After my lame drop in the Sioux Falls Marathon, which I don’t really regret because it was too hot for me that day, I’m back in training.
Yesterday I signed up for a trail 50K. I’ve never done a trail run or an ultramarathon, so this will be all new, all the time. I’m not all that sure how to train differently for a 31-mile race than a 26.2-mile race. I mean, it’s not really that much longer. But I feel like I need at least one or two long long runs, as in longer than a marathon.
So, that’s what I’m working toward, along with my friend Chris who also signed up.
Technically, my husband Philip is in training, too, because this means many more Saturday mornings where he is a solo parent — and then many mid-mornings where he turns into a short-order cook for tired and hungry runners. (Hey, he always offers … and who can turn down omelets?)
So thanks, husband.
On Friday, we all tried to figure out how to get in 22+ miles, preferably on gravel. It turned out that running from Sioux Falls to Baltic again was the best choice. So that night we dumped a car in Baltic.
And on Saturday, Chris and I started at about 5:30 a.m. We spent about 8 miles weaving through town, and then hit the gravel. Christine met us around mile 12 with Gatorade and fresh conversation.
It was a beautiful, crisp morning. And the run felt like two separate ones — one in the dark on pavement, one in the sunrise on gravel. It felt less daunting to sort of break it up that way.
And mostly, it felt easy. We maintained a super steady pace of around 8:50, and finished with just over 22 miles. Perfect. I ended up running in compression shorts, which I’ve never done, and now love. I don’t care if I’m almost 40 and probably too old for them. LOVED them. And a cycling jersey, which was awesome to keep gels in the back pockets. Now I understand why some of my friends run in cycling jerseys. It was great and didn’t ride up or bounce at all.
I carried a water bottle, but I also bought a Nathan backpack that I hope to try this week. I need a different way to carry water, and I hate those fuel belts for your waist. We’ll see. Some of the water stops on the 50K course are unmanned, so I guess you are supposed to carry some of your own? I have no idea what I’m getting into.
But I’m doing the training for it. I re-started (again) push-ups, and did 200 of them Monday. I’m teaching two spin classes a week. And I’m trying to run about 50 miles or more each week. So far, so good. (Except my left achilles … .)
Chris and I have vowed to run more hills — we’ve been lazy with lots of long, flat runs.
Philip seems completely on board with this whole ultra thing.
I signed up yesterday based on that 22-miler Saturday. This week, we’ll do our long run in two parts on Thursday, partly based on work schedules. Hoping to end up around 25 for the day. I’m telling myself that’s OK, because part of training is just running while tired a lot, to get used to it. And I know running 10-12 miles after work — and after doing 12-15 that morning — means I will definitely be practicing running tired.
But I’m also open to any and all suggestions for training for an ultra.