I love feedback. Leave a comment below!

Under Pressure

This Saturday, I'm running my sixth Bull Run Run 50 Miler.
(Wow. That's 300 miles worth, in addition to all the training miles I've run on this trail.)

I don't usually stress about ultras. After all, this is what I do for fun on the weekends, and I'm simply not fast enough to worry about anything but running my own personal best. Sometimes (gasp) I decide to just run easy and enjoy the day!

Bull Run Run is different. Regardless of my training, I always feel anxious about this race. More than once I've actually considered staying in bed when the alarm sounded.

My first two years, I ran as part of a team. I took my responsibility as a team member seriously. A team is disqualified if all of its members don't finish. Though I've never been on a team that had a real chance to win, the possibility did exist. That possibility kept me focused on finishing and running my best.

Team "Victorious Secrets"
My first BRR in 2005. I ran 50 miles wearing a thong over my shorts.
It was slick mud, too. The temp dropped so much runners donned bread bags to keep warm.
Post race legs in 2006, the Mud Year
 
Having fun on trail with friends in 2008

This year, I'm on a female team with some very strong runners, one of whom is a past winner of this race. I'm definitely the weakest link.

This team has a real shot at winning, and I'm feeling the pressure. 

Running along Bull Run (that's Southern for stream), 2009

Time to come clean: My running mojo has gone missing lately. I feel sluggish, and there are any number of things I'd rather do than go out for my long run. This isn't encouraging for my big race in June, the Laurel Highlands 70 Miler.

I'm hoping that being part of a team and spending the day in the woods with friends will bring it back in force. I'll keep my eyes open out there on the trail.

I keep reminding myself I felt unprepared two years ago when I set my big PR. My training this year has been similar. I am experienced. I know what it takes to get these 50 miles done.

Race Week Preparation: I'm getting lots of good sleep and I've given up my evening glass of wine.

My plan: Run steady, get in and out of aid stations quickly, stay mentally strong and focus on my role as a team member when things get tough out there.

My mantra: Relentless. Forward. Progress. 

If you have any inspiring running quotes, mantras, music suggestions or other motivational tricks, please share!

Running through the bluebells in 2010, my big PR year


33 comments:

Beth said...

Sometimes when I'm at a particular rough point in a run I start chanting (grunting) "I LOVE THIS" You run these races because you love it.

Enjoy the run and have a great time with your team!

Laurie Euler said...

Just relaaaax. You're going to do great! And of course, have some fun!

Lindsey said...

I'll be there cheering on MBNova - I'll cheer for you if I see you!! You'll have a great day. It's supposed to be gorgeous, and it's Bull Run!

Linda said...

I had a grueling run this week, and I chanted (alternately)

I AM STRONG
YOU ARE STRONG
I AM STRONG
YOU ARE STRONG

I don't know where that came from, but it distracted me. You've got this!! You are my hero...50 miles? AMAZING...

Sophie Speidel said...

I love the to say the word "fearless" to myself as I am running through a rough patch, or while I am having having some negative thoughts. It perks me up and reminds me that it is also a PRIVILEGE to be able to run these things (another fave word to chant to oneself). I bet you will make Team WUSSie CAT proud! Sorry to miss it. Run strong, fearless, and grateful!

amy said...

Michelle is going to kill you if you don't help her win a blanket!! ;)

Bill said...

Spent many hours at this year's Hat Run humming lyrics to "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)". Made up a "keep me free from hurt" line and the "help me cope with this heavy load" lyric was appropriate for this year's mudder (though I have NO idea what brought this song to my mind 2 hrs in and think my singing scared away the rest of the back of the packers :-0).

Keep it positive. Take what the day gives and you'll do great. Good luck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWy9q24wfdU

amy said...

Fatigue is a choice! You've got this...

Carilyn said...

Have a great race! Can't wait to read the report. And I'm with you - keep moving!

Lisa@RunWiki said...

I say to myself "let go and allow" ... your going to have a PR, you are experienced and know what it takes.

Choy said...

Stay in the moment. Embrace the challenge. Always keep moving forward. Stay strong.

DirtProof said...

my yoga teacher used to say "If you can, you must!"

Jessica Karazsia (@irun26at8) said...

Good luck and stay strong!

Rootchopper said...

Back in my running days I noticed an odd pattern. If I felt lousy the day of the race, I ran fast. I had extra motivation to stay focused and bear down. If I felt terrific, I'd be a mess at the half way point. At the start of my first marathon, I couldn't stop yawning. I ran a great time.

You'll do fine. You'll see. Trust me. If I'm wrong your next latte is on me.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

What an impressive accomplishment! With so many miles along Bull Run in them, your legs will take care of you, no worries.

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks Linda -- that's the real secret to a mantra. It doesn't really matter what it is, just that you keep repeating it and drive away any negative thoughts.

ultrarunnergirl said...

Interesting - that IS how this race seems to go for me. Thanks for that observation!

ultrarunnergirl said...

Gratitude - yes! It's a powerful thing for me too. Thanks Sophie! I'll miss seeing you out there.

ultrarunnergirl said...

Love it!

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks Beth. I'll have to bring that one out Saturday.

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks, Sproston. I'll just picture her face if I don't bring in the caboose end with enough speed to assure our triumph. :)

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks, Bill. Funny what songs pop in your head after a few hours on trail and seem to work ...

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks Lindsey! I'll look for you!

ultrarunnergirl said...

Thanks Laurie. Out on those beautiful trails, it will be a good day no matter what.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

When I hit a challenging moment I will say (out loud) that this; hill, discomfort, mental block, tummy issue, whatever is only temporary. It's just a moment. It's not the race. It's not my day. It's not forever. This is temporary.

I think once you are out there your jitters will disappear and your body and mind will carry you through another amazing BRR. Just breathe it in!

Racingtales - Alison Gittelman said...

I think you're going to have a GREAT race! Trails have finally dried up and weekend looks warm. Unprepared could also mean that your legs are well-rested! And I'm sure the other team members picked you for your many qualities out on the trail. Kudos to you for running this for the 6th time! That's amazing. One of these days I'll run it...would be a good idea since I'm always training on those trails. Anyway, the bluebells are calling your name! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Allison said...

Good luck!

run4daysbill said...

Something Jenny Nichols posted months ago that has really helped me in training ... "The weak make excuses. The strong find a way. Be strong. Find a way." Go out easy and pick a buncha people off the last third. So much fun that way. I betcha you will own this one, K!!! :)

Donna said...

I've used various words to keep me going - "I can I will", "Thankful", "Amazing" - whatever the words you choose just keep happy images in your head and heart.

Good luck and run strong!

Anonymous said...

No worries Kirstin. You always get the willies. You always run well. You always finish. Training is overrated. Just like cartilage.
See you at the finish baby.

Your boy,
Tbone

Anonymous said...

In my limited running so far I just tell myself, "yes I can." I know you have great discipline and determination. I'll be wishing you bluebells and birdsong along the route and a great run. Lots of love, Mom

Kris said...

Go, Kir, go! I predict you'll have a really fun time playing in the woods with your friends and by the time the run begins, all of those pre-race jitters will be a distant memory.

ultrarunnergirl said...

how funny, in Bikram yoga, they say "If you Can't, you must" meaning you need that posture even more if it's impossible. Hmmm ...

Follow by Email