Mohican 50 Miler Trail Race

Entering 2018, I had one goal in mind – to run a 50k. I never imagined that goal would quickly turn into a 50 miler. After running Big Turtle 50k in April, I sat down & realized I technically only needed 1 and/or 2 more 50k distance training runs to complete a 50 mile trail race. That same day I signed up for Mohican. The weeks leading up to race day passed by in a blink of an eye. I worked hard, rested & felt confident race morning. I wouldn’t necessarily say I set zero expectations considering my main goal was to finish. Still though, it’s no secret that we as competitors quietly set higher expectations for ourselves. 

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Race morning: I woke up at 3:00am, stretched, foam rolled & ate/drank my usual pre-race meal. After an hour and 20 minute car drive, my family and I arrived at Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio. I quickly said my goodbyes & walked over to the start line, where I ran into Erin. We stood closer to the back of the pack & were off at precisely 6:00am. 

Mile 1-27.3: The first few miles are always the same in any race – everyone’s trying to find their groove and where they feel most comfortable. I admit, I started out a smudge to fast. Since I refuse to take fault, I’ll blame it on the fact that we had to run on road until we entered the trails. Totally acceptable, right? I kid, I kid :).

Mohican is a race that will give you a little bit of everything: rolling hills, steep climbs/descents, rocks and roots & beautiful views. It’s easy to find yourself getting lost in the moment – which in return truly make the miles fly by. The first aid station was 4.1 miles in. At this point I had drunk 18 ounces of water & ate an entire bag of energy beans. Had I not needed to use the restroom, I would’ve run straight through onto the next. However, that wasn’t the case. Instead I waited 5+ minutes in line @ the porta john before moving on. Honestly, it was a pain in the rear. For future Mohican races, I do hope they add more than 1 porta john at all aid stations. It may be convenient for men to use the woods, but women surely can’t just hop, skip & jump into the woods to do their business. Nonetheless, I was only a fraction of the way done. I refilled my water bottle, ate a few slices of watermelon & headed back out. 

The next aid station was in 4.5 miles. During these miles I met a few guys. Here to find out the one literally lives right down the road from me. Small world! I listened to their stories & jokes. The next few miles involved sipping on another 18 ounces of water, and climbing a pretty large hill that my new friends & I cursed. Good times! 

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Just like that, we were at aid station #2. What a surprise when I saw a fellow trail buddy from Big Turtle volunteering behind the food/drink table. I said hi, grabbed m&ms, watermelon, filled my bottle with Heed orange & continued on. During the next 6.2 miles (one of the few longer stretches), I ran into Patty. We stayed together for a good while, chatted about life & soon enough made it to the covered bridge…not without making our way down the Pleasant Hill Dam Stairs (↑). Y’all are going to think I’m batshit crazy, but compared to other training runs in Mohican, these stairs didn’t feel so bad on this particular day. #win! Since I’d run this route with Shelly in the past, I knew we didn’t have too much more ground to cover until aid station #3 at the Covered Bridge. 

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The two of us made a quick stop to fill our bottles, grab some fuel & headed back out separately to conquer hills sandwiched in-between hills. This part of the course was new to me, and I surely wasn’t welcoming it with open arms. I ran majority of it, but walked the very steep hills. My legs and body were still surprisingly feeling good. The only annoyance was my bib coming undone time after time for a decent stretch. Weird, right? I don’t remember too much aside from feeling like the women were kicking a$$ considering there was a large group of us together. After another aid station & refill of water/food, I made it back to a little over the halfway mark @ Mohican State Park entrance. Joshua, the girls, Marcie, & Tiffany were waiting for me. They gave me such a warm welcome & came loaded with everything a ultrarunner could wish for. After applying icy hot to my feet, re-sunscreening, switching socks/shirts, eating/drinking, I finally headed back out to finish with a little less than a marathon in distance to go. 

