Mid Month Link Luv
|August 20, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I was serious yesterday about that mid month link luv. Groan or rejoice, for better or worse here it is!
One of the most kick ass stories of Tevis this year. At Foresthill I heard that some women “hurt” her arm and her husband had insisted that it get checked out and so that’s why the ambulance was there. I sorta rolled my eyes. Overprotective much? And then I saw this…YOU GO GIRL (for the record I asked my husband whether he was taking notes on how to best support me at future Tevis’s and apparently I could have expected him to help the medics strap me in, not help me bail myself out. We obviously have some work to do on the whole “marriage is compromise” thing.
New Gear.…Turns out running and riding gear challenges for endurance distances are the same – how to pack sh*t, how to manage layers, and what the (*&^^%&() do I eat. I was totally meh about this link until I got to #3 and my little runner and rider ears perked up. Light weight jackets that I could easily carry or pack? I don’t do GU’s right now (or haven’t for a long time) but trust me, tearing open those little packets (and then making sure the packing doesn’t hit the ground) is a major trial late in a race so if you do it might just get easier. I have yet to find the holy grail of how to carry stuff running OR riding (although the orange mud pack comes REALLY close). #5 isn’t too shabby either.
It’s sort of a hokey article but as I was reading it I was struck by how much my relationship with running while I was in vet school changed in terms of obsessing, versus just taking things in the moment and being so spontaneous. I can’t remember enjoying running more then I have in the last couple of years. I perhaps have taken it too far – choosing to run a 50 mile race 3 or 4 days prior is probably not a recipe forEVER of success – but letting myself run as each day presented itself was more fun and freeing than I could have imagined. As I have about 2 months to go until I meet my daughter, I also found myself thinking about how this applies to being a parent. I’ve had so much to distract myself with that (surprisingly) I have NOT had to time to obsess over ANYTHING related to being a parent. I have some loose goals, guidelines, and principles – but no real expectations or PLANS of how things HAVE to go, except 1 or 2 non-negotiables that I hope will help guide me during a time I shouldn’t be making big decisions anyways. I could treat parenting and having a baby like I used to treat running – and probably end up burnt out over and over, or I can choose to not obsess over the little things (pick your phrase – the 10%, don’t sweat the small stuff etc.).
Numbers 2, 3, and 5. Some day I’ll get around to writing my own PPE article. Until then, that pretty much sums it up.
No link luv is complete without a bear story. Avoid being eaten (#5). OK. Can do. Honestly, all joking aside this sounds AWFUL and I’m so grateful I live in CA where there are no grizzlies, just mostly (still big and fierce but slightly less aggressive? ) black bears.
From my experience this is very very true. I’m not an elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination but many of the thoughts in this article ran true for me. Even harder is the Pregnant athlete. With limited data sets and reference intervals for pregnant women as compared to the general population in terms of blood work and “normal”, now let’s throw in the fact that just prior to pregnancy I was an ultramarathon athlete. Many many MANY frustrations during this pregnancy have stemmed from my interactions with the prenatal health care industry. Non-pregnant I can side step many of the traps by simply choosing doctors and specialists who have experience with athletes. However when it comes to prenatal care, those options don’t exist and I have to cross my fingers, hope for the best, do my own research, and decide which boxes I”m being shoved into are appropriate and which aren’t (and thus either consent to or refuse treatment based on this). Pregnancy aside, “fitness is not a hobby” and the doctor-hopping issue is sadly a fact of life. I’m not doctor hopping in order to find someone who will say what I want to hear – I’m doctor hopping because I want to be listened to and taken seriously. And yeah – the small health concerns. If you don’t understand why I’m getting panicky over a minor pain or what you think is a relatively minor issue, then you don’t understand what it’s like to be on the brink of losing something that means to the world to you so either talk me off the ledge or show some empathy. Fortunately I’m getting better at understanding what I’m needed and no longer feel obligated to do follow ups with health care professionals that I feel are unsuitable.
Yeepers, that’s a gnarly one. (warning, some cussing in the post but if my horse’s leg looked like that I would be cussing too).
Some of the funniest ultra advice I’ve seen in a while (even non-running readers will enjoy this one!). Three notables:
- I know falling asleep before midnight is hard, but the race start is 5 am. Figure it out.
- When passing someone, ask yourself “are they slow, or am I dumb?”
- When you’re running downhill faster than the people around you, ask yourself “is this my good technique or their good judgment?”
I could TOTALLY do an advice post on endurance riding in this same spirit. Having eaten a fair amount of humble pie (spinach?) myself in that sport.
