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Member of the Month - Liliaicha

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The Terminator asks: Yay for Lil, well done you, muchos deserved. I'm first to ask too so am going to ask two. One is my stock MOTM question. The drinks are on me, what are you having pre race, during race and post race? Sure I could guess one :-) Secondly I know you love the long distances now but do you think there is any chance of you deciding to go for that marathon PB again in the future?

Liliaicha says: Thanks TT :-) Pre race - tea, during race - water and high5 electrolyte, post race - anything alcoholic, G&T, glass(es) of wine although my favourite was 3 pints of Thatchers cider after the Giants Head Marathon.

Regarding the marathon, never say never, but training for a marathon PB just fills me with horror! Mainly because doing all the speed work just leads to injury, but when training for ultras I don't seem to have that problem.
mushroom asks: Congratulations on MOTM! What one useful bit of info / tip do you wish you'd been told before you started running, and then before you ran your first ultra?

Liliaicha says: Many thanks! Hmm interesting question, mainly because I just can't think of an answer! I have mainly learnt by my own mistakes all the way through, and nothing has been too much of a disaster! The main thing I didn't know, was how much it was all going to cost! I always thought running would be a cheap sport - no one told me how much kit I'd need (want!)
RichHL asks: Congratulations, Lil! What do you do for fun when you're not encouraging us to do our core exercises?

Liliaicha says: Thank you. For fun?? Isn't that what training is all about! Well, apart from that I love to travel, this year I've been to Iceland, Spain, France, and Turkey and have one more trip left before the end of the year. So, for "fun" I spend a lot of time researching cheap flights, new places to visit, fab hotels and restaurants - I love food and drink holidays! (Ps I haven't done any core work for about 6 months! :-o)
shanksi asks: Congratulations on a much deserved MOTM. Boring question - what's your favourite race and why?

Liliaicha says: Thanks shanksi, not a boring question at all :-) My favourite race would have to be the NDW100. The North Downs Way which runs through Surrey and Sussex is a wonderful trail, so varied and so beautiful too. The NDW100 is brilliantly organised by Centurion Running, and my training leading up to it went really well and my race went totally to plan (apart from miles 91-98 where I nearly fell apart). I got my sub24 100 miler here, and couldn't have been happier! When is mrs s coming down to run it with me? ;-)
Ted asks: Yo doll face. Ya a'right? What is your pies de resistance?

Liliaicha says: I'm brilliant at everything! These days cooking takes a back seat to running so I don't cook anything fancy at home, plus after cooking all day at work I'm pretty fed up with it by the time I get back! I did used to make a pretty awesome paella though!
Night-owl asks: Congrats on MOTM My question where do you go from here you've run 100miles (twice) Is it further, faster? or something completely different

Liliaicha says: Thanks night-owl, next year I will be aiming for faster! I have entered the SDW50 and NDW50 and hope to smash my PB and go sub 9. I love to do hilly races, and I don't really see myself getting much faster on the flat (I'm just too old!) I'm sure I'll do more 100s after that though.
Carpathius asks: Whoop, well done for MOTM! How do you fit ultra training around other things in life, and how far do you run on long runs for the different ultra distance training?

Liliaicha says: Thanks Carp. I actually fit my life around ultra training - it's much easier that way! Regarding the long runs, I did quite a few back to back long runs up to about 12/20 for 50 milers and 20/25 for the NDW100. I also do 20 milers, hilly marathons and other 30m/50k races as training runs.
Watford Wobble asks: I've only raced a few marathons but find mental strength my weakness. When I lose it mentally the body soon follows. How can I mentally train myself to push especially over the distances you cover?

Liliaicha says: Hmm...interesting question. I don't think I'm that mentally strong, more like unbelievably stubborn! It's not just about the distance and the training, it's about planning, decent kit, a good nutrition strategy, an obedient crew, great pacers, correct shoes for the terrain, course knowledge, etc etc. the combination of all these things gives me the confidence to push myself over the long distance.
Mr. K. asks: Congratulations on MOTM. What made you decide to run your first ultra?

Liliaicha says: Thanks Mr K. A nightmare run at the Abingdon Marathon actually pushed me towards ultras - I wanted a sub 3.50, but ended up with a 3.52 after having ITB problems. It was an 18min PB but I sulked for weeks! Somehow I came to realise that the NDW was only about 3 miles from my house, and started doing nice chilled out runs on there to cheer myself up! I was so sick of road running! Then I found out about the Pilgrims Challenge, entered, and the rest is history.....
Selenography asks: Congrats, Lil! Well deserved. What's the most valuable piece of advice you'd have for aspiring ultra runners out there?

Liliaicha says: Thanks SS. Look after your feet. Blisters are not badges of honor! They can ruin your race, at best you'll be running many painful slow miles and at worst you'll DNF. After putting in so many miles and hours of training you don't want to wreck your race with ill fitting shoes and unsuitable socks!
Bintmcskint asks: Hi Lil :-) Well done on your richly deserved MOTM

People have alreayd asked the serious running questions I wanted to ask so instead...if you had to live on just one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?


Liliaicha says: Bacon. Because it's AWESOME!
Baffins Runner asks: There are some major distances here !! Ultra's, 100m Crikey. How do you keep motivated for these distances? Surely some days you think "I can't be bothered" how do you pick yourself back up to achieve such milestones?