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Mile 27.3-50.1: “Shit! Maybe stopping for longer than needed wasn’t in my best interest. Okay Jessie, it’s only 3.8 miles to the next aid station. Hopefully by then your legs will loosen up again”. If not exact, pretty darn close to my thoughts in that moment. The heat and humidity were at an all time high & my body had tightened up from taking that break. Anytime friends/family have asked about the race, I’ve mentioned it was mainly filled with highs but obviously mixed with lows. This was a low. I didn’t feel good. I swear in those few miles to the aid station, my shirt was nearly as drenched from sweat as the first 27.3 miles. I went through 18 ounces of water quick & the thought of food sounded horrible. However, in ultras you have to push through those feelings & continue hydrating properly. Once arriving @ the aid station, I was greeted by Marcie & Tiffany again. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to see anyone so it was quite the delightful surprise. I filled my water bottle, ate some energy beans, doused myself with water & continued on. (It takes hard work to look this good ↓↓:) )

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Hallelujah! Back to feeling normal again. Thank goodness because the rest of this run would’ve been miserable had things not of taken a turn for the better. I trucked along until making it back to the fire tower (it was 2 loops – 2nd one was shorter) where I was greated with familiar faces. Joshua & the girls, Marcie & Tiffany, Jenna, Chris & Braylon were all their waiting for my arrival with a smile on their face. Its moments like these that make you realize what a strong support system & friends you have. #blessed. We all chit-chatted for a little bit while I ate some of a turkey sandwich & some fruit. Made sure to fill my water bottle yet another time before making a right & heading back on the trail.

Alone is how I’d describe the next 4.5 miles. For the very first time all day I was by myself for majority of those miles. I would pass someone here & there, but for the most part no one was to be found. There was a moment I even second guessed whether or not I was still on the right path. As one could imagine, it was somewhat uneventful. I do remember smiling & feeling as if I was on cloud 9 when I realized how close I was to the covered bridge. At this point I’d run almost 38.2 miles. Mind-blowing! As awesome as it was to be @ the covered bridge a few moments later, I quickly realized what followed ahead – hillssss!!! Oh shit! By this time, the sun was beating down bad. I felt good, but knew the hills ahead would take a lot out of me. Which in the end, I was 100% correct. No matter how much walking took place up those steep climbs, it hurt.

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Photo Credit: Stuart Siegfried — A little after mile 40.

A little slower than the first loop, I made my way to the last aid station. The volunteers were exceptional & did everything in their power to make sure your needs were met. I again filled up with more water, ate some and headed out for the final push to the finish line – 6.3 more miles. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong!  My legs felt okay, but the humidity became hard to deal with. At this point, I would run until I either 1) passed someone or 2) came to a hill. This became my new race strategy. As I closed in on the finish line, I realized it was realistic to cross at 11 hours, 30 minutes & change. What I didn’t envision was the fact that I (along with many others) misread the last sign & had to turn back to where I messed up. After clearing up the confusion, I ran the .25 miles out & back. I still managed to finish in 11:35 and change. **Note: I originally ran just as far as the others, but on the opposite side of the road.**333

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Post race I was surrounded by my family, Jenna, Chris & Braylon. As I inched closer to the finish line (the first time), my eyes filled with tears. I’ve run many races in my past, but none have compared to this one. It’s a great feeling to know that all those early mornings & early nights had paid off. I also need to mention Joshua. I am forever grateful for all he does during training cycles. He’s my biggest supporter & would do anything so I can achieve my goals. Never complains & turns into super Dad x infinity at races. So Joshua, thank you my love ♥.

“What’s next?” seems to be the reoccurring question. First, I’m taking a couple of weeks off from high mileage runs & giving my body the adequate amount of rest it needs. Next, I’ll start training for Marine Corps Marathon which is on October 28th. As for trail runs, I do have my eyes set on a 100 miler come next spring. Always forward – never back.

 

FINAL TIME: 11 HOURS & 35 MINUTES. 10TH FEMALE OVERALL. 43RD OVERALL.

 

  • Feel free to leave a comment or message me (jessierene21@gmail.com) if you have any questions. 🙂
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Big Turtle 50k Training – Week 8

Oh hey there, Monday! You sure do like to sneak up on us, don’t you? This week was filled with highs and lows – both on the road & off. Ninety percent of my workouts were solid, and the remainder 10 percent were mediocre.

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Monday: 6 easy road miles

Met up with Allison & Lynsey at 4:45 for 6 easy road miles. Aside from the temperature drop (Come on, Spring! Everyone misses you!), this run in particular was great. Considering it had been well over a year since I’d seen Lynsey, it was so nice for the three of us to catch up.

