ORANGE MUD NEWS
It's been just a few weeks since I officially became an ultra-marathoner! I ran the Pineland Farms 50k in Maine over Memorial Day Weekend and it was amazing! I feel like I completely lucked out the entire weekend. On the day before the race, it was 90 degrees and sunny. I was dripping in sweat just setting up the tent at the campground down the street. Packet pick-up was a breeze and everyone was in a great mood. For lunch I had pasta and for dinner I met up with some new friends for dinner of grilled cheese and french fries. That night I slept great and I felt refreshed when I woke up. I struggled to eat breakfast because I was nervous about the race and I had my typical pre-race jitters. I had my Tailwind nutrition all packed in my Orange Mud bottles and I was off. I used my HydraQuiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack for the race and was able to carry my music, extra nutrition, inhaler and phone. I wore it with my Orange Mud singlet and didn't experience ANY chafing with the pack. The gun went off and I took off at lightning speed. Okay, that part isn't true but I did start running. My plan was to run the downhills and flats and walk the uphills, and to eat some food at each aid station. My plan worked marvelously and at each aid station I had Swedish Fish, potato chips and Mountain Dew. It was the magical elixir. All of the volunteers were friendly, the other racers were funny. The temperature was at a perfect 60 degrees and overcast; ideal running weather. As I was coming to the cross-section of the first loop, I saw my wife cheering for me, which really gave me a boost. She ran with me for a couple hundred yards and then helped me figure out what I needed from my drop bag. When I came back through, I changed my socks and kept moving along. I was feeling great and ready to finish this thing! I finished the first loop and was onto the second one. My playlist was rockin' and I was moving along easily. With just over 5 miles left, my wife joined me and was surprised at how comfortably I was moving. I passed over a dozen people in the last couple of miles. My wife positioned herself to get a great video of me crossing the finish line. I crossed the line with my arms pumping above my head and a huge smile plastered on my face. I felt incredibly accomplished and proud of myself. I gathered my cowbell "medal", water bottle and Darn Tough socks as my finisher's swag. I sat down for some food and some beers and enjoyed the afternoon. Headed back to the campground for a shower and then into town for dinner. At dinner, I could barely stay awake, even laying down on the booth at one point. We made it back to the campsite and I fell asleep pretty early. We woke to rain and scurried out of town. On the way home all I could think about was that I never hit any low points during the race and honestly felt good the entire time. I guess my strong, consistent, training really paid off. It was an amazing first ultra experience and I would recommend this race to anyone.
Fast forward to this week. I started my 50 mile training. I hired the same coach as I had for my 50k training because I had such great luck and support from him. I'm a few days in and feeling motivated. This will be an exciting journey and you can follow it on my Instagram account @RunYoginiRun
As you know, Orange Mud has been following along on my journey to my 10th marathon at the Vancouver USA Marathon and on Sunday that journey came to a end.
My fastest marathon to date was my second the 2013 New York City Marathon when I ran a 4:35:46. I trained like crazy for this race, through a hot Phoenix summer, up to 24 miles for my long run. I had a coach and a nutritionist and I followed my plan to a T.
Fast forward 2.5 years and 7 more marathons and my training has changed significantly. No longer am I following a traditional training plan and in the last 4 months I’ve run a lot of races including 2 – 50Ks & one 50 miler, along with a lot of back to back runs.
Since I’ve been venturing into the ultra world, my training has changed and while I have nothing against a traditional plan currently my preferred method of training is a mix of trail & road and using races as training runs. I will say, if you are a first time marathoner or have other more aggressive time goals, this is probably not the way to go about your training J but it worked for me.
It’s been a long time since I even had a shot at a PR, with my last 4 marathons coming in at over 5 hours, not something I’m ashamed of at all especially since I haven’t made it a focus. At some point, I changed my focus from the time on the clock to the journey, but this year I felt compelled to see if I could PR and I thank Orange Mud for giving me a little push to embark on this journey and keeping me accountable.
Now that all that’s out of the way, let’s get to the race. The Vancouver USA Marathon is a small race, there were 459 finishers.
We arrived at the start around 6:20am race day morning. The race would start at 7am for the marathoners. A unique thing for this race was that the half marathoners started 2 hours later than the marathoners so we were able to finish the race with more people around vs. most races when the slower marathoners are finishing by themselves.
Since there were only 459 people, it was a pretty quick start. I started out just ahead of the 4:30 pace group and quickly made my way up to the 4:15 pace group where I would stay for the next 7 miles. I was feeling pretty good and this part of the course was relatively flat. It was quite beautiful and I wish I’d taken some photos but I wasn’t really thinking about that at the time. The first 13 miles took us west of the city, mostly on the side of the road or on a path, we even had a small stretch of gravel trail.
As we made our way back to the halfway point, I fell off the 4:15 pace group, which I wasn’t really surprised at. I remember being so thirsty, I think I went through 2 Orange Mud bottles in the first 9 miles. And I only had 2 extra bags of liquid calories, which would prove to not be enough. I was wearing my Vest Pack 1 so I was able to stash my baggies of calorie mix in the pocket.
Once we got to the half way point, the hills started. They were only around 100 – 200 feet but they felt like they were mountains by that point. Lol. It was also around this point when we started to see the slower half marathoners – I passed the 3:00 pace group and a bunch of walkers in this section. Fortunately the road was wide enough that it wasn’t a huge issue.
I kept trying to calculate in my head how fast I needed to go to PR. And I knew it was going to be tight especially with the hills.
When the 4:30 pacers passed me at mile 17 I knew I needed to kick it up a notch. Unfortunately the lack of calories became a problem and I started feeling a bit nauseous when I picked up the pace so I had to back it down a bit. I know some people don’t care if they get sick, but I would rather slow down than throw up.
