 miles on Saturday, a DNF for the Mourne Way Ultramarathon but a personal record for the farthest I've run in a day, by 8 miles. This race was beautiful, muddy, and hard, and made me reconsider my physical training and my mental response. But I hope to do it again next year, and finish.

Read more... )

quiet

Jun. 5th, 2012 03:06 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
It has to be some kind of deep irony that, just as I get a copy of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, we have a solid week of social activities in almost all of our free time. We had friends from Philadelphia visit, and took them up to Howth for hiking and picnicking even though the weather was bad. And we went for drinks with some new people, had Ben's coworkers over to brew a brett wheat beer, and have even more stuff coming up this week. It's exciting! It's just also draining. And so far that is one thing I am really enjoying about Quiet, how well it makes the distinction between introverts and misanthropes. Introverts have friends too! And I'm realizing now that most of the time someone (including me) said, "I'm not really an introvert, I'm very outgoing and talkative with people I know, I'm just quieter in large groups or with strangers until I get comfortable," part of what they were saying is "I'm an introvert but I want you to know I'm not a misanthrope." Plus it covers lots of research, has a lot of interesting ideas regarding workspaces and living, and is overall very validating as a discussion that doesn't pathologize shyness or the propensity to think carefully about things. There are benefits to introversion, just as there are benefits to extroversion, and it's helpful to identify your own preferences and then work with them to get where you want to go. I also like the many facets of the introvert/extrovert spectrum that the book covers (and I'm not actually introverted on all of them!).

One thing that is getting me through this week, though, is knowing that this weekend I will get plenty of time to myself. I'm taking the train up to Northern Ireland Friday evening, running the Mourne Ultra Saturday, and coming back Sunday morning. I'm going alone and don't know anyone else running, so I'll bring a lot of podcasts for the race and reading for the time alone at the B&B. I am really excited about this race, especially now that I have realized I will almost certainly be able to do my longest run ever in a race, even if I miss a time cutoff and don't finish the full race. That's because the first cutoff, for the marathon, is 6.5 hours, way longer than even my trickiest trail marathon. After that I have 3 hours to do another 13 miles, which under normal circumstances would be easy but I may be slowing down a lot by then... missing that cutoff would still give me 39 miles run in a race, though. And that's really the make or break point, because after that cutoff you get 3 hours to go another 9 miles, then you're just covering the last 3 miles to the finish. If I could make that second cutoff I would have a really good chance of finishing, but if not it should still be a great experience, and great practice so that someday I could actually finish a 50-mile race. Which is something I really want.

I do feel as prepared as I can be without having done a race of this length before, though. The 50k last month was good practice for going through the food/drink/sunscreen/layers dance that is required for longer runs, and after having those salt issues I figured out where to get electrolyte tablets here which ought to help a lot. Plus I'll be doing this with my Camelbak instead of the smaller waist hydration pack I used at the 50k, and honestly I prefer the Camelbak. And I am just super excited about the course, from Rostrevor to Newcastle and back, which should be so lovely. Hopefully the weather cooperates!

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clevermynnie

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