6 miles @ 9:09mm

Tuesday: Back/Arms/Abs

Back

One-hour of back, arms & core. Considering what was to come later in the week, I’m fairly happy I was able to complete a longer upper body workout on this particular day. Another win? I upped my weights between 2-5 pounds on almost all exercises. The sense of becoming stronger & more fierce is such a great feeling. By no means does it live-up to a runners high, but it’s still awesome!

Wednesday: Hills → 2 mile warm up, 12 x 1 minute uphill @ HM pace (recovery in between is jogging back down), 2 mile cool down.

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Amy was kind enough to join me @ Hoover at an ungodly hour (4:45) for hill repeats. Her workout was slightly different, but it was still nice to have company. We started with a 2 mile warm-up together & then went our separate ways. Surprisingly, I felt pretty strong throughout the hill repeats. By no means are hill repeats easy, but the saying ‘hills are speedwork in disguise’ couldn’t be truer. We met back up after completing hills for a 2 mile cool down.

Thursday: Chest/Shoulders Yoga

Woke up feeling unmotivated and tired. Decided to listen to my body, forego strength and stick with Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown video later in the day. It was the perfect rest day workout. Felt great to stretch my sore muscles out.

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Friday: 6 easy road miles. 

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After literally going back & forth with my exact workout plans for Friday, I decided to wake my booty up early (as usual) and run with Jenna & Marcie. The run was so much fun. The three of us laughed, caught up and… ran faster than planned. Whoops! Marcie, I’m blaming you. I kid, I kid! I’ll hold myself responsible 🙂 :).

6 easy miles @ 9:09mm

Saturday: 16 easy road miles

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This run… ay yi yi! I woke up at 4:00 to eat, stretch & foam roll. I knew the moment I crawled out of bed this run was not going to be a favorite. My stomach was incredibly upset. I prayed it’d ease up as I continued to fully wake up, but unfortunately it never occured. I remember telling Allison during the first 6 miles that my legs felt like concrete blocks & something just seemed off (stomach issues). I met up with Marcie, Tamara & Bethany for the last 10. As much fun as I have with these ladies, I truly just wanted the run to be over. Tamara and I broke off at mile 13 to add in 4 MP miles, before one last recovery mile.

16 easy road miles @ 8:57mm

Sunday: Legs Rest

Remember that upset stomach I dealt with yesterday? Yup! It lasted all day long & lingered into mid-morning. Whatever it was (something I ate? stomach bug?), I’m very happy it’s gone! I admit – I’m a wimp! I hate being sick & will complain to Joshua more than necessary. Haha!

Thoughts & Other Happenings: This week was a mix of good and bad. I’m disappointed hardly any strength training occured, but life happens. I have no time in my life to dwell on what if’s or what could have been. Things happen for a reason & I’m truly blessed my legs and body continue to carry me through these long runs and workouts.

In my previous blog post I mentioned I’d be running this weeks LR on trails. Change of plans! Since I have 24 trail miles this upcoming weekend, there was no reason to exhaust my legs two weeks in a row. Especially since I have two upcoming races this month.

  • If you have any questions, concerns, etc…emails are always welcome (jessierene21@gmail.com). 
  • Are you racing this weekend?

 

Until next time, ♥

Jessie Rene’

Big Turtle 50k Training – Week 7

Happy Tuesday, beautiful people! I apologize for posting todays post a little late. I started writing & got side tracked by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’m unsure about you, but reality TV always pulls me in. All that girl drama – ay yi yi! I know their wealthy, but you’d think it would get old after a while always bringing someone a gift EVERY TIME you visit each other. How many bottles of wine, flowers or what not does one person really need?

Alright, enough about that & more about my workouts for the week… unless you want to talk about Real Housewives. If so, I’m game 😉

bigturtle

Monday: 5 easy road miles + 5*15 sec strides + arms/abs

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5 easy miles @ 9:40mm on the treadmill. My calves were a little tight in the beginning after Saturdays long run & leg day on Sunday. Thankfully they loosened up as the run went on. I did make sure to continue stretching in between sets once I moved to weights.

