11 September 2012

30K Training Update

Right now I am 3 long runs and a taper week away from my big 30K trail run on October 13th.  So what has my training looked like over the last month?  I created a "training plan" of sorts for myself and this is how it went- I sure hope what I am doing is enough!

Aug 12th-19th: 6 mile run, 8 mile run, 9 mile run (trails) = 23 miles
Aug 20th-26th: 6 mile run, 4 mile run (on sand), 10 mile run = 20 miles
Aug 27th-Sept 2nd: 10 mile run (treadmill), 5 mile run, 12 mile run (trails) = 27 miles
Sept 3rd-9th:  5 mile run, 8 mile run, 14 mile run (trails) = 27 miles
Sept 10th-16th: 5 mile run, 6 mile run (tomorrow), 14 mile run (plan for Friday- trails) = 25 miles

This is where I parked last week- main trail head for all 3 trails
I am absolutely in love with running on trails, especially the trail system at Point Defiance.  It is so nice to have miles and miles of beautiful nature where you can still feel safe, have access to restrooms and your car if necessary and an added bonus for me is that it is literally only 2 miles from my house.  How have I taken 2 1/2 years to discover this amazing place to run when it is in my backyard?? 

I went on one of my usual routes the other day down to Wright Park and found that I was rather irritated waiting at stoplights and dodging cars/bikes/strollers/dogs.  Plus one reason I enjoy running is to be alone with my thoughts and just have some inner quiet time.  Between my kids, my husband and my job I am usually talking ALL DAY LONG and it is nice to just have quiet surrounding me for a change.  In fact I rarely take music with me on my runs anymore.  Crazy I know, but I am actually quite content with my own brain to entertain myself! 

They make it look so simple...and check out those elevation charts!
So last Friday I ran 14 miles down at Point Defiance, all of it on the trails.  Once again I had a grand plan: do the triangle trail twice, the circle once, and the square once- that added up nicely to about 14 miles and it would allow me to loop past my car every 4 or so miles so I didn't have to carry my fuel or water with me.  I headed out on the triangle trail and after a while I realized I had taken a wrong turn and was unsure which way to go.  Eventually I hopped onto the circle trail and followed it back out to my car but by then I was almost to 5 miles and I was thirsty and annoyed.  Why do I get lost on that trail every time?  I should have been back to my car at 3.5 miles!  I finally have the other 2 trails memorized and I know my way around pretty well- or so I thought! 

Ready for the trails!
Change of plans, I didn't want to risk getting lost again when it was so hot out and I was determined to keep my hands free and not carry water.  So I went around the outer square trail twice, then finished with a mile or so down the circle trail and back to make 14 miles.  I don't think I fueled properly during this run- it was warmer than I realized and even though I was shaded from the sun the air was still very hot and there wasn't much of a breeze.  I ate 3 shot blocks after 5 miles and drank about 4 ounces of water.  Then around mile 9 I was really hungry- like my belly was actually growling- so I sat in my car for a few minutes and ate a kid's cliff bar (honey oat), ate one shot block and drank some orange nuun.  I was hoping that would all sit ok as I started running again, and to my surprise it was just fine. 

Don't look down!!
I probably should have carried water for those last 5 miles, plus brought those last 2 pieces of shot block but I was intending to stop by the car one last time.  However, when I got close to my car I thought I might lose my desire to finish the 14 miles if I stopped for a minute so I just headed down the trail to finish the last 1.5 miles.  I finished around 1:30 in the afternoon and I was hot, thirsty and completely worn out.  I ate a protein bar, downed my nuun and headed home to get cleaned up.  It took me 2 hours and 33 minutes to run 14 miles of trails- not bad, and my pace is slowly improving out there.  The last time I ran a half marathon was in June.  And the last time I ran farther than that was almost a year ago!

My feet were SO dirty! 
That night I ended up with an awful headache that would not go away and I fell fast asleep on the couch at 8:30pm.  I would say that my run was a success but my fueling/recovery were not!  So I am going to repeat the 14 mile run this week and make it my goal to fuel better and recover better- and I have recruited a running buddy to meet up with me for part of the run.  However- part of me wants to aim for 16 miles instead of 14.  That part of me that doesn't like to fail and wants to always be prepared thinks I should run farther than I did last week. 

I have until Friday to figure it out.  What do you think I should do?  Run 14 again or aim for 16 instead? 

Anyone out there training for something amazing?  How is it going? 

Who is running You Go Girl this weekend?  I am a little sad to miss it this year but the timing just didn't work out for me.  Good luck to those of you running- Alyssa, Mel, Meredith- and others I am probably forgetting!   


  1. Great job on the 14 miles!!
    I love trail running. Only my trails are a lot different than yours! I would love to run in more of a shaded area but it is so nice just to be out there with the dirt beneath your shoes, not having to stop at lights hear the cars going next to you. It really makes you appreciate nature and all it's beauty!

    I usually have to carry all my fuel/water with me cause I think I would probably just be done running if I stopped at my car after every few miles lol. Maybe you should get a fuel belt or camel back? There's this really nice light weight camel back that I want to get but they are redesigning them so the new ones aren't out yet :(
    But sounds like maybe you should base your fueling off time instead of miles? Like start fueling every 30-45 minutes even if it's just a few shot bloks at a time. And if you are stopping at your car every few miles maybe have half a peanut butter sandwich half way thru your run. Also sounds like maybe you need more sodium since your getting headaches after the run. Either more nuun during the run or have you heard of salt caps? They sell the sample packs at REI. I bought some when I was doing more trail running earlier this summer in the hot sun here and those helped me.
    I did some research on fueling for trail runs cause I want to do a trail race next year and that was most of the info I found.
    Hope it helps you :)

    Wish I was out there running those trail with you!

    1. I wish you were here too! I may look at camel backs- I have a fuel belt and I just hate it! I think it may be too big but I am sure if it fit properly it would still annoy me lol! I am definitely going to fuel more liberally next time.

  2. GOOD WORK!! I want you to show me the trail someday.. So I may be in Tacoma on Saturday to get my packet.. want to hook up for lunch or something??

    1. Thanks! I would love to show you the trails out there, just let me know when! I would love to do lunch on Saturday but my dad is in town from Ohio so we are spending the whole day with him. Good luck at the race on Sunday!

  3. You are a rockstar for running so many miles! Very dedicated! I need to learn from you, and be more motivated to run more. Im not sure if im up for running trails yet but things change. Great job tiffany! I know you will do great on this 30k!!