Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My first 50K ; three weeks out

The calendar says that today is the first day of "Fall".


I guess someone needs to let Mother Nature know. Not sure what your temps are looking like these days, but here in Georgia, it's still mighty, mighty hot. Luckily, I have been doing 98% of my daily runs in the early morning hours, so I haven't been impacted much by the lingering heat. It's actually been very cool in several mornings, and the difference between my performance in cooler temps is significant. It's easy to get frustrated in the Summer months because your pace naturally slows as your hydration levels fluctuate in response to heat. But, the cooler temps bring a new-found pep in your step, and I've been encouraged to see it.

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K is now about 3 weeks out, and I'm really getting stoked about it. It's crazy, but I haven't even ventured past about 13 miles yet in training. If I were heading into a marathon or road race, I'd be seriously concerned. But I'm not too worried about it because of the nature of an ultra. I'm going to be trying to maintain around a 10:30 pace rather than an 8:20 pace I normally target during road marathons. Even though the ascents and descents will be much tougher on my body than I am accustomed to, I should be fine to finish in well under 7 hours.

My weekly mileage continues to hover between 45 and 50 miles, which is good. I've gotten very accustomed to this mileage range and I haven't had any problems with injuries, overtraining, fatigue, etc. All in all, my 5 month base building (seriously, it seems like that long) period seems to have paid dividends in a big way. This time last year would have seen me on the sidelines, injured, especially if trying to maintain 40-50 miles per week. I can definitely see the improvement in this area of training.

I'm going to post an entry in a couple of days and highlight my overall race strategy for the North Face 50K. Because this is my virgin effort at ultra distance, my strategy is going to be based on my previous marathon experiences, other runners' advice, etc. While I definitely want my first 50K to be a fun experience, I do not want to cross the finish line (hopefully) and have to live with knowing that I didn't run to my abilities. After all, it's a race, right? Right. Race day strategy for me is going to be KEY. As many of those reading this blog have likely finished goal races over the past few weeks (Disneyland Half, Breakers, Virgina Beach), you know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you? There is a French word that describes a runner that shows up at the Start line of a race, unprepared for how to run it:


Race strategy is essential. It can't be overlooked and it CAN make the difference in how you run.

We'll talk about it on Thursday.


  1. It's going to be so exciting to see how you do. I hope that mother nature cooperates and gives you great weather for the race. Still in the 100's in AZ right now - 108 today...I've gotten to know my treadmill very well lately :)!

  2. Wow. 108? That's hot for even me... yikes. I bet the treadmill business is a good gig to be in out in AZ..

    Hey, congratulations on the Disneyland 1/2 - always nice to get some new hardware ;)