Tuesday: Chest and Abs

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Wednesday: 2 mi wu, tempo intervals 3 x (12 min HM, followed by 4 min easy), 1 mi cd

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After a late night & morning scare (no worries, everything is okay), I decided to skip my morning workout in favor of extra sleep. However, this meant a late afternoon run when Joshua got off work. Seeing how 90% of the time I exercise in the morning, it’s always a bit of an adjustment for me to really get motivated in the afternoon… especially after chasing the girls around majority of the day. Come 3 o’clock, Im exhausted & ready to relax.

Unfortunately, dreams and goals aren’t achieved by making excuses. Joshua met me at 4:00 & I completed above workout. Overall, the run felt great. Only negative was the temperature. I run very warm & man did it heat up quickly.

8.74 miles @ 8:43mm

Thursday: OFF

Thursdays are booked for either a full day of rest, shoulders or yoga. Today I decided on a full day of rest. My body was tired & I was mentally drained from a scare the day before.

Friday: 5 easy road miles

Amy & I made plans earlier in the week to run together. We ‘slept in’ and didn’t start until 5:30. It was glorious . Rain was in the forecast – but thankfully we were able to dodge it until mile 4. We kept the conversation and pace easy.

5 miles @ 8:50mm

Saturday: 22 easy road miles

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One good thing about not training for a marathon, or even to Boston Qualify, is my stress-level. Since my 50k (31 miles) will be on trails, speed is no longer my main concern. Obviously, I have a certain time goal, but I’m not allowing it to interfere with my training runs. I’ve been able to wake up before all my long runs without any pressure or anxiety about whether or not I’d hit my paces. Funny enough, I’ve  had some of best long runs this cycle. I’ve also noticed that I still have plenty of gas left in my tank after completing said amount of miles. It’s all rather refreshing.

Like last week, I woke up at 3:00AM to eat (one slice of toast with jelly, and one with peanut butter), foam roll & stretch. I met Chris in Gahanna around 5:00 for 22 miles. We both couldn’t believe how quickly and easy the miles passed by. It’s so easy to forget how many rolling hills & inclines the Gahanna/New Albany area has. We met up with our other friend, Lisa around mile 7. It had been a little while since we’ve run, so it was so nice to catch up for the short amount of time we were together.

The remainder of our run was awesome. I have to admit – the two of us felt like bada$$es running up an incline for almost 2 miles in pouring down rain, wind & still maintaining a decent pace. The last four miles of our run ended up being four of our quickest. Mile 22 was an 8:30 pace.

22 miles @ 9:19mm

Sunday: Legs

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legday

Another day – along leg day. I woke up with tight calves, but nothing a little foam rolling & stretching couldn’t help. I spent about 50 minutes on legs this morning & finished with my usual Sunday 10 minute massage.

Thoughts & other happenings: I mentioned last week how I’ve changed my fuel to the Gatorade Chews & had great success, but wasn’t sure if it was just a coincidence. I’m happy to report that I truly believe I’ve found my new favorite fuel for long runs. This obviously not be enough on trails, but road runs – yes. I also had to invest in yet another new pair of running shoes. My blue Brooks Levitates are almost already maxed out. Sticking with what works, I purchased the same shoe but in black. Their pretty slick. 🙂

This upcoming weekend I’ll be back on trails – weather permitting. Considering it hasn’t happened since Rocks & Roots 30k, I’m pretty stoked! 🙂

 

Until next time,

Jessie Rene ♥

Big Turtle 50k Training – Week 6

Hi there! I apologize for lacking in training posts the past few weeks. Between traveling to Pennsylvania for the Eagles Super bowl parade & a couple of hectic weeks, my writing has unfortunately fell to the wayside. I pray one day this little space of mine will become more of a priority. I am hoping to soon start sharing more: recipes, product reviews & life posts. Until then, I ask you bare with me & enjoy this ride of 50k training.

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Monday: 5 easy miles 1 hour & 15 minute yoga class with Jenna. 

