Ultra Running

I Come from Vermont and I Do What I Want

The Vermont 50.  I just like the sound of it.  I was born and spent the first 12 years in Southern VT and then returned to UVM for undergrad.  I am proud to be a Vermonter.  So it is fitting that I am going back to the rolling green hills to try a new challenge - an ultra running race.   

Since moving back to NH from California, Andrew and I have taken to the hills, trails, class 6 roads and dirt roads whole heartedly.  My running career so far is not that serious or consistent but I have been slowly building up to running longer distances, 10+ miles, easily and enjoying it.  I've done 3 half marathons and have no aspirations to do a road marathon.  The idea of pounding pavement and staring at my watch for splits does not sound fun BUT 26 or more miles of dirt, trails, sweat and views is very appealing.   Andrew did the VT 50 miler last year and I officially caught the bug while crewing for him- the beauty of the state and memories is what really sucked me.   Plus I love the idea of being in the woods for hours and traveling real distances on my own two feet.  

I signed up for the 50K this year and I'm excited.  Not nervous yet.  I don't know quite what I have gotten myself into but I have a feeling I am going to love it.  

I am not sure what to expect with the race because I have been thinking of it as an experience and a true physical challenge but not necessarily a race.   I want to do my best.  Run a race that is consistent and runnable - that means pacing myself and dealing with the physical and mental barriers.  The Inferno (4hr45 min multi-race) is the only race I have done when I just gassed out and didn't keep pushing - I keep wondering if I was 2nd because I wasn't strong enough mentally or physically.  

I should post a week before the race and then compare it to my sentiments now.  Nerves will be kicking in!  Between now and I then I will share what my training has been like #krissyplan.

The VT 50 is September 25th.   

Not Being a Hypocrite

First blog post.  The immediate topic that comes to mind is my summer project.  I have signed up for my first ultra race in Sept - The Vermont 50 (k).  I have been wanting to take on the challenge of an ultra because I think the mental toughness, hills and trails will come together and work well for me.  I know I cannot keep up with the tiny, road runners so this could be my jam.  That being said, I have worried about the multiple weeks of increased mileage that would be required to train properly.  

As a PT, I lecture and remind (too often) my active patients that the key to staying healthy with sports that involve repetitive motion and impact through the joints (running, hiking, skiing, etc.). The sometimes tedious exercises that target the important small stabilizing muscles and mobility work - stretching/yoga - are what will keep you out on the trail longer.

Now the hypocrite point - I am the first person to skip out on core and stretching.  I do not know why but I would rather run 2 hours than do 20 minutes of core.  And I know I'm not the only one.  Therefore I found a really comprehensive training plan written Krissy Moehl - Running Your First Ultra.  She is a legend in ultra running and I had the opportunity to meet her last summer as she helped pace Scott Jurek who set the FKT for the Appalachian Trial.   There is core/strengthening 2+ times per week, yoga suggest 1 time per week and a doable and varied run workout plan. I work 40 hours a week and so far (6 weeks in) I have not had trouble fitting the runs into my day.  

This morning I ran around and around our local track doing 6 x 5 min. efforts at my 10K pace (maybe a little faster) and I actually enjoyed it; a few months ago I would have laughed at this joy.  No aches and pains! 

This project is a test.  A test to see how well I am prepared come the end of September and I want to personally find out if the 'tedious' core, stretching and appropriate resting really keeps me pain free.  I will be checking in on the blog with updates.  And it will keep me more honest.  I am being 75% - 85% adherent to the core and stretching and it is paying off so far.