I won’t lie. Lately I’ve been working on my power hike more than improving my foot work at blazing down hill at speed. Endurance folks who like to get off their horses and walk – tweaking your uphill hiking could be useful there too! One distinctly hot Tevis I had to hike UP the first canyon in order to give Farley a good shot at finishing the ride, which was NOT the plan. The deal is usually I hike DOWN and she carries my a$$ UP. But in one of those instinctual decisions I got off my horse and DID IT. It wasn’t particularly pretty or fast but I credit that decision for how strong she stayed the rest of the ride. At the time I kept trying to remind myself that I had hiked steeper and longer trails with a 30 pound backpack and so this really shouldn’t be as hard as it felt – of course most backpacking trips don’t start with 50 miles of riding either. That Tevis attempt was before I started running ultras or many trail races so I’m probably better prepared now. Practice really does make perfect.
This post was a little slow to get into the “meat”, but at the end I had tears in my eyes as the post got very real and very personal. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but this might be one of the most poignant race recaps I’ve read this year about WS100.
And since we are back on the subject of WS100, I think I posted in a previous Link Luv about the last finisher of the WS100 this year, a 70 year old female, who made it by SIX seconds under the cut off and how she was my new hero. Found this interview with her and it just made me appreciate her story even more: My favorite part:
- iRunFar: Once you were at Robie Point with 1.2 miles to go, you had an entourage waiting for you there.
- Swanson: Two friends, my pacers, another friend, Rob Krar, the winner of this race came down. He wasn’t waiting there, but he came down the road, and Tim Twietmeyer. Everybody started yelling at me and telling me what to do and pouring ice water all over me. Then I was told, “You have to run as hard as you possibly can. When you get to the track, you can’t let up. Down the hill you’re okay, but you have to maintain that pace. You have to go with all you possibly can on the track.” I came around and saw the clock. Oh, my gosh.
Can you imagine being faced with this? Gives me goosebumps to even think about it. It’s like a climax in my favorite novel. She ran that last 1.2 miles in SEVENTEEN minutes – which is how fast the top runners in the field will run that section.Then apparently she managed SEVEN minute mile around the track in order to finish under the cut off. Could I run a seven minute mile at the end of a 100 miles after running for 30 hours with proper motivation? I’m not sure. What an athlete, what an inspiration.
And while you are at it, you have to read THIS one too: (it’s from 2011 and older, but just read the opening paragraph and you will be hooked, I swear).
I would really like to like vegetables. So I keep trying them. Which is why articles like this are interesting. I still don’t like vegetables even after giving them a fair chance over and over and over for most of my adult life – and very often it’s to the point of gagging and dry heaving – but I still try various things because who knows – some day I might like it! It was refreshing that this series of articles gave permission to waste lots of food while I keep at this – I used to feel guilt about buying and then throwing away veggies, which certainly didn’t help. I also found her comments about handling someone else’s commentary on eating habits interesting. I have gotten to the point where I think noting on someone’s weight – either a loss OR a gain – is highly rude, unless they mention it first. Don’t ask me if I’ve lost weight because honestly I would prefer you not to notice my weight one way or the other and if I want to talk about it, I’ll bring it up. Now I’m getting to point where I understand that commenting on someone’s eating habits is also extremely rude. I won’t take someone’s reluctance to eat what I cook as a personal insult or as a sign of the strength of our relationship. What I choose to put into my mouth, and what you choose to put into yours is a deeply personal choice and also one that is absolutely fraught with social/cultural connotations and implications that makes me think that silence and benefit of the doubt is probably the best policy.
10-20-30 interval training. I <3 interval training so am always looking for a new twist. I’ll have to keep this one in the back of my mind when I’m able to start up HIIT again at the end of the year.
This is an awesome article. I learned the lesson first in endurance, and I’m finally learning it in running too.
I have some ideas why and I’m not surprised at all. As an equestrian, *I* don’t even watch the horse events during the olympics.
Wound healing pictures over time are just so cool.
It’s probably been a whole week? days? since I mentioned how much I hate the debilitating feeling of guilt. Here’s another post to contemplate (and provide the impetus for eliminating guilt from your life.)
I don’t wear a helmet every ride. In fact, one of the pictures in the header of this blog shows me riding without a helmet. There are circumstances where I *can’t* wear a helmet – it’s either do not engage in that particular sport, or don’t wear a helmet. That being said, my rides (or drives) sans helmet are few and far between and I AM a believer in helmets. I am NOT a believer in helmet laws for adults – in my opinion it should remain a choice. I think that how much risk we take is a deeply personal choice and taking away that autonomy is not the best path. Personal experiences and ancedotes are such a powerful stimulus in our brains, thus I understand why the helmet argument is often supported through stories – and that isn’t a bad thing. However I do think it contributes to a conversation where public shaming by helmet advocates occurs and discussions often turn into highly emotionally charged statements instead. Wagging your finger at me when I chose to post a rare helmet-less photo of myself (usually because the photo represents something else and I am *not* making a helmet statement by posting it) doesn’t make me where a helmet more often then I do now (which is probably in the 99%), it just makes me want to block comments when I do post it.
