Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Latest Journey Begins.......

The Journey of a 1000 steps (or in this case 100,000) begins with a single step.............

11/1/10 - Today I begin (or, more accurately, continue) my training program for my first 50 mile trail run, scheduled for 3/5/2011.  The seed for this goal began about 2 years ago when I ran my first trail marathon and I realized there were longer distances than the traditional goal of 26.2 in this sport - of course they intrigued me!  I have slowly worked my way up to running a 40 mile race (not really sure if you could call it "running") last year and decided I wanted to complete a 50 mile race before I turned 50 (still 2 years away but better safe than sorry in case I don't finish this one :-)!  Also, it is an unwritten agreement in the Ultrarunning community that the "real" ultramarathons begin at 50 miles, basically the first distance you begin to hallucinate during the race :-)

This may not seem like much a leap after completing 40 miles but trust me, every mile after 26.2 gets longer and longer and tougher and tougher.  For illustration, I ran my first trail marathon in 4hours 50 minutes.  My first 50k took me 6hours 39 minutes (almost 2 hours more to run 6 miles longer, although it is hard to compare as the 50k course was much tougher) and 8hours 55 minutes to run 40 miles (another 2.5 hours to run 9 miles)!  At this pacing, I will be very happy to finish 50 miles in under 12 hours!  That is right, this goal will have me running dirt trails in North Georgia from 6am till 6pm!

The training program:

After my trail marathon on 10/10/10 I decided, or more accurately, my body decided for me, that I needed some time off before I began my next training cycle.  At the time, I figured a week would do it but somehow, this week became 3!  3 weeks of no running, minimal training, eating whatever I wanted, drinking...well, whatever I wanted....fun for a bit but got pretty old by the time Halloween showed up.   Lesson here, be very careful taking time off after a brutal event where you almost quit many, many times - it is not easy to get back into the habit of running daily!  Anyway, I put together an 18 week training program that progressively adds miles during the week and slowly increases the back to back long runs you do every weekend.  It goes hard for 3 weeks and they there is a recovery week, 4 cycles of that and the race is here!   No problem!

Diet and wt loss:

My goal is to drop about 10 pounds for this race, more would be better but I am not sure how my body will react to the increase in training (I will work up to running 6 days per week and get to the point where i will run 5-6 hours on Saturday and then 2-3 hours on Sunday in one weekend!) so I am not too concerned about cutting calories too much to achieve this weight loss.


As always, my first and most important goal is to obtain personal and spiritual lessons from this journey and to count my blessings daily that I have the ability, time and desire to complete something like this.  After that, I would, of course, like to finish.  If I am blessed to finish, I would like to finish feeling strong (or as strong as you can feel after 50 miles).  If I am blessed to finish strong, I would like to finish in under 12 hours.

Stay tuned, I will be checking in as the training picks up.......



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