Frenetic Fitness

fre·net·ic /frəˈnetɪk/ done very fast and with a lot of energy, often by someone who is in a hurry.

More Than I Can Chew

You’re at a buffet, one of those fancy buffets with steamed crab legs and prime rib, so you fill your plate with everything that looks good.  Do you keep eating until you hurt and have to unbutton your eatin’ pants or do you quit before your stomach looks like an overinflated beach ball? What is the clue that maybe, just maybe, you have bitten off more than you can chew?

Late last year when I decided I was going to attempt the Ouachita 50k, I didn’t immediately set out on a training schedule to maximize my “feet on dirt & rocks” time. For a few weeks I kept doing what I’ve always done, a lot of circuit training with a mix of interval cardio sessions and strength training. I did very little long steady state cardio, occasionally running or biking when weather and time permitted. It is winter after all and though the weather is typically moderate here, it was often the availability of time that kept me from going on multi-hour runs or rides. So about 15 weeks ago I started on a marathon schedule, but keeping mainly to the once a week long runs, while incorporating more of the same circuit training/sprints/short tempo runs during the week instead of shorter mileage runs. I’m not sure if this has backfired on me or not. I’ve been running a route that is not the race route because it is more convenient and less isolated. This weekend I went out and tried the actual race route including  up and over the boulder scramble on Pinnacle Mountain.


The next challenge would be up the hill to the Vista over Lake Maumelle at about mile 9 where I stopped to fuel and take in the view of Pinnacle in the distance.


The first couple of miles was slowed by the steep descent and ascent from the trail head to the scramble then up and over Pinnacle Mountain but coming down from the Vista, I was still feeling strong. And then it went to hell. On the return I started having some pain in my knee. It has happened before but not recently. I just got new shoes so that’s not the issue and this time it was definitely unilateral. The pain slowed my pace to a hike for much of the return trip and the same mileage I had accomplished the week before on a different trail took more than an hour and a half longer to complete. Am I out of my gourd? What have I done? Can I do this? I’m still only doing about half the mileage of the race and having issues like this, what will race day bring? I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Maybe I shouldn’t have put the extra crab rangoon on my plate.


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10 thoughts on “More Than I Can Chew

  1. Great post! Reading it reminded me of all of the fears and worries I had when training for my 50k. You will be just fine! On race day you will be distracted and full of adrenaline, and now you know what to expect with the race route.

    I would rest your knee, and then try for another trail run this weekend. Good luck!

  2. Lisa on said:

    Thanks. I’m not panicking yet. The time limit for the race is such that I shouldn’t have a problem finishing unless I collapse. God forbid. Every run is a teaching moment. This one taught me to lace my shoes tighter. I’m down to 8 toenails.

  3. One foot in front of the other. Don’t forget that.

    When I start to feel the insanity of what I’ve gotten myself into, I know there is going to be major payoff in the end. There has to be a little crazy otherwise you wouldn’t attempt to do things others wouldn’t. It’s what makes you special.

    You will do this. You might leave little parts of you on the trail, but isn’t that what it’s about. Maybe go run your favorite trail and remind yourself why you love to run.

  4. Remember that time when you told me to shut that voice inside of my head up? Yeah, you need to shut that lying, stupid voice up. I will be suffering right beside you the whole way and it will be fun! WE WILL BECOME ULTRA TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!

    Lol, this weekend when I was cursing myself for signing up for the marathon I thought: “I wish Lisa was here being miserable with me…” I’m not sure why we wish such awful things on each other, but I can’t wait to be miserable with you!

  5. I’ve faced similar questions, so I’ve been playing it safe, gradually working up to bigger lengths. But I’ve got a big test coming up in a couple weeks. Three hours on my feet, all rugged singletrack. No injury issues yet. But we shall see.

    Best of luck in dealing with the twinges and getting your mileage up. From the pics you posted, it looks like a fantastic course!

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