I have already talked about how hectic my life is, but tell anyone, last week I snuck in 35 miles of running.

What the?!? How the?!?

Life JourneyAt the beginning of the week I made a choice: run life exhausted.

This doesn’t mean I’m always tired, but need to be aware of the balance. It’s like driving your car across the country. You need to have an idea when the gas tank will need a refill.

Those 35 miles last week were done with 3 runs. One of those runs was an early Saturday morning 3 hour venture around town. I’m not getting on trails just yet, but that’s more of access. Training is about tradeoffs at the moment. Time on the feet no matter what the surface is better than no time on feet. I am starting to add treadmill incline workouts to similar mountain climbs, so there are creative solutions.

For my race schedule, the key is long runs. For my life schedule, I have time for short runs.

On Saturday, I was able to get out the door for a 16 mile run. It was a key run as I am testing out a new electrolyte supplement. I have tested it on a 7 mile and then 11 mile run, so continuing to expand the test. Honestly, it is unusual for me to take such a calculated approach to testing out nutrition. Historically, I would show up for a marathon with some new thing to eat, wear, or run and see what happens. Maybe I am getting a little smarter. Or momentarily losing it.

I had a pretty good feeling that the long run would be draining my gas tank. After the run, here’s what happened:
9:00a: Showered
9:15a: Made breakfast for my 4 kids
9:30a: Dropped daughter off at OM practice
9:45a: Went grocery shopping
11a: Picked daughter up
11:30a:Took a load to the town’s free dump drop-off day
12:30p:Iron-on patches for daughter’s Girl Scount vest
1:00p: Go to daughter’s Girl Scout graduation event
1:45p: Help friend move trash to dump
3:00p: More grocery shopping
4:30p: Make dinner
6:00p: Clean house
6:10p: Body shutdown
This is when the car ran out of gas. I thought if I just laid down for a few minutes then I could plow on and get the kids to bed. About an hour and a half later, I woke up to my 4 year old in my face. For most people, this would have startled them right off the couch. With over a decade of training under me, I go right into wondering:

    1. did she draw on my face?
    2. is she seeing if I’m really sleeping so she can get into something?
    3. did I pass out all night?

Come to find out, she wanted me to put her to bed. Easy enough. Got her to bed and then continued cleaning house for another hour. The challenge with a nap that late in the day means not going to sleep very easily.

Here’s the thing, we’re all busy. We can make plans with the best intentions, but things will fail. Welcome to the world of ultramarathons. No matter the amount of training you put in, things will go wrong. 1 mile into a race you may roll an ankle, fall off the side of a hill, or stomach empty its contents for the world to step over. Someone asked what to do when these things happen and here was my response:

Smile. Deal with it. Move forward.

Motto for life.

While I was running those 16 miles, I kept reminding myself to not think about the previous miles or the ones ahead. Just be in the moment. Take a moment to look around and enjoy the view. I live in Colorado and almost anywhere I am has a spectacular backdrop. The sun was fully risen and blue skies all around. It makes the road a bit more enjoyable:

The importance of looking up.

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