ultra running

Running allows me to go to a place that I can not access in modern society. It lets me tap into a part of my brain that can only be reached through such physical exhaustion and determination that running 10+ miles can create. If it were merely about staying in shape or looking good I’m not sure it would be as appeasing. Something about running for hours at a time, having emotional ups and downs, and getting to the point that your mind is cloudy but calm all in the course of a single run is addicting. You just can’t get that much pain and pleasure for free anywhere else
—  NakdRunr
10

22 Miles on Saturday

Maine is neat. I live in a neat place. I live in a place where I can run across a series of islands with incredible views and I think that’s neat as hell.

Overcast for most of the run, but still beautiful. It was about 40ºF. Took my long sleeve off 2 miles in, and ran in a singlet+gloves while wearing my Salomon vest.  Really surprised with my splits. To be honest, there was a hell of a lot of stopping and walking. I wanted to go out, enjoy my long run, and not feel like I was on the verge of death, so I walked, and I’m okay with that. 

3 weeks out from my first 50k race of the year. Glad to get the miles in, but really need to spend some time on the trails. It’s still snowy out which makes it tough, but I’m going to have to find another way to suffer through it, because that 3 weeks is coming up quick. Woof.

Intense training week

I was planning on a shorter long run this week and a more aggressive speed workout.  I hit the aggressive speed workout: 12x400m at 3k pace (upper 5:00′s).  

It was pretty tough but fun at the same time.  Running fast is great.  And running fast when your body is somewhat used to running fast (I do a speed workout once a week) is even more fun.

The workout was tougher than I’d normally do, so I planned to go a littler shorter and lighter on Saturday.  Since we’re basically having summer weather in Boulder this weekend, I decided to hit the trails.  I planned on doing my old standby: the Mesa Trail (15 miles out and back).  And then 3 miles in, I realized that a major portion of the trail was closed for repairs . So I got a nice little detour.

Not exactly what I had in mind.  But I figure that if I plan on going 100 miles in August, I can’t be too intimidated by 3 extra.  I did my best to push, despite my legs and feet not being anywhere close to 3+ hour, rccky trail shape.  Not to mention my beat-up trail shoes with no cushion remaining.  The vert started out okayish - I feel like I’m reasonably strong for this stage of training.  But It was a grind after a while.  I tried to ignore my dead quads at the end and push down the hills.  I consider all of my most uncomfortable moments to be training for Leadville.  Survive and advance.

My damaged heel felt pretty bad when I finished.  It still felt bad this morning, though it’s doing a little better now.  It’s definitely not where I want it to be, but I’ve only been rehabbing for 2 weeks.  The plan for tomorrow is 6 miles easy.  Hopefully it’s back to somewhat normal.

Short mileage week going into our last ski trip of the year.  If my ankle can take it, I’m planning 2 speed workouts and no long run.

Looking over my race calendar for the year and I’m having a moment.

I ran a 50 mile race in November. On my birthday, 11 days ago, I ran a 50k. Not even a race, but because I wanted to.

WHAT EVEN. SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK. HOW DID THIS EVEN BECOME THIS PERSON. I mean I’m not mad about it, like at all, BUT HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. I RUN ULTRAS. IM AN ULTRA MARATHONER AND I DON’T HESITATE IN USING THE TERM.

Me, 3 years ago: “If I keep at it, maybe I’ll be able to run a 5k without walking.”

Me, 3 minutes ago: “I think 3 weeks enough time between a 50k race and a 50 mile, right?”

FOR SRS. WHAT THE EFF. 

No– but really though, I just went back through at my old Nike+ data. LOOK AT THIS ↓  JUST. LOOK AT IT ↓  3 years ago, almost to the day. ↓ ↓ ↓ 

January 20, 2014 – 3.44 miles, 10’56” avg pace,

“First ever group run with fleet feet. Snowed, breathed REALLY hard, but I met a girl named Emy who paced me well. Really excited about it.”

3 years ago. I look back on this moment often. Hits me right in the feels, for several reasons. It reminds me anything is possible. If you want something, and are willing to work for it and work hard, the world is your goddamn oyster. At the time, I only ever *dreamed* of running a half marathon. Me? Run 13.1 miles? I could barely wrap my brain around the idea of running 5 miles

October of the same year (9 months later), I ran my first marathon. It sucked. It sucked so much. It sucked to a point where I was ashamed at how terribly it went, that I didn’t even write a tumblr post about it, which was why I started this runblog in the first place– to document my training leading up to the momentous event of running a marathon. So yeah. It sucked. But I kept running

…and now I’m here, sitting in a coffee shop, trying to pick a couple 50 mile races for the spring, and deciding which 100k I want to attempt in the fall. 

Still not sure how I got to this point, but I’m really fucking happy to be here.