Tunnel Hill Training - Week Sixteen - The FINAL Week!

10:42:00 PM

The fact that week sixteen was upon me was entirely daunting.

I know I had said this a lot during the last couple weeks of training but it really did fly by. It really seems like just yesterday I was embarking on week ONE of training.

I had found my coach, she had sixteen weeks mapped out and we were just getting started, then the next thing I know we're both getting emotional in a booth at a restaurant in Vienna, IL the night before this race!

It was surreal, this last week of training was surreal. I tried my best to just take it all in, each and every mile was special and I tried to live each and every one. I was tapering and it was definitely getting to me, I was stressing about a lot and I was all over the place. Thankfully I had other things going on that would temporarily take my mind off of things!!

So let's jump on in and recap week SIXTEEN!

Day 1 : Monday 11-5-18

Day 2 : Tuesday 11-6-18

This day also happened to be election day. I was pressed for time, I had to go to work, I needed to get out and vote and I needed to run. I ended up running, rinsing off in the shower and taking the boys with me to vote! I knew Andrew wasn't going to be home in time for me to vote before work so I did what I had to do to get to the polls. The boys were excellent, they were quiet and the volunteers at our local polling place were so great with them! They even gave them stickers which they wore proudly the rest of the night! It was hard trying to explain what voting means to two kids under the age of 5 but in their own way I know that they got it, which is all I could ask for!

Day 3 : Wednesday 11-7-18

Oliver had a field trip so the cross training was done at a super speedy pace, fitting it all in was a priority so there isn't photographic proof of the workout but I promise that it happened! I was in dire need of doing something to work out and burn off the excess stress!

Day 4 : Thursday 11-8-18

4 extremely jittery miles! I was feeling the impending nervousness that is race day. I felt it to my bones!

Day 5 : Friday 11-9-18

16 weeks, 510 miles is what separates these two images. 
The photo on the left was taken day 1 of this training cycle and on the right is a photo from Friday's shakeout run.

Physically there really doesn't seem to be much a difference, but mentally I have become such a stronger athlete after these sixteen weeks. I have a stronger desire to tackle large goals, I have a better appreciation of my legs and what they are capable of and I now KNOW that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

Not going to lie, setting out on this sixteen week journey to a 50 mile ultramarathon scared the crud out of me. I wasn't entirely sure that I could do it, I was apprehensive but wanting. I knew that this was a goal I wanted to accomplish but I wasn't sure if it was in me to get through such a grueling training cycle. Then the weeks started compiling, the miles seemed less and less daunting. I got to the point where a 13/14 mile long run had me thinking, "oh thank goodness it's a short one this week!"

510 miles may not be a lot to many but to me it is the difference between the timid, scared, anxious Melissa and the determined, capable, unafraid Melissa.

Stay tuned for a full Tunnel Hill recap coming soon!


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