Considering I just ran a 30k on trails in rough conditions the day before, I figured it’d be smart to REST. As much I despise yoga (I’ve tried multiple classes), I knew it would help stretch out any sore muscles. Thank goodness for good company (Hey, Jenna!) or I’m not sure I would’ve either of gone or finished the class. **Don’t tell anyone… but it did help some.**

Tuesday: 5 easy treadmill miles

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I was delightfully surprised at how awesome my legs turned over after Sunday’s 30k. Honestly, I figured my legs would feel tired and heavy. I kept the pace easy, read part of a magazine & found my happy place. If this run was any indication how the remainder of my week would go, I’d be golden!

5 easy miles @ 9:38mm

Wednesday: 8 min wu, 9 x (2min HP, followed by 1 min easy), 8 min cool down + 50 minutes of Arms & Abs

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arms and abs

I usually don’t do strength training the same day as speedwork, but having pushed back my workouts & changing my normal rthym, I really had no choice. The only question was – which one to do first. I started with speedwork, this way I had full energy incase I became tired from arms/abs. Both workouts were a success. Each week that passes by in this training cycle, I’ve felt stronger and stronger. Thank you #runof1.

5 miles @ 8:51mm

**Note: As I continue lifting, there are days where I do 3 sets of 12, and others where I do 3 sets of 8 but heavier. This particular day, I did a mixture**

**Note2: Anytime you see (**) next to 2 exercises, it stating complete a superset.

Thursday: 35 minutes of Back + 10 minute massage

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Saved an easy strength day for Today. I slept in (aka 5:00AM) and was in and out of the gym in no time – after a quick 10 minute massage. Thank you Planet Fitness for offering this ammendity to PF Black Card holders. It’s a lifesaver!

Friday: 5 easy road miles

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I had every intention on running outside today, but the weather was crappy. Crappy as in thundering, and pouring down rain. No thank you! I was thankful to of gotten back home from the gym before it was too bad. If you know me well enough, you know I HATE driving in rain where I can’t see. So much I’ll be the first one to cancel on any workout. Not the nicest thing to do to someone, but it terrifies me. Let this be a learning lesson to any locals :).

5 easy miles @ 9:41mm

Saturday: 20 easy road miles

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Strong and invincible are two words to describe how I felt on todays run. The morning started with a 3:00 wake up to eat my usual pre-long run fuel (2 slices of toast – one with jelly & the other with peanut butter), + glass of lemon water. I foam rolled, stretched & eventually headed to Westerville. In Westerville I met up with Allison, Marcie & Chris. The four of us ran the first 10 miles together before Chris & I split off (Allison & Marcie started beforehand) to finish 10 more.

Todays run was one where you knew from the very beginning it was going to be awesome. I felt great from the first step I took. The miles and conversation with everyone flew by. I made sure to fuel at miles 5, 10, and 15. I actually decided to try out Gatorade Prime Fruit Punch Energy Chews for the first time. Having never used this fuel throughout any full long run, I can’t say whether or not this had anything to do with my energy levels or if it was indeed a concidence. I am looking forward to using them again on my 22-miler next weekend.

Chris & I did a great job maintaing an easy pace of around 9:30 with our last mile being an 8:43 (still comfortable pace).

20 miles @ 9:26mm.

Sunday: 50 minutes of Legs

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legs

I’ve been questioned multiple times whether or not leg day after my LR is the best choice. Why yes, yes it is. Hear me out….

My legs take a while to recover after leg day. It’s usually a solid 2-3 days. So if I were to do it on Monday, I feel it’d be affecting my speedwork. Any later in the week is far too close to my weekly long run. Sunday just makes most sense. Eighty to ninety percent of the time I feel good the day after said LR. Everyones body is different & what works for someone, may not always work for someone else. It’s all about trial and error in figuring out what’s best for YOU.

Quote of the day → “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”. -Pele

 

Until next time ♥,

Jessie Rene

Rocks and Roots 30K Race

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

My longest trail race to date – 18.6 miles, done and done! Although the trail conditions were less than stellar, I’m excited to know where I’m at and how I can continue to work on getting stronger for my upcoming 50k in April.

As I do with all long distance races, I drank a full glass of water & ate two slices of toast – one with jelly and the other with peanut butter three hours prior to start time. For this race in particular, I woke up at 5:00 to eat, stretch & foam roll. I’m always very precise the morning of. Since the trails were 45 minutes away, Joshua and I hit the road with plenty of time to spare. Thankfully so considering I forgot my Garmin (watch) & needed to make an emergency stop @ Walmart to grab another (Thanks for the idea, Faiza!)

