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I’m running the Big Bend 50 ultra marathon next week

January 8, 2015

250px-Solitario_PeakThis will be my first ultra marathon. Last year I ran my first 10k, first half marathon, and first marathon. And oddly, I haven’t blogged a whole lot about this whole “going to run an ultra” thing. Too much to do, too much to think about. It makes it hard to sit down and write.

But my 50 mile ultra marathon is in 10 days. I’ve done the training plan – mostly. It worries me that a busy life has kept me from completing all of it, and my mental fortitude hasn’t sustained enough to make me do ALL of it. But I’ve done a lot. That’s more than I have ever done before: I have never TRAINED before. Never practiced week in and week out, until now. So there’s a huge step (ha) forward.

I’m tapering right now, which means my run times have gotten way shorter. Still not SHORT, but shorter. Eating well, resting up.

Looking back at hubris

As recently as August, I didn’t want to run on a training plan. Which must mean that some time in September or October I discovered the Big Bend 50, set my heart on it, and switched to the training plan. That’s a pretty quick turnaround, but I said at the time, my opinions could well be inexperience talking.

I’m keeping some of the same basic idea: paying close attention to my body. But I’ve also noticed that my body and mind both are lazy bastards, and they sort of need to be bullied into making real strides (ha) forward. I can tell that I haven’t put 100% into this training plan, and as a result, my first 50 miler is going to be a competition just not to be disqualified for taking too long. (There are cutoff times, after which you’re out of the race. The halfway point has a 7.5 hour cutoff time, which would be fine, but it’s all uphill!)

Looking ahead

Okay, so, discipline is a Thing I Am Working On. And again, I’ve made huge strides already. But after a good long rest, post-ultra, I expect I’m going to need a new goal, a new plan, and a new set of strategies.

Running isn’t the problem. It’s running structured, running harder, running faster. It’s running intervals and uphills. You know: actual training.

Back to the race

So, Big Bend 50. I have food and gear. I have a team (though they can only get to me at the beginning, end, and halfway point). No, I don’t have a pacer, and that might suck.

I have cold weather to think about, and layers of clothes, and a set of running bras which are all in various degrees not ideal. I have sunglasses. First aid stuff. Music. A bandana with the goal times and cutoff times written on it. I have a need to lay out everything and try to simplify as much as possible.

Whoo. It’s coming.

-J

Edit 1: People are calling me crazy, I think in a kind, “I could never imagine doing this” kind of way. I can only point you to what I’ve heard on the Reddit ultramarathon sub: “Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultra.”

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2015 3:26 pm

    Best of luck, sounds like an amazing adventure. If you take it slow and steady, it doesn’t have to be (that much) worse than a marathon. But it can certainly be a lot more fun.

  2. January 9, 2015 7:54 am

    What training plan did you use? I find it very difficult finding training plans for ultra’s

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