Getting Ready for My First Ultra

Getting Ready for My First Ultra |

I’ve said I wanted to run an ultra for quite some time now.

I’m guessing that thought started swirling in my mind about 3 or 4 years ago. I was falling in love more with trail running. Road marathons were nice but I didn’t love it.

More aptly, my body didn’t love it.

I’ve had my eye on one 50k since then. This year, I finally thought it was going to happen. We were planning on a trip to Michigan to visit family around the same time that the Grand Island 50k was happening. It was all too perfect.

Well, not really. Sadly, the race was off the table for 2019. Scheduling wasn’t going to work.

So then I started looking for another race.

I wanted something that wasn’t too late in the fall.  Once September rolls around, kid fall sports starts up and that means Ron and I having to divide and conquer on the weekends as we shuttle kids around.

I wanted something that was not loops. I knew if I had to run past my car at multiple times throughout the race, it would give me the opportunity to take a DNF and tag out.

I wanted something that was mostly trails, jeep roads and a little technical but not super crazy technical that I’d be setting myself up for a broken ankle.

The Vermont 50 sounded good.

I marked the date that registration opened on May 25th. On that day, I sat down at my computer to register and I froze.

Could I really run an ultra?

Lots of doubts started to flood my mind.

It’s been 2 years since I even attempted marathon training. My longest long run in the past year has been maybe 15 miles? Will I have time to get to the trails to run long? Do I want to spend my summer weekends running long? Why do I want to run an ultra? Is 5000 ft of elevation gain too much for your first ultra?

I pushed away from the computer. I couldn’t register. I talked Ron’s ear off about what I should do. He was super supportive, telling me to go for it. I consulted ultra running friends for feedback. I asked my coach if he thought it was doable. Everyone was onboard.

But my doubts were overtaking everything.

After a few days of contemplating, I decided NOT to do it.

I’d find another race or wait to do Grand Island in 2020.

Even though I decided not to do it, I couldn’t stop thinking about the race.

Why was I so afraid?

About two weeks after registration opened, I was scrolling through the camera roll on my phone. I found a picture I took a screen shot of back in 2016.

Guess what it was?

                                               photo credit: Vermont 50

The Vermont 50 logo.

I took that as a sign that this was the race for me to do.

I sat down at my computer and registered.

Of course, I texted Ron right before I hit submit and asked, “Are you sure I should do this?!?!?!”

Vermont 50 training will officially start in 2 weeks. My coach has given me a down week next week before transitioning to ultra training. I’ve seen the next 6 weeks of my training plan and it doesn’t look too different than what I’m doing now – just longer long runs, obviously.

I’m letting go of expectations for my first ultra. I’m prepared to hike a lot. I know it’s going to s-u-c-k at points. These next 12 weeks will be about not only prepping my body but also my mind for the duration. I’ll be picking the brains of all my ultra friends to figure out what the hell I got myself into. Hahaha!

I can’t wait!

Linking up with Coaches Corner.

14 comments on “Getting Ready for My First Ultra

  1. I’m so excited to see you tackle this! I have a secret dream to run an ultra, but with my chronic back and knee problems, I think it may remain a dream, so I’m happy to live vicariously through you right now. I’ve seen your workouts and your determination and I have little doubt that you’ll accomplish this.
    Happy Trails!

  2. That’s so exciting and I can understand the hesitation. It’s a big step and a big commitment. I can’t wait to hear all about the training and of course the race!

  3. I’m so freaking excited for you!!!! I totally get the hesitation but you’ve got this. Cannot wait to cheer you on!

  4. I can’t wait to follow your journey on this. I would have had similar anxiety but also seen the logo as a sign
    I don’t think I want to run an ultra, but currently reading and loving Adharanand Finn’s The Rise of the Ultra Runners if you want some reading to go with your training

  5. I’m so excited for you! Your plan has worked so well for you for Mt. Washington that there’s no doubt training will set you up for a successful ultra.

  6. How exciting! Since I’ve been reading you for so long, this seems like sweet redemption from the injuries that have plagued you on and off! You’re having a great year–glad you decided to go for it!

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