We rolled into the parking lot around 7 and kept toasty in the car until 7:30 when we walked over to the starting line. I should add that I had a few sips of water & ate 4 dates a half hour before the race began. Also, thank you RRTRA/Fleet Feet Columbus for going beyond my wildest imagination providing us runners with a fire to keep warm and a great selection of fuel for before/during/after the race.

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

Eight o’clock came & we were off! I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that not all distances went out at the same time. For example; 50 milers started @ 6:00, 50k/40k/30k @ 8:00, 20k @ 8:15 and 10k @ 8:30. It was exceptionally nice having less traffic while maneuvering on trails covered with snow & ice. The course is comprised of two single track 10k loops. For everyone familiar with Rocks & Roots, we ran the North Loop first followed by the South Loop & repeated until our distances were complete (north, south, north).

In all honesty, majority of the first 10k loop was mentally hard. My body felt great, but I just wasn’t feeling the race. I wish I knew the reason, but theres none. I’ll continue chalking it up to the early miles & beginning to warm up. It’s funny considering my first 10k loop was my fastest. I even went back & fourth quitting after I made it back. Thankfully, those feelings eventually subsided as I was approaching the 2nd loop route. Right before beginning my 2nd loop (this time on the south trail), I quickly stripped some layers, ate dates (preferred choice of fuel), and drank water.

First 10k split: 11:46mm

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

2nd loop → Hallelujah! I’m really enjoying myself! The south trail was less icy, but extremely swampy. Surely made for difficult running at times, but overall was an absolute blast! The next 10k flew by. I met a nice gentleman around mile 8 who kept me company at multiple times throughout the race. It was nice hearing his story & what inspires him, how he fuels & recovers during/afternoon ultra marathons…. seeing how I’m a newbie to ultras (in training) & all.

At mile 10 I stopped for a cup of Gatorade & swedish fish — which froze quickly & carried on. Because of the swampy conditions, my pace did suffer. It’s not easy peasy powering through mud and puddles. It was this moment when I was really regretting not owning a pair of YakTrax. I imagine they would’ve come in handy. You live & learn!

Second 10k split: 12:22mm

Oh hey, 3rd loop! Back to the South loop I go. After refueling with 3 more dates, I headed out for my third and final loop of the day. I started out alongside another girl, which was a nice change considering I had been running solo for a good while. It also happened to start hailing & raining soon after. Sure makes for an interesting & fun end to any race. Said girl & I were surprised the trail was just – if not – icier than the first time around. I was apparently wrong thinking the ice would’ve been broken down from everyone running on it. Ah well! 🙂

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

I don’t remember exactly what mile it was, but there was a moment where we had to cross a stream. Seeing how all my trail runs lately have been @ Rocks and Roots, I’m quite familiar with the set-up. What I’m not familiar with or accustomed too are when the rocks and logs that assist you to the other side become icy (plus a rope). On top of poor conditions, I lack balance (oddly enough I was once a great cheerleader & gymnast). Three steps left & BAM! I slipped. Thankfully I was able to catch myself before landing on my booty. I forgot to mention getting down to the stream crossing was almost all ice. Surprised I didn’t fall – which I’m crediting to the ropes.

Don’t believe for a second this was my final fall. Two miles later I fell down another decline. This one hurt for a few minutes. After regaining my composure & cursing multiple words, I decided it was best to proceed. With 2.5 miles to go, I found myself next to the same gentleman from earlier. We walked up some inclines (couldn’t handle another fall) and chit-chatted about our families. It was a great distraction from my back that began hurting at the very end. No matter how hard I attempted to remain upright throughout the race, it wasn’t always practical.

