This hundred-mile race has been this doubt generating event for me. I am sure I felt some of these same jitters as I trained for my full Ironman, but I had no Plan B for Ironman. What I mean by that is that on the day of my Vineman, I either completed the full Ironman or I didn't--there was no option for bumping back to the half-Ironman on that day. With the Nanny Goat Ultra Marathon I am training for, I have lots of outs and temptations to stop if I feel the need. First, it costs the same amount to do the 50-miler or the 100-miler and both events start at the same time and on the same day. On that day if I get to 50 miles and decide to stop there, I could. Also, this course is a one-mile loop and each loop bring you back to your area that you set-up for nutrition and support. That means that every mile, your mind has the opportunity to lull you into quitting. This is big for me. I usually plan routes where I go out halfway out so that I have to finish my run to get back home. Psychologically, this is what I have to do for my long runs to keep me going.
This week I was searching for some kind of sign that would show me that I am tough enough to push through and complete 100 miles in a 24-hour period. I needed inspiration! Luckily I had three signs within a twelve-hour period that gave me peace and made me realize that if I train, I CAN do this!
First, for months my running buddies have been telling me that I need to watch the documentary Desert Runners on Netflix. Last weekend I finally made the time to do so. Now I know that crazy is relative, but after watching the journey of four runners trying to finish four 250K events in four of the most inhospitable deserts on Earth in a one-year period of time, I realized that my crazy does not compare with their crazy. They first ran through the Atacama Desert in Chile, where it has not rained in 400 years. They then ran through the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt, and finally they ran in Antarctica. Just watching this movie made me realize that the Nanny Goat is within my reach if I put in the training needed, because my crazy is oh so much less crazy than these desert runners!
Then the morning after watching the movie I woke up to a Facebook post by one of my triathlon inspirations that made me realize that we all have our doubts and that for the most part, they are primarily all in our minds. Jessica is a dynamo that, like me, realizes the power of really putting in the training miles and hours necessary to complete any event you plan to compete in. Jessica is the one who reminded me during Ironman training that I need to train to be alone and that always having friends with me on my swims, bikes, and rides would not adequately prepare me for the amount of time I would be out on the Vineman course by myself. Because of her advice, I did not freak out on the last part of my Ironman run when I had no light source, no jacket, and no one to keep me company. I powered through because I trained for it! In her current post she shared that the century bike ride was the hurdle she needed to get over before her Ultra Ironman event. Here is what she posted (permission from Jessica to share):
What I learned this week was that I need to push the doubt aside and trust in my training plans and my body's ability to adapt if I train properly. The three signs I received this week have given me the needed confidence I was looking for to push me through. I am not saying that doubt will not return again, but now I have the power to banish it to the sidelines if it decides to invade my mind again.
This week I did not change my preferences for my box and I ended up with some fun new things. Today I will be taking the Beech Mushrooms and modifying a recipe that came in my box for Japanese Noodles with Beech Mushrooms (see recipe in picture below). I used shallots instead of garlic (I had some from a previous box), added broccoli (from this week's box), and I used Tofu Shirataki noodles because an entire bag is only 10 calories. These noodles are sometimes difficult to find, but at my Ralphs they are in the refrigerated section near the kimchi. Here are the steps:
- Rinse, cut, and then dry two packages of Tofu Shirataki Noodles (the noodle can be too long if you don't at least cut them in half).
- Saute two shallots and broccoli until the broccoli is to your preferred consistency, and then add the beech mushrooms. They shouldn't take too long to soften up.
- I had no miso paste so I created a sauce using 2 T. Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade, 1 T. Lite Soy Sauce, 1 t. Chili Paste, and 1 t. Seasoned Rice Vinegar (add more or less of the sauce depending on your taste). Add this sauce to your veggies.
- Add your noodles and heat until everything is warmed through. YUM!
I also roasted some fingerling sweet potatoes from a previous box and the golden beets from this one. I plan to add these to my lunches or serve as a side dish with some baked chicken or other protein...I haven't decided yet. Oh, the options!