May 3, 2013

BUTS, Run for the Kids Challenge 50K, and a giveaway winner!

Angry rain (that means it's pounding the ground pretty hard) is falling outside of my window. That's the same angry rain that will continue through the night and into the morning of tomorrow's trail 50K, Run for the Kids Challenge. Recently, I've embraced running in rain (the same way I love-hate playing soccer in it), but I've never run 5+ hours in the rain -- so we'll see what kind of shriveled mess my feet will be at the end of all this. I packed four extra pairs of socks just in case.

I'm excited for the adventure of it. We can have a 50K without rain any old day, but a 50K in pouring rain is special. Or at least that's how I'm psyching myself up.

My trail buddy, Mary, and I had a great rainy day trial run at Red Mountain Park this week. Somehow we managed to reach the trails just as the rain got to its worst point of the day. We only ran 6.5 miles, but it was a fun, wet 6.5 miles. Now all I have to do is times that by five in tomorrow's rain, and I'm set.

Lisa and Mary post rain run. 

I've also been getting in some extra trail time/practice thanks to the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society (acronym BUTS -- yes, best ever). BUTS has really been helping to get the ball rolling for early morning group trail runs around town. I can't make a ton of them because my husband likes to take the early morning workout shift, but I've been trying to make one of the runs per week. We start our runs in the dark, which is really good practice for just feeling the trail and helping your footing get more intuitive. This week I used my weakly cell phone flashlight because I'm too cheap to buy a new headlamp after someone stole mine the first time I tried to use it. Note: if you leave a headlamp on a random bench and then take off to run for three hours, it might not be there when you get back. Weird, I know.

Here are a few of the gaggle of trail junkies out for this week's Thursday morning run.

BUTS getting busy in the early morn.

This week we had about 15 people out for our 45-minute trail run. That's the most people I've seen out there at once, and when you factor in that the run starts at 5:30 a.m., it's pretty impressive. BUTS rule. If you live around Birmingham, check out the Facebook page where most of the morning run planning goes down. 

So compared to my last/first 50K, I've gotten in a lot more trail time in prep. Hopefully that will help me along tomorrow. Working against me will be the fact that I forgot to carb load. I thought about it on Thursday (usually I would start on Wednesday for a Saturday race) and drank a giant fruit shake, and that was the extent of my carb loading. But I ate my lucky night-before-a-race sweet potato. So that might even things out. 

This will be a great test to compare how I felt in a 50K with carb loading and one without, although this course is much easier than the last one and I also didn't run marathons the two weekends before this, so there are probably too many variables for an accurate comparison. But I'll compare anyway. Part of me wonders if carb loading for long trail races is even necessary because there are so many chances to eat during the race. Maybe there will eventually be a long trail race, where I feel compelled to skip an aid station, but so far, any trail race 26.2 and up, I feel totally great about stopping at each aid station for a snack. Heck, I'd even spread out a blanket for a picnic tomorrow if it wasn't raining like the crazy dickens and threatening to wet my picnic blanket. 

I'll be checking back in tomorrow with the results. 

And now for the results of the Free Sole Activewear giveaway of the adjustable Handful bra! Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and spread the word about the giveaway. And especially thanks to Free Sole Activewear for sponsoring the giveaway!

Congrats to Jessica @ Jessica Likes to Run! (aka Mom on the Run).  

How often do you have to/get to run in the rain? Because I do a lot of gym training, I would say that I only end up running in the rain once every couple of months.

Do you think carb loading before an ultra is a smart plan? Luckily I won't read your answers to this question until after my race tomorrow!

Does your area have any trail groups that make morning runs easier to coordinate? I'm so glad that we have one here in Birmingham. I would absolutely not go run trails at that time by myself. Basically, I never run trails by myself because of the safety stuff involved, so I'm happy about BUTS, in more ways than one.