As I turned the final corner, I was overwhelmed with a sense of happiness & success. I went into the race with no expectations other than to finish, have fun & end without regrets. I’m happy to report that I achieved all three. To see my husband at the finish line (video tapping) with a huge smile on his face was the perfect ending. I truly am blessed to be married to such an amazing man who is nothing but supportive. Theres no way I could do what I love without him. Those early morning long runs when he takes care of the girls – that’s something that means the world to me. ♥

Photo: Robb McCormick Photography - https://www.robbmccormick.com

There were countless moments during this particular race that I became lost in the moment with the beauty of the course & the fog that surfaced over the surrounding lake. It was surreal like. I also need to mention the volunteers. For them to take time out of their day, work in these conditions & remain chipper, was so kind. Without them & the race association, theres no way any race could be as successful as they are.

Pace: 12:26mm — Overall Time: 3:51:43 — 1st in age group, 2nd female, and 16th overall. 

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Real quick summary of fueling DURING race: 6 dates consumed, swedish fish & m&ms → water, gatorade, water, gatorade 

What I’ll change: More fluids (obviously), plus added fuel *whole foods would be my choice* I’m also looking forward to reading more about fueling during ultra’s online. Theres no such thing as too much knowledge. 

Thanks for stopping by. I’m hoping to share this past week worth of workouts with y’all tomorrow or Wednesday.

P.s. Thank you Chris and Braylon for staying after your own races to support me. It friends like you both that remind me how wonderful this running community truly is!

♥,

Jessie Rene’

Big Turtle 50k Training – Week 3

Ay yi yi – what a week of training, or should I say what has felt like non-existent training. It’s funny since that’s not particularly the case. I stuck to all but one run, but strength training definitely fell to the wayside a tiny bit. I mentioned last week that my household has been dealing with sicknesses all winter long. Unfortunately, it once again extended over to another week. As of right now, it’s showing no signs of changing. Womp womp! Anyways, heres what workouts I did and did not do…

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Monday: 4 easy road miles + back and bis

Pressure in my face, sore throat & running nose had me cooped up inside for the day. I could’ve ignored it all, but chose listening to my body was the better idea.

Instead of a workout photo, here’s one of my dinner. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup!

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Tuesday: Back & Biceps + 30 minute stationary bike

Everyone has their favorite body part to work – mine in particular is back & biceps. It’s funny because once upon a time ago legs and abdominals were #1. This workout took me around 40 minutes to complete and I was even able to up my weights by a few pounds on each exercise. Pretty surprising considering I was still feeling under the weather. I did however nix my 30 minute stationary bike ride. No distinct reason other than not feeling up to it.

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Wednesday: 8 mile tempo run: 2 mi wu, 5 mi @ 8:13mm, 1 mi cd

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Met up with Allison for our weekly speedwork on the treadmill date. It was actually perfect considering roads were a tad icy that morning. I won’t lie – it took me a few minutes to get going. I literally stood there for a solid 2-3 minutes complaining. Ha! Nonetheless, this workout turned out to be pretty solid. My legs felt fresh & I had no problem nailing the paces.

Thursday: Chest/Tri/Abs + 30 minutes stationary bike

Second time this week where a workout just didn’t happen. All my dearest friends know I’m a wimp at driving in poor weather. Unsure if the roads were slick first thing in the morning, I planned to lift and ride later in the day. Unfortunately I became more busy as the day went on. The day truly got away from me. Before I knew it, it was 7PM and I was finally getting a chance to sit down and relax.

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Friday: 14 easy miles on trail. (Recycled photo ↓)

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My oh my! The trails were a mess – but so much fun. My friend, Chris was nice enough to meet me for an afternoon long run. We hit Rocks & Roots around 1:30 and embraced whatever condition the course threw our way. The pace was a bit slower than I originally set out for, but it was hard to go any quicker while dodging mud, water puddles & swamp like surroundings. Slower or not – we had a blast & got to know each other a little bit better (second time running together).

Saturday: 4 easy miles

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I had all anticipation of waking up sore as heck after Friday’s trail run, but to my astonishment I felt great. Hallelujah!! My sweet, supportive & loving husband (who is training for the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon), joined me for 4 easy recovery miles. It was the first time we had the chance to run together since before Chicago (October). No matter what we’re doing, I always feel incredibly blessed for our alone time. It’s such a great way to catch up, talk & share extra laughs.

