Just a week and a half until Pick Your Poison 50km, looking forward to it! Training has been going well, I feel great. I still struggle to get enough runs in, but I've compensated by going hard and doing stupid things while training: Wearing a 20lb weighted vest around the house doing sporatic exercises (haven't run in it yet), carrying my dumbells on runs, doing crazy exercises in odd places (you'd be surprised what you can do at your desk).
This morning I did the stairs for 25min with my 2 ten pound dumbells, it's getting much easier than it used to be. I remember the first time a few months ago when I did this, I had problems just moving across the 500 metres to get to the stairs! It's not running with the weight, it's my arms trying to hold up the weight. I thought I might have to start putting them in a backpack to get there. This morning, it was no problem running to and from the stairs with the weights at all. After 25min on the stairs, I ran back to drop off the weights, then ran another 5km feeling light as a feather! Dropping 20lbs instantly does wonders for you!
Last Saturday was the real kicker. I headed out to Sulpher to get a few loops in, I figured 40km if I was feeling up to it. I was curious to see how I'd feel on a long run with my 4lb dumbells. I ran the first 20km loop with them in 2h 10min, decent time on a trail with hills carrying weights. I grabbed some food from the car and decided I felt ok, so I brought them out with me for loop 2. There's a few spots where you run past the same point, I figured if it was too much then I'd just drop them and pick them up later. After about 30km, my arms weren't doing too bad but my knees were getting sore and my legs were tired (I usually bring Powerbar Gels and Electrolite pills for long runs, I'm haven't organized my shit this year and couldn't find either of them!). It was getting tough to run, but I stuck with it. Finished 40km with the weights in 4h 45min, I was exhausted by the end... Glad I did it though. Previously, the longest I'd carried the weights was 13km, this day I did an additional 27km.
Carrying the weights plays with my mind a little. I do feel lighter now when I run without them, my body is getting used to running 8lbs heavier. I was worried that running with them too often might mess up my form, but my form sucked anyway so it might actually be helping. It keeps me running at a slightly slower pace, so it stops me from taking big strides and landing on my heel. Also does great for my posterior chain (aka my ass), my lower back and hammies have to work a little harder to compensate for the weight I'm holding in front of me. I could put 8lbs in a pack or use a vest instead, but I really prefer the challenge and extra work of using my arms, great workout.
So, things are going well. A week and half to 50km of the hills of PYP, then a week later the 50 miles of hills at Bear Mountain. I really should take it easy at PYP and save myself for Bear, but it's always hard to do the when the race starts! Maybe some fellow runners will knock some sense into me. Or I bring the weights! No, I think they'll sit this one out...