Liliaicha says: To be honest, I very rarely think "I can't be bothered", I'm often "too tired", but I know that once I'm out of the door everything will be ok. Setting myself tough goals keeps me going and on track with my training. I also enter other hilly marathons and 30mile/50k races as training runs, which gives me a chance to run with friends and in new places. I also like to enter ultras or marathons that have a 10k at the same time, this means that my OH and I can make a weekend of it and visit somewhere different.
Stevce asks: Well done Lilaicha, having seen you rush past me at Gosport half a few years back, to score a then PB, how are you able to push yourself above and beyond in order to reach your goals?

Liliaicha says: That is still my PB! I reach my goals by training hard, recovering properly, picking my races carefully and looking after myself in general -a good diet and regular massages.
Sunbed Athlete asks: Breaking the 24 hour barrier on the 100 mile race was that your intenetions? Well done on your MOTM award!!

Liliaicha says: Absolutely! 18 months of hard training!
mrs shanksi asks: Just wanted to say really well done! My question is did running the Highland Fling with me put you off running in Scotland forever? ;-). Hope to see you again soon x

Liliaicha says: Of course not! I loved running that race with you. Will definitely do the Fling! again, maybe 2015, wanna try for 10 hours with me?
emdee asks: Massively impressive run at the NDW100 aside, how much of a difference has coaching made to your running?

Liliaicha says: Not sure I can really put my 'massively impressive' run at the NDW100 aside! I can honestly say that coaching has made all the difference to my running. I can't even imagine even finishing a 100miler without all the help and advice I've had from James and Ian from Centurion Running.

Obviously I have still had to do all the hard work, but having a proper training plan has really helped motivate me and given me the confidence to do well and improve in leaps and bounds. Without the advice from my coaches, I would never have done any kind of speed work or power hiking, having a strong fast hiking pace helped me no end at the NDW100. They have helped me develop a nutrition strategy, given me advice on kit, helped me choose training races and told me off when I've chosen too many! They've helped me with recovery, and adjusted my plan accordingly when I've been ill or injured.

Having worked with them for 18 months now, I think they know me pretty well. They know I take longer than most to recover from a big race, and that I'll have dreadful DOMS. They know that when I promise I'll run when I'm on holiday I probably won't as I'll be eating and drinking too much!

I love having a flexible plan, achieving the training goals I've been set and setting other racing distance goals that I never would have thought possible!
RuthB2 asks: Do you have any race rituals or superstitions? and on an unrelated note, what's your favourite cheese?

Liliaicha says: Not really rituals as such, but if I'm staying in a hotel the night before a race then I lay my kit out all along the sofa in the order that I'm going to put it on in the morning. It really freaked London Nici out when we shared a room before a race!

I love ALL cheese, except mild cheddar which is utterly pointless! Any kind of sheeps milk cheese is probably my favourite.
oumaumau asks: Congrats on MOTM :) What tactics do you use to get you through the rough patches on a long race, and keep your eyes on the prize?

Liliaicha says: I tend to just keep reminding myself of how hard I've worked, and how much training I've done. I don't race very often so when I do I tend to be very focused (and incredibly stubborn!)
Silent Runner asks: Congratulations on MOTM :-) Very well deserved after your awesome sub 24 on the North Downs Way! Did you take any exciting midnight detours through the woods this year? Or did you do it the boring way and stick to the route? And how about an all-out assault on that 16 second 100 metres PB as your next challenge? I think it looks a bit weak...

Liliaicha says: Luckily no midnight detours this year as I had good observant pacers who didn't miss signage like miles of red and white tape or GIANT orange arrows on the ground so we didn't get lost!! ;-) I must admit that I didn't find the "not getting lost" way of doing things boring at all! And as for my 16 second 100 meters PB, it may be weak, but it's the same as yours! Anyway, I'm sure I beat you that day, it's just that Gobi didn't give me the nod because he didn't want you to be upset at being chicked!
RFJ asks: Congratulations, well done on MOTM - Simple question, what is your prize at the end of the race in Food and Drink :-)

Liliaicha says: Sounds boring, but usually tea and whatever's on offer! Best recovery drink I've found so far is Thatchers cider, so I hope you'll be having a couple of pints with me after the Giants Head Marathon! The next day I tend celebrate with a MASSIVE fry up! :-)
HappyG(rrr) asks: Congrats on MotM and sub 24 for 100 miles. Awesome. So, why? Why 100 miles, why sub 24, why ultras, why running?! That's one question. And I'm not being flippant. I'm trying to get to something similar myself and I'm interested in your motivation and approach. Congrats again. :-)G

Liliaicha says: Thanks :-)G Why running? I had a bit of a midlife crisis at the age of 38, but while I've always been thin, I hadn't done any exercise for about 20 years. Walking was the easiest and cheapest option, so I did that for a while, but soon got bored, running was the obvious next step. So I started with a 5k, then 10k, then a half, then a marathon, and because I wasn't any good at them doing an ultra seemed like the obvious thing to do next. Why 100 miles? Because it's a long way. 50 miles to me was just twice a marathon, and I just didn't think that was enough of a challenge! Why sub 24? Because I wanted a buckle that said "100 miles in 1 day" :-) I am totally goal focused. I run because I love it, I love the trails, I love being on my own in the peace and quiet BUT I can't just run for the hell of it - I need tough goals to motivate me and I'm lucky to have a lot of time to train and a very understanding OH :-)
flip asks: Well done lil , much deserved. Now Hardmoors 110 (or 160), when?

Liliaicha says: Hmm....I keep promising don't I! Let's say Hardmoors 60 next year (maybe), 110 the year after that (maybe) and the 160? Well, who knows!!

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