Sunday: Leg/Calves + Abs

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**Cursing every other word** I undeniably jinxed myself. A day and 1/2 is all it took to start feeling sore after trail running. Some may call me an idiot (I partially agree. Haha!), but I still proceeded to finish the weekend strong with.. wait for it… leg day!! Instead of going heavy on weights as planned, I kept it light with higher reps. I finished todays workout with a small amount of core work, stretching & a quick massage.

Thoughts: It’s mind-boggling, yet exciting & thrilling that I’m already three weeks into 50k training. I literally had to double check my planner that I was indeed entering week four. I feel myself getting stronger – and aside from following a great running plan, I credit the continuous days of strength training. It’s easy as runners to quickly eliminate the weight room when our mileage picks up. However, coming from someone who is quite injury prone (blah!), I’ll be the first to admit the power, speed & overall strength that comes from it.

  • What is your favorite body part to work?
  • How many miles do you peak at?

Big Turtle 50k Training – Week 2

What a week! Even though the past days were filled with bad weather & tons of shoveling, I had a feeling my exhaustion spurred from fighting off a potential cold. Just so happens, I was 100% correct. Unfortunately, it was more like → Jessie: 0 & Cold: 1. This season has been less than kind to my family. I swear the four of us are just passing germs around left and right. Tired or not, I’m very grateful my training performance was hardly affected. With that being said, here’s a look at running and strength training this past week.

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Monday: 4 easy road miles + Chest/Triceps

I was hoping to sleep in this day since Joshua had off from work, but the weather had other plans. With snow making it’s way to Columbus, I headed to the gym around 4AM to beat the storm. Thankfully I got there and finished when I did because man the roads were getting slick on my way home.

The run portion of todays workout was good. I experienced some discomfort in my knee during the beginning of the run but it eased up as the miles went on. I don’t mind treadmills one bit, but the thought of running outside was definitely on my mind. Preferably running outside in warmer temperatures without snow.

4 easy miles @ 9:41 average

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Tuesday:  Shoulders  and Abs

Nope, didn’t happen. I woke up tired and knew it’d be best to get extra sleep and rest. I thought about completing this workout on Wednesday, but as you’ll see further down that idea was nixed. Something I’ve learned over the years is not to push my body just because. If I need an extra rest day, I’ll take it. One workout certainly is not going to change everything.

Wednesday: Trail Hill Day: 2 mi w/u, 4 x400m hill repeats (all out effort) w/ 3 minute rest in between, 1 mi c/d

I went into this run full of confidence & thinking it sounded easier than what it actually was. Running at an all out effort @ 5% incline for .25 miles is tiring. I certainly needed those 3 minutes of rest in between each repeat. Coming from a person who regularly enjoys hills, I couldn’t decide if I had a love/hate relationship on this particular day. Haha! No worries, I’m still a fan! 🙂

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Thursday: Back, Biceps and Abs

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Friday: 5 easy road miles

Pure happiness as this was my first outdoor run in a couple of weeks. I met up with Amy for 5 miles. For all the miles we have run together in past training cycles, I’m honestly surprised how long it’s been since we met up for a run. We see each other every week, but never have enough time to talk longer than 5-10 minutes. It was super nice to catch up and share some laughs.

Saturday: 12 easy road miles

I met up with two friends, Jenna & Chris later in the morning (7AM never felt so glorious). The three of us started near German Village and made up the route as we went. Between hills, construction, and dodging ice, we still managed to average an overall pace 9:19mm. (Chris continued for 6 more after dropping Jenna & I off)

Even though this run felt too easy, my hardest and biggest task right now is to keep my easy pace between 9:30-10:00. Cheers to slowing down & making it happen!

12 easy miles @ 9:19 average

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Sunday: Legs and Calves

I’m always unsure how my legs will feel after running long the day prior, but so far so good. Finding a day to squeeze in legs during training has always been troubling for me. Like many people, DOMS usually affects me hardest two days after leg day. Since I have speed/hills on Wednesdays, Monday would be cutting it too close. As would later in the week because of running longer miles over the weekend.

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Thoughts: Aside from a little knee irritation (I blame the cold weather & treadmill running), I’m feeling strong and healthy. For someone who continuously struggles with the mental aspect of running, it’s nice feeling a sense of confidence for once. Keep your fingers crossed this continues up until Big Turtle & beyond.

 

Until next week,

♥ Jessie Rene