By Shelby Traeger
In light of the pandemic, social unrest and racial injustices that the world is facing, it seems like racing is a frivolous thing to care about, and it probably is, but I still do. I love racing. Each time you step up to the start line there is potential to do something you’ve never done before – to run the fastest or the furthest you’ve ever run, or to tackle the hardest course you’ve yet to do. I miss the butterflies. I miss bus rides to the start line making small talk with the runner next to you. I miss start lines surrounded by other passionate runners. I miss the burning in my lungs and legs that only a race environment can bring, and I miss finish line hugs and post-race celebrations.
Relentless forward progress– Amanda Basham
I am choosing to keep my eyes and heart set on the big goals I still have for 2020. My favorite quotes getting me through these past three months are, “Relentless forward progress,” as said by Amanda Basham and, “Keep showing up,” by Des Linden, because at this point, that is all we can really do. Keep showing up and keep moving forward – hopefully with more grace, understanding and empathy for others.
One such big goal of mine was to run a 100+ mile week. Without any races in the foreseeable future, I needed a goal that scared me and got me excited to achieve it. I had only planned on running a 100 mile week (my previous highest mileage week was 83 miles). I called my brother Dylan on Monday who had recently run 109 and 100 mile weeks back-to-back. He said, “You know the bar is at 109, right?” And since I’m not competitive at all, I immediately rewrote my training plan for 110 miles. By Wednesday, I was already tempted to go for 126 (18 miles a day avg). And…if you’re going to do 126, you might as well do 130. Plus, I had always been amazed by my BDP teammates that regularly run 90-100+ miles a week and was curious what my mind and body would feel like putting in those kinds of miles. I chose to do 12 miles in the morning and 6 in the afternoon for six days in a row and finished with a 16 mile/3 mile double run on Sunday. I did the same route in the morning and afternoon, which for some would be really boring, but with the views of Baker, the Canadian mountains and the Bay, I was never bored of the repetition. Here’s my week broken down:
Monday – 18.31 miles
AM – During the morning 12, my legs were sluggish and a little sore since I had run 15 miles in the Chuckanuts with 3,200 feet of elevation gain the day before.
PM – I ran with my husband, Cole, and my legs were feeling much better.
Tuesday – 18.23 miles
AM – Lifted in the morning at my gym. Did 10 x 400m repeats at 10k pace (was supposed to do the last 5 reps at 5k pace, but just couldn’t get there). It was nice to break up the run with some faster repeats.
PM– Legs felt good, but my feet felt tired (ordered new running shoes to treat myself for the end of this week).
Wednesday – 18.74 miles
AM – Ran earlier in the morning, nothing too exciting to note. Mantra was, “Mind over matter, brick by brick, step by step, mile by mile you’ll get there.”
PM – Ran with Cole again. Wrote in my training journal that I’m tempted to go for 120-125. Air Relax Compression boots came in the mail! Game changer for this week’s recovery.
Thursday – 18.11 miles
AM – Lifted at my gym. This is when the fatigue started to set in. Googled the definition of fatigue – “Feeling overtired, with low energy and a strong desire to sleep that interferes with normal daily activities.” I didn’t have low energy and my legs still felt good (thanks Air Relax boots), but I definitely felt sleepy – like I needed a nap or to sleep 10 hours instead of my normal 7-8. Felt decent on my 12 mile run.
PM – Five-star view of the mountains and ocean with sunshine! Fantastic run; felt good.
Friday – 19.31 miles
AM – Lifted at my gym and ran a mile during the lift workout. Morning 12 went well, body is feeling decent. View of the mountains once again beautiful. The last two miles were slightly more challenging than the rest of the run.
PM – Legs felt good. Two more days left – 4 more workouts – LET’S GO!
Saturday– 18.25 miles
AM – Officially passed the 100 mile mark – 104ish miles. Only 3 workouts to go (kind of getting excited to be done).
PM – Two more workouts to go, the countdown is on. Strangely got a little anxious about some stupid injury cropping up that would prevent me from reaching the 130 mile mark. Thought that maybe I’d step on a nail or have a freak accident haha; that’s one of the reasons why I run though – it keeps my anxiety to a minimum.
Sunday– 19.30 miles
AM– 16 mile long run. Cole ran the first 5 miles with me and I was thankful for his company.
PM – Ran my last few miles and then picked up my puppy Brook and made Cole take a picture of us running to commemorate the week!
Total Miles for the Week – 130.2 miles (17 hrs 41 m) (4,213 ft. of vert)
Thank you to my BDP teammates for being such an inspiration to me and keeping me motivated to keep pushing myself without a race on the schedule and thanks to Cole for letting me plan all our weekends around my long run and race schedule for the past 11 years!