Day 2 – My Ultra Journey

I’m going ultra. I’ve decided to run a 50 mile ultramarathon. Have not picked a time or location yet. Could be this fall, winter or next spring. Going to keep track of my progress here and what I learn along the way.

Reading a new book about ultramarathoning Running Through The Wall. It’s a complilation of stories by ultramarathoners. Different from my last read, Eat & Run by Scott Jurek, because so far all of the stories are from average people who decided to take on an ultramarathon or many ultras. Enjoying, not loving so far, but I am learning a lot about blisters and how many times ultra runners mention duct tape. Currently in the chapter about a couple who runs The Rocky Raccoon Trail Ultra  in Huntsville, Texas. The course does not sound from their description like one I would want to run for a first ultra. Sounds like they spend most of their time tripping or trying not to trip over massive tree roots.  In addition to reading I feel like I need to connect with more ultra runners and get some one on one coaching or advice. I had sent a note to my friend Jerry who has run at least a couple of 50 milers and heard back from him. I’m sure I’ll be asking him questions along the way.

SAMSUNGI was able to get out for a run in Rochester, MN on the path that runs along the Zumbro River (photo). I’ve been running without a written plan lately, just mixing in interval training, tempo runs, hills and long runs. I look back over Garmin Connect to see how many miles I am running, which have been averaging about 33 miles a week over the last 3 weeks and gradually increasing. I’ll get over 40 miles easy this week.

I decided to run this one at a strong pace, what I typically refer to as an aerobic run, not as fast as a tempo pace and not an easy pace. That pace for me is typically right around an 8 minute mile. Ran in the afternoon at about 4:30pm. It was pretty warm and sunny but the path provided shade on long stints. Wanted to start out easy at a 9 or 9:30 pace, but my excitement got the best of me and I was soon running around 7:30, so I forced myself to pull back on the pace a little. About 3.5 miles in I was not feeling well. I think the heat was getting to me a little and I had no water with me. I used my mental technique of just allowing myself to feel what I was feeling, then took stock and decided my mind was just playing tricks on me. By mile 5 I was feeling fine and pounding out consistent 7:55 miles, including a long uphill stretch.

Finished off with about a mile cool down. I don’t really know if these types of mid-distance runs help my racing all that much, but I enjoy them.