Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Triple at Tri-County for TransRockies = Training Triumph!

I survived TransRockies training "peak" week! Back in May I looked at this schedule and thought, oh my, 72 miles in one week?! Woah, that's a lot! I've run marathons almost every year since 1997, but my weekly mileage always hovered around 20-30 miles a week. This past weekend called for three solid days of long runs. It would be a big mileage weekend, but I also knew that everything is relative -- thinking waaaaay back years ago when a 10 mile run seemed long, with the progression of mileage during these last few months, I was ready to do it!

Friday, Long Run #1 - 18 miles before work
I wanted to run these 18 miles on Friday morning instead of after work in the evening, so I got my manager's blessing to start late on Friday and work from home (avoiding a lengthy commute downtown on a non-express train). At 5:30am I rolled out of bed and was out the door on my way to James "Pate" Phillip State Park (formerly Tri-County State Park, which is how I usually refer to it). Brian decided to sleep in and would run his miles later, so I brought music with me to pass the time by and wake me up a bit when I got on the trail. I decided to run the 4 miles to the park to save time. On my way there I left the back pocket of my hydration pack wide open and lost my bandanna that I have found to be quite the useful piece of fabric during warmer weather runs. Luckily later in the day Brian found it while he was running his long run in the afternoon. :-)

I got to the park and started listening to music. I kept the pace conservative knowing the next two days would be even longer runs. Lots of cute bunnies popping out from the prairie grasses to say hi. :-) The time really did fly by, 10 miles done, and then I was on my way back home. I got home in time to take an ice bath and then start work at 10am. #1 long run done!

Saturday, Long Run #2 - 27 fun miles at Sunburn Six in the Stix
The training schedule called for 20 miles for long run #2. I figured I might aim for 10 loops of the Sunburn Six course (2.28 mi for each loop) for 22.8 miles and then do a slightly shorter long run for #3. Brian Gaines dreamed up the idea of having a timed run in the Chicago area, considering the lack of Chicago area ultra races, so the Sunburn Six in the Stix was born. This run was a "fat ass" event which means it's no-frills, no entry fee -- just a group of runners coming together to run and support each other. Of course Brian added some great techie perks that made it feel more organized than some "official" events -- live results and a web cam. Very cool!

Before the start
The run started casually at 7:35am and would last for six hours until 1:35pm. I lingered around the start area and chatted since I wasn't planning on running the whole six hours. About 10 minutes later I decided to get going on my first loop. I ran the official clockwise direction of the main loop, so I didn't see anyone until later on when I passed by Connie and Ian. I snapped a few pictures with them and then went on my way back to the out-and-back part near the bridge where I saw runners starting their second loop. It was fun waving hi and taking pictures along the way.

Jerret and Louise

Torey, Deanna, and Jason

Amit, Leslie, and Bill

Pack 'o fast dudes - Ben, Geof, Matt, Jim, and Craig
The subsequent loops are kind of a blur. It was great to run full loops with Torey Jones, Ian Stevens, Rich Breaux, Leslie Lewinski, and of course Brian :-).

Me and Rich - Photo by Jim "Boombox" Simmons
I ran the big loop in the opposite direction a couple of times so that I could take more pictures of everyone. By the time I was on my 10th loop, about 22 miles, I was still feeling great and figured, why not run until time runs out? I did another loop (11 total), then switched to the small loop (.5mi) for the rest of the time. Right at 26.22mi I entered uncharted "ultra" territory and my smile that was planted on my face the whole day got a little bigger. :-D

One happy runner!
I had time for another small loop (4 total) and ran a total of 27 miles. I felt great in spite of running 18 miles the day before. Just crazy! Something that I could not really imagine, running these miles, became reality. Woo hoo! After hanging out at the pavilion for post-run cleanup, a group of us went to Nest Cafe for a hearty lunch. Yum! Such a fun day!

Brian "rocking out" during the run :-)

Here are some other Sunburn Six highlights/kudos:

  • Congrats to Matt Condron for being the first overall with 43.82 miles. Awesome! Thanks for the encouragement along the way, too!
  • Congrats to Sarah Jurgaitis for logging some major ultra mileage with 34.2 miles (and first female!). You rock, girl!
  • Thanks to Tony for bringing his son, Nick, to help out. Tony, you had a great mileage day, too, nice job!
  • GnP - You guys are always a highlight of any event. Great job on 35+ miles for the day, Geof, and thanks for being our cheerleader/photographer, Paige! Go Team Schmoopie! ;-)
  • Congrats to Leslie Lewinski for winning the prize for most rockin' tan lines! ;-) Sorry you weren't able to even out the tan with all the cloudiness Saturday! Great running with you, though, and awesome job on running 30+ miles.
  • Thanks again to Torey for starting the CHUGs (it cannot be said enough!), for the cool patch, and for running with me - that loop flew by!
  • It was great seeing many fellow CHUGs again and meeting new faces on the trails. Waving hi and exchanging woo-hoos with all of you kept my energy levels high and made me want to keep on running until the end, past my goal!

    Brian and me after the run

  • And of course, thank you, Brian, for organizing this event, being my training partner, inspiration, and my love. You inspire me to push myself to heights I never thought about reaching before. Go TransRockies Team New Leaf Ultra!

Sunday, Long Run #3 - 15 afternoon miles
How does one follow an amazing day of running at Sunburn Six? Well, after a fun-filled rest of the day on Saturday, Brian and I slept in on Sunday with plans to go back out to Tri-County in the early afternoon. We were in "get 'er done" mode and that's what we did. The sun was back out and while the first few miles were a little stiff, I was able to warm up and the miles went by. We ran the 4-mile loop four times, and I shortened the last loop to run 3 miles instead to make it 15 miles total for the day. As we crossed our training run "finish line" we held each other's hand in the air and celebrated the end of an epic week of training! Life is good! Now, it's taper time until TransRockies! :-)


CadenceRunner 8/05/2009 9:49 AM  

Hey Ultrarunner Gal! :)

I had no idea you and Brian did your own "Triple Crown" at Tri-County this past weekend in preparation for TransRockies!

To boot, you don't stop at your intended 20 at Saturday's S6S but keep going to get an ultra distance AND you do it while smiling and shutterbugging your way down the trail...

Congrats on your awesome weekend of running and glad Brian found your bandana.

Many more happy trails & best wishes at TransRockies,

Connie :)

Kelly Roe 8/05/2009 10:07 AM  

Hehe, Ultrarunner Gal, I like it! :-)

Thanks for the congrats and best wishes, Connie!

Deb 8/05/2009 10:12 AM  

You are a rockstar Kelly, way to go pumping out those miles! I am so so so excited now! I am officially addicted to trail running/racing and planning more ultras for next year as we speak! I still love road marathons though and Chicago is definitely on my list of ones to do. That's so awesome you're doing it this year! See you in a couple of weeks! :)

Kelly Roe 8/06/2009 4:24 PM  

Thanks, Deb! I am in the same boat as you with trail running -- it's new and exciting but I also enjoy the road races. Chicago is such a party. No PR is expected for me this year, so I might actually wear a costume and have fun with it. :-)

See you in a couple of weeks! We are gonna have lots of fun!

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