As we got closer to end of the race, the mile markers for the full & half were getting farther and farther apart & my Garmin was behind by .2 miles so I wasn’t exactly sure where I was in conjunction to the finish. I saw the sign for mile 25 and then mile 12 sign was less than a half a mile from the finish so I was really confused until I was almost at the last turn towards the finish.
I tried to pick it up but again I thought I started to feel sick so I just kept going as fast as I could until I crossed the finish line to Bart Yasso congratulating me and calling my name at 4:36:10, 25 seconds from a PR. Of course I was disappointed, but as I mentioned before I haven’t run under a 5 hour marathon in over a year so to get as close as I did to my PR as I did, was pretty darn awesome!
It definitely gave me back my marathon confidence and I am so excited to see what I can do at the New York City Marathon in November, where I’m running with the James Blake Foundation (www.crowdrise.com/runnylegs), for my brother-in-law David, who was diagnosed with cancer in May. With the proper calorie intake and a bit more speed & hill work, I’m sure I go even faster, especially with the crowd support from the city of New York.
Again, a huge Thank You to Orange Mud for your support and amazing products.
Every year since 2010, I have wanted to hit 1,000 miles for the year have always fallen short. Today during my race, the TARC Spring Classic, I surpassed 500 for the year so I am well on my way! I’ve mostly stuck with half marathons so far in the years that I’ve been running but I’ve got several BIG goals for this year. Along with some half marathons, I will be doing two marathons, one 6 hour race, a 50k and a 50 miler. My two “goal” races for the year are the 50k and 50 miler. Memorial Day Weekend is around the corner, which means my 50k is as well. Training in New England in the late winter/early spring offers a Mixed bag of weather. I wish I could say that I always opt to run outdoors but I have succumbed to the treadmill on several occasions throughout the past several weeks. That being said, I do solemnly swear that I will not do more than one run per week on the treadmill. It’s finally getting a bit warmer out so I’ve been enjoying the outdoors more often. The nearest trail to me, that I am aware of, is 35-40 minutes away so I very rarely get to do trails during the week and save them for my long run on the weekends. When I do my long runs, I use my car as an aid station, taking along my Orange Mud modular gym bag; I keep my gear organized and accessible so I can be in and out of the car, just as I would in a trail race. On several of my runs during the week, I have been running home from work and I use my Hydraquiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack to aid me during my run commute. I bring my work clothes home on days that I don’t run so all I’ve got to carry is my wallet, phone and keys. I hired a coach for my 50k and I plan to hire the same one for my 50 miler and I can honestly say this is the most consistently I have ever trained. I’ve also become more involved with my local trail running community and have run a few races with them this year. I am getting more comfortable on the trails and am loving every second of this training.
With just a few weeks left until my first 50k, I need to stay focused on a few things: consistency, strength training, nutrition and hydration. My goal is to follow my plan to a T and do all of the miles outside. I need to continue experiencing the variety of weather so that no matter the weather on race day, I’m ready. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced rain, snow, hail and high winds. Even though I hate it in the moment, I know it’s good for me to experience running in this weather. I have not been as strict with my cross training and strength training as I should have been so I am going to make sure that I put more effort into it over the next several weeks. With all of these miles, I know I’m more susceptible to injury, especially if I’m not caring for my body. I’ve been working on my nutrition for the past couple of months and have even been using an app to keep track of everything I eat. As a runner, it’s easy to overestimate how much you can eat, even when logging a lot of miles. I’ve found this to be a useful tool to make sure that I am eating a variety of foods, especially my fruits and vegetables. Lastly, hydration. I sit at a desk all day for work so I am making sure that I drink 32 ounces of water before lunch and another 32 ounces after work. I do not do as well on the weekends but it’s a work in progress.
Want to follow my progress? Follow me on Instagram @RunYoginiRun or search #trainwithorangemud
I moved to Phoenix in late 2011. Shortly thereafter I made the decision and started training for my first marathon. The New York City Marathon was supposed to be my first, but then Hurricane Sandy happened and we all know how that went. So I restructured my goals and my training and ran the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World marathon as my first marathon instead.
A year later I made it to New York City and ran my fastest & favorite marathon to date; 5 boroughs, 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 35 minutes!
For my first 3 marathons, I had a super specific training plan that I followed to the letter.I very rarely missed a day and it was super exciting to be hitting mileage goals that I’d set for myself. With such specific training I didn’t always listen to my body and had an issue with my hamstring that still bothers me from time to time today.
Fast forward 3 years, 6 more marathons, amazing destinations like Rome & Venice, Italy, no specific training plan, slower times, and no new marathon PRs. When I picked the Vancouver USA marathon to be my 10th marathon, my birthday race and PR race, I picked it because it’s supposed to be flat & fast. I also didn’t have a lot on my race schedule at the time.
In the last 6 weeks, I’ve run 2 50ks, 2 half marathons, a 15k and a 5k along with many miles on the trails. It’s not a traditional training plan, and not necessarily one that I would advise anyone else to embark on but it’s worked for me.
My endurance is definitely at an all time high and my recovery from the 50ks has been amazing, with recovery runs the day after the race, active recovery at it’s finest. My race nutrition is still a work in progress but I feel like it’s slowly but surely coming together and using my Orange Mud VP1 has helped significantly so I can carry my own fuel with me vs. having to rely on aid stations.
My focus for the next 6-8 weeks is to work on increasing my speed on longer runs, get used to running in the heat and to continue working on my nutrition.
Follow Jenny on Instagram and Twitter@runnylegs