I am starting to feel the burn of training, working, managing an event, being a parent and having a life! I won't lie. Last week was another 50 mile week (just over 51) followed by this week. It is Thursday morning and I have only finished roughly a 5k. There are reasons for that this week rather than excuses which is nice.
Getting the second round of the vaccine on Monday wiped me out Monday night and Tuesday. I was fortunate only be exhausted compared to those that have had it much worse, but it completely derailed the start of my week. Cap that off with things getting very busy I am finding it hard to make time the rest of this week, but as I always say if it is important you will always make the time!
This is also becoming much more important and real for me. When I first thought of this challenge I felt like it would be a fun idea that would truly push me to my current limits mentally, physically, and emotionally. I also kept it in my mind that if Kevin could fight through the past 7 years of pain, surgery, chemo, and all the awful things that colorectal cancer has forced him into then I could deal with 7 days of pain to support him. Even with all of this it still felt like an idea or a fantasy. Something I wanted to do and would do, but almost like there was no pressure. Now the pressure is starting to build and I won't lie, I am a bit scared!
This week has been a big week for me and the Pain in the Canal Challenge. With a guest spot on DizRuns Podcast coming up next week, a national sponsorship from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and talks with a major university essentially using me as a lab rat to see the various effects this kind of run will take on my body (which I am stupidly excited to see how that plays out) I have the corporate world starting to look at me. The perspective has changed a bit from "I want to do this" to "I am doing this" and it is frightening but exhilarating all at the same time!
I throughly believe in the power of accountability and typically like to say I hold myself accountable fairly well, especially with training. But now there is more behind it. Now the prospect of raising a good amount of money for the Buffalo Colon Corps is real and I am feeling my feet held to the fire a bit. This is all me of course, and what I signed up for, but never did I believe it would get as big as it is!
Then there are the people I am meeting. The new friends I have met that have lost loved ones to colorectal cancer and hearing their stories. Then hearing them tell me I am motivating them on a daily basis to not only live a healthier life, but to honor their loved ones through their physical pain. Due to an error a woman has already completed the entire 361.5 miles of the virtual challenge. She emailed me a few days ago to tell me about this. Not only did she have some of the kindest words to say to me, but she is also going to keep pushing and make sure she hits another 361.5 miles during the window of the challenge.
Between the business side and the personal side of this wonderful idea that is growing beyond anything I ever really imagined I feel an obligation now more so than ever and feel guilty when I do not have the opportunity to train and prepare as I feel I should. But rather than sit in this pit I hope to use it to push me farther!
By the end of this weekend I plan to update this site with our new corporate sponsors, our athletic sponsors, and start putting up a lot of information for colorectal cancer awareness month. We plan to have a number of different things happening this month to honor those who are and who have fought this awful disease and lived/are living with the real pain! I hope you don't mind the rant about all of this during this post, but an athletes mentality is essential to their training so sometimes I need the sounding board to get myself straight. Time to really push myself and see what I can do in a short amount of time.
It finally happened, I planned to run 50 miles in a week and I hit my goal. It is funny though, my schedule was completely different than I planned when I wrote last weeks post. I had a thought about a friend of mine who served in our military and a quote he used quite often. "A plan of attack only survives until the first encounter with an enemy" and this week my enemy was my schedule.
Almost instantly after posting my training plan I checked my schedule and realized that I had several meetings scheduled both before and after work throughout the week, and a trip that was planned for Sunday. This meant that my longer daily runs were not going to happen with meetings interfering on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then of course not having the ability to schedule a long run on Sunday since I had a total of 3 hours of "free time" to get my life together and head out the door. Needless to say I had to do some math and get in runs any point I could.
If you look at my training log (picture below and link above) you can see that I had to break things up and double up on runs almost every day this week!
Each of those little dots show the runs where I only had a certain amount of time either before a meeting started or
As anticipated, I am antsy! I have taken this week to recover a bit and stretch out a bit, but it also gave me some insights to what I want and how I want to train. It is really difficult to almost completely alter a routine that you are use to for a challenge that is unlike any other you have faced, but this is exactly what I am trying to do and it is TOUGH!
Throughout the week I spent a lot of time looking into training routines and diets from weightlifting runners. This is the camp that I guess I would have fallen into a bit more so last year (even though I never really researched it) when I was training for OCR (obstacle course racing). I needed to be able to run a decent distance, between a 5k and a half marathon, while also having the strength to preform a number of different obstacles that challenged every muscle fiber in my body. This year I obviously am focused more so on the running aspect and as I have stressed in previous posts the lack of weight training has been getting to me.
