I signed up for a 50 mile race! I’ve never run a race longer than an 11 mile obstacle course, I don’t particularly enjoy long distance running, and I’m certainly not a type A personality that would be a real benefit for races like this. I’ll be honest here.. I don’t know what I’m doing! I will figure it out though. Reasons for signing up:
“Ultrarunning isn’t about seeing how fast you can go, but how far you can go”
- Because I might not be able to do it: A marathon would be too easy. Not in the sense of doing it fast, or of getting a good time. I know that I wouldn’t. But I know that I could finish it, and that it wouldn’t be that challenging to do so. I’m confident I could slog through 26.2 miles, even if it sucked. I’m intrigued by the 50 miler because I like a challenge, and it will be a huge physical and mental challenge for me.
- I can bring my dog! I had thought about moving up to a half ironman, but it was really hard for me over the summer to train for even a sprint tri. My dog just can’t support me being away for that long, and in turn it affected my training schedule. Maya is a Husky / German Shepherd mix so she can run with me quite a bit.
- I will have to train in the winter. This is both a pro and a con. I know if I had to train this much in the summer I wouldn’t be able to do it because I love summer, and I like to travel around and I wouldn’t be focused. However, I also profoundly hate running in the winter, but at least this makes it feasible for me. It also makes it possible to bring my dog, because she would overheat with her heavy fur coat in the summer.
- The time is now. I’m in between sports, trying to make the switch from capoeira to jiu jitsu. I have more time on my hands, for a limited amount of time before making this switch.
- The race is in the Blue Ridge mountains with a lot of technical running and elevation gain. I grew up hiking and backpacking and have done a number of very challenging hikes spending over 15+ hours on the trail. I’m more attracted to a race that is in the mountains, and includes navigating rocky terrain. Bel Monte is 6,500ft of vertical gain.
Next up, starting to train! I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on to start developing a training plan. Many of the plans talk designing a plan according to already being in ‘marathon shape’. Nope. Certainly not. The race is in March, so I have 5.5 months to prepare. I found a beginner training plan here that I plan on using as the base, but changing it up a bit to make it more tailored to me. As soon as I read more advice and think more as to how to tailor a training plan to me.
There are way better sites out there about designing plans so I’m not even going to try to summarize. I’ll post later on a lessons learned from a beginner perspective. At least I did learn a lot from my triathlon and endurance training methods that I can incorporate. I will need to really think through my nutrition. I also did a test long run yesterday of 12 miles, as well as the week before for 8 to better gauge where I’m at and what a comfortable pace for me is to better inform my training plan. I was expecting to be at the 10:3o or 11 min mile range, so I was pleasantly surprised at my time. I felt good up until the last mile and a half which was really hard. I got a little waist belt for my water and phone to set in. I love it.