Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Learning it all over again

As many of you know, I've been doing this running thing for around 5 years now. I've made that progression from 5k to 10k, half mary to full mary, and then to 50k.

As you can tell, I've done the training it takes to accomplish these distances and endurance experiences. Althiugh I'm in a different running spot right now, and am training for the longer ultra distances, I still should know "how" to train for them.

But I don't.

Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of how important it is to have confidence in your training. That confidence comes from your past experiences with that same training. With the new distances I'm chasing, this is completely new for me, and its unsettling.

I am pretty certain that I went through a similar zone when I decided to tackle the marathon distance, but an ultra is different. If you haven't done one, I don't know that you can really understand what I'm talking about.

A marathon is a very challenging endeavor, make no mistake about it. But its over in a relatively short period of time. The North Face 50 miler I'm running in October can very easily see me out on the course for nearly 12 hours or more. And the majority of those final 15 miles will likely involve some significant suffering on both the mental and physical side.

That's difficult to know hoe to train for. Actually, I am now regularly rehearsing in my mind how I will deal with the inevitable problems and mental fatigue that I KNOW will confront me in the latter stages of that 50 mile course.

Make no mistake about it, I am so excited about running this race, I can sometimes hardly stand it. My mind also continues to plan ahead for April, where I will attempt my first 100 miler. But having said that, I do maintain a very real, very healthy respect for the effort its going to take to get me there, and get me through. I just believe that God gave us these bodies to make full use of, and that's exactly what I want to do. I want to know the outer limits of what His gift can help me accomplish.

It's been a crazy trip thus far, and I assume it likely will remain that way...


  1. I too am getting ready for my first 50 miler although not until March. I've only run a handful of marathons before. I think about how I felt at 2 and how insane things will get mentally somewhere around 27. Yikes.

    I think you'll get there, it's just daunting in the meantime.

  2. I have no advice, other than GOOD LUCK, and I look forward to following your journey. I just finished my first marathon a few weeks ago...a very grueling trail marathon with over 2500 feet of climb. As physically tired as I was, the mental fatigue was paramount, especially for someone like me with less-than-stellar confidence. The aid station folks helped me stay in the game.

    Cheers - and happy trails!

  3. Appreciate the kind words, Coy and Krista. We really all do share the same basic trials and tribulations in these things. Epic adventure knows no boundaries.

  4. Oh, I can imagine the fear and lack of confidence with training for these distances. I think I'm going to try for a 50k in the next year or two and even that seems daunting right now.

    Stay on track and you'll do great. You have a lot of experience to pull from which will help greatly!