This was amplified this week since I intentionally took the focus off running and used yoga and weight training as a supplement. During one of my lifts this week I felt the calluses on my hands hardening around the bar and actually had a nostalgic feeling. Remembering the days when I would lift hard and heavy and tear open these calluses and feel accomplished because I was putting up heavier weights than I previously had. This may sound strange to some, but it was a wonderful feeling and a sign that I was progressing.
Now my signs of progression are a bit less physically recognizable. They are getting my heart rate to stabilize at a faster pace and only really noticeable after I have completed my run. This is not as satisfying necessarily but still allows me to have that feeling of accomplishment. Can't I have both though? Can't I feel like I am getting both stronger and faster? This has been the question that has plagued me all week long.
If I was only training to run a half marathon, or maybe a full marathon this would be so much easier! I could take notes from other ultra/ocr athletes on their concurrent training routines that involve 3 runs and 3 lifts per week. The three runs would be about 25-30 miles in total and the 3 days would be a condensed 3 day split that would cover the entire body. The problem is that I plan to put up about double the amount of miles each week and let's be real, I have a life. A very busy life that does not allow me currently to put in 4 hours or more of training a day. Hell I struggle some days to get in 60 to 90 minutes! So what is the solution?
I am not sure I have the exact answer, but that is part of the fun in creating plans and testing limits. So my rough plan for the week is as follows:
Monday: Run and Lift
Tuesday: Run and Lift
Saturday: Lift and Run
Sunday: Long Run
The goal is to do roughly 7 miles per run with 15 on Sunday next week. If I can do this I will be able to hit 50 miles and still get 3 lifts in, but this week my plan is simply to get in 3 quality lifts and 6 runs. I am not going to stress too much about the miles but will still have the goal of getting to that 50 mile mark.
Through all of this I am also doing a mountain climber challenge with several former clients and a few teachers in my building. This is A LOT! Training like this is a job! But again, as I have stated before this is nothing compared to what people with colorectal cancer suffer through regularly!
What is on your training schedule for this week? How are you going to push yourself past your limits? Leave a comment or message me @ocrlibrarian315 on both Facebook and Instagram! Until next week...
So I split my goals for the week. I wanted to at least hit a higher number than my previous week but I was also shooting for 50 miles. I fell short of 50 miles, but squeaked out a bit more than last week (.3 miles). Not what I was looking for, but still some decent numbers for this time of the year for me.
The simple fact is that life happens and gets in the way at times. With a very busy personal and professional week, and road trips of 2 hours or so in back to back days the week just got away from me. On Sunday I was sitting at 29 and change for miles and I was unable to start training until mid afternoon. Running over 20 miles was just not in the cards! I put up over 15, but needless to say I was not satisfied with myself.
Training for this event is much different than any other training I have done for a number of different reasons. First off, the obvious, this is the greatest physical challenge I have ever even thought of attempting! There were actually a few people who run ultramarathons that told me it would take "years" to properly prepare for something like this. Fortunately the ones that I spoke to and listen to are some of the most respected ultra marathoners ever and physicians who have also taken on challenges such as this or greater!
The not so obvious is the "Why" for this. When I first started persuing this idea I knew it could have a positive impact on a number of people in a number of ways which matched my goal of impacting 5,000 people and their health goals this year (from my OCR Librarian business), but to bring me closer to my cousin and have some time with him was surprising. This is not because we are distant in any way, but let's be real the kid is worried about his family and what is going to happen when he is gone, not about a fundraiser that his older cousin is doing. I was VERY wrong about his desire to be involved.
Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to talk with Kevin over video chat numerous times and have learned more about what he is going through regularly as well as seeing the toll colorectal cancer has taken on him. It breaks my heart to see him hurting in any way, but also pushes me! Then to top things off, he has introduced me to individuals that are going to try and help raise money for The Buffalo Colon Corps, and the Pain in the Canal Challenge. They have shared some of their stories with me and their "WHY" for doing the work they do and the stories have continued to touch me and impact me in ways I did not think this would. The best/worst part is this is only the beginning!
Over the coming months I am sure I am going to hear so many heart breaking stories, more so when we really start pushing this out, while also watching Kevin continue to fight. I realize more and more throughout this process that I really do not know pain!
That being said I am fired up for this week! I want to run and push myself farther than I ever have, but I can't!!! Every 6 weeks I have a built in active recovery week to allow myself the opportunity to step back and rest. This does not mean I will not run or train at all for an entire week, but there are "restrictions" I put on myself. Some of these restrictions are as follows:
I hope that I am able to keep up this mentality of pushing and my desire over the next week so next week I can be ready to DESTROY my goal. That week will be a goal of 50 miles, no less so I need to be prepared!
Please feel free to share your stories either with training or with family members that have struggled with colorectal cancer! Keep pushing and never stop fighting this awful disease!