Before you insist that you *have* to do ridiculous training miles on your horse in order to 50 or 100 miles, please go read this. Not even a horse that has never done a 100 mile ride needs 150 mile training weeks going into a ride in order to complete it. I swear.
I went from being an ardent supporter of specialist running shoes that matched biomechanics profiles to concluding in the last 5 years that it doesn’t matter much. Now depending on the day/terrain/training cycle/WHATEVER I have 5 (more?) different pairs of running shoes that range from ultra-minimalist moccasins to padded Hokas (my husband is THRILLED). Whatever feels best that day and my feet crave is what I run in (yesterday’s hike/run was in my soft star runnamocs because I’ve been craving good ground feel lately). Most are zero drop or close to zero drop – but I’m willing to give all sorts of shoes a try and works well is what feels good. Early on when I started running distance I had ONE pair of shoes that I did ALL my runs in (the joys of road running….) that were matched to my running biomechanics and thus SHOULD work perfectly.Once I bought a pair I was committed to them for 300-500 miles and ignored the feedback I was getting from my feet. Funny how much more time I spent injured then I do now. Not the the only factor, but a big one I bet.
Please just go read this. Don’t make me justify it. Don’t make me beg, just DO IT. You won’t regret it.
Yes, yes, YES. Endurance (running or riding) is by it’s very nature intrinsic. We run and ride ridiculously long distances for those stupid completion prizes. But let’s get real – it’s not that prize that keeps us going. Although I will admit being stupidly attached to my completion prizes and pissed when I don’t get one (looking at you Death Valley multi day ride 2008!) (you would think after 7 years I would have let go of the “it’s in the mail” promise made to the riders…but you would be wrong). In all seriousness, I would still toe the line and saddle up my horse for nothing else then the chance to see what I could do on the trails that day.
This post makes me want to do a training camp. Doesn’t it look like fun? I hate the idea on horse back (the Tevis educational rides fill me with horror when I think of doing them, but maybe MerryLegs and I might be a better match then Farley and I? ) but the thought of doing it running sounds like FUN.
Can we pretty please have blog hop that is related to this one? I am laughing so hard – not at the riders….but because I have a whole box full of endurance ride pics that would make the cut and be appropriate….
Bel joeor had a particularly awesome blog link post here (I’m not just saying that because this blog was featured!). The link above is courtesy of her, and this one is too. In general I find that anything to do with biology (and especially horses) that someone has attempted to consolidate down to a pretty picture, phrase, or saying ends up being pretty wrong…In dressage, they pretend it’s the gold standard of truth. Endurance is a little less so….militant….but I bet I could come up with at least 3 myths about endurance that completely contradict the foundation most of us hold dear. I wrote about one here, and I bet there’s others.
What happens to my body during a 100 miler? (running). I don’t think I want to know. I have a sneaking suspicion that my horse is better adapted to this sport…
I think I may have already posted this link on a previous link luv? What the heck. Bear stories are always worth a repeat.
Remind me to write a post like this next time I do something incredibly stupid.
Ummm…I’m running out of time to write this post (yet another Dr. appointment this morning) so I can’t remember why this link is in the link luv draft but obviously I deemed it worth sharing to head on over and give it a look.
Dental disease in horses is so cool…and so frustrating.
Been there done that – not on a horse trailer but on other stuff. Just because you have horses doesn’t mean you need to “buy” into what you should do or have. Kudos to her for recognizing she would be happier with something else and making the tough decision.
From this podcast: “To sum things up, it’s about reframing distractions as advantages. Don’t blow things up and make them bigger than they are, don’t use justifications, take advantage of the cards your dealt.”
Butte county is the next county over from me, and home to many of my horsey and blogger friends. West Nile is here and I highly recommend vaccinating your horses!!!!!!!! For those of you that remember my vaccination protocol with Farley, she does NOT get all the “cores” every time….but she does stay current on her West Nile year ’round. For those of you that need a refresher on West Nile, here’s a post I wrote a couple years ago.
I’ve always found that the best time to do the next step is when I feel like I’m done “messing around” with the current one. It’s when I move on because of guilt or obligation or feel rushed that things come apart!