Ultra Distance

So I decided to take a few weeks off of the writing thing. I realized that keeping a set day to write made it feel like a chore and thus I started to feel guilty for not writing on my set day. And two weeks went by. But, that’s how this should be. Writing should come from the heart and soul and shouldn’t be a forced activity. I write for me.

That said, the last two weeks have been great! I am slowly bumping up the mileage and this last week topped out at about 28 miles for the week. Soon enough I will be at 30 and beyond. Which, I must note, is pretty crazy to think about, considering that I never considered myself a runner. Heck, there have even been times in my life where I would say I hated running. Funny how things change.

While ramping up the mileage I looked for training plans. Some for marathon distance. Some for half marathon distance. Some for beginners. Some for intermediates. It was all just too much. I have a very finite amount of time in which to run. That would be the few hours before work and the hour or so after. Going out for fartlek (seriously…?) runs or anything else too fancy just doesn’t work since I commute and run at the same time. This means I am carrying a backpack with food, clothing, and everything else I need for the day.

I happened to be talking to a friend of mine who is a very accomplished marathoner and half marathoner (we’re talking a masters level runner who has PR’s in the 1:10 range for a half and the 2:30 range for a full. He gave me the best advice and training plan I’ve heard yet. During his 10 years of competitive running (30+ races per year) they followed a plan of no more than 10% extra mileage per week. So, there it is. I am just going to run and not exceed 10% of the volume that I did the week before. Simple. Eventually I will get more fancy, but running is one of the most simple sports around. I want to keep it that way.

So, why all this running? Initially I was running with the end goal of commuting through the winter while my road bike hibernates. But it ended up being fun and rewarding, plus, I wasn’t going to meet my goal of running a half marathon in 2018 if I didn’t start running at some point. Well, a few weeks ago I did 11.5 in the mountains in a decent time and realized that a half was doable. Around the same time I was listening to a favorite podcast of mine, Trail Manners. They are a local (to Utah) duo that pod about trail and…dare I say it…ultra running. They happened to discuss a race that I was already aware of, but hadn’t really thought about. It is in Montana, in a place that is dear to my heart. And the shortest distance is 55k. Or 34 miles.

Wait…what!? So I’m going to go from a morbidly obese male, to a cycle commuter, to a run commuter, to an ultra runner…by July 2018? Apparently that’s what I told myself. And for now I’m drinking the cool-aid. Registration opens in November and will sell out in December, so in a few weeks I get to put my money where my mouth is. And then I get to put my feet where the money is.

It’s funny, initially I wanted to keep this a secret. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I was afraid of failing. I didn’t want to be the “last joker” on course so I wanted to wait until I could at least be second to last. But then I watched a REI video, The Mirnavator, that changed my mind.

Beaverhead Endurance Runs…here I come. Slowly.

 Oh yeah, the weight loss. September was awesome, 6 pounds down for the month! That brought me to 80 pounds total and hit the point where I had to refresh the whole wardrobe, so there’s that!

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