Been a While (Is Anybody Out There?) Ultra Training

It’s been a hectic few months. School, work, running, work, other realities…There’s never enough time to get it all done no matter how well you think you’ve planned. And as someone who can’t plan for shit, it probably makes it harder. Anyways, as this is intended to be a thing for me to ignore about my running and training for various endeavors, let’s get into that. I ran my first marathon in May (see the one other blog I’ve posted), then took about a week off completely from running. However, in that time I was still bike commuting to work and school, which ends up usually being not too many miles.

Then my feet started feeling better, and I got back to it. Nothing grueling, mind you, just out for a nice hour or so, or 6.5-7 miles a time. I had a hard time during this point really setting up my training program for my upcoming ultra, the Lean Horse 50 mile ultra marathon (www.leanhorse100.com). We’ll see how well what I had set up works next month…

I’m unsure what to actually say about the training, maybe I’ll put up what I have in an excel spreadsheet at some point. I can’t fathom it’s interesting to the two people who (accidentally?) actually read this. However, I do have some thoughts.

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Photo courtesy of Rachel U.

I am realizing that I have a really hard time getting in the longer runs (18+ miles) by myself. It’s totally possible, but my mind really has to be into it. Which is really hard after 6 hours of class right now. I haven’t tried before class yet, but I might next week. The one saving grace is getting hooked up with some ultra runners in the area (Thanks Rachel!) to get out and see how gorgeous Maplewood State Park is.

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I was there, at one point.

I was there, at one point.

Anyways, I had my first four-hour run out there. It was amazing. I really should have brought more than 2 gels, but that’s what I had at home. Had a mild bonk towards the end and had to walk it in, but that’s all right as it gave me time to hang with some people and just look around. I’ve been out there once since, which is where most of the pictures are from. I think that even after this ultra, I’ll make time in my life for getting out to that park at least once a month.

Other brief notes from the past few months, holy shit have I randomly won a bunch of crap in contests! Like a lot of people, I NEVER win anything, which I don’t mind. A few years ago I won a yoga board that simulates SUP yoga which is great, but I don’t have the space to use it very often. But as of May I won 2 Garmin Forerunner 15s, one of which I gave to my wife on her birthday (the day I won it), it was pink, which is why she wanted it. The second I won along with an awesome pair of Skora Fits (www.Skorarunning.com) and some Nuun Hydration electrolyte tabs and water bottle for a National Running Day give away, which was amazing. Those shoes are fabulous, they felt like they were already broken in when I got them. And the electrolyte tabs are really great, a very subtle flavor in them so it doesn’t get cloying in my mouth. Haven’t used the water bottle yet…

I also won ANOTHER Simple Hydration water bottle (www.simplehydration.com). These are really great bottles as I’m not a huge fan of handhelds. The only problem is they are both single-walled and when they sit against your ass on a long run in the heat, they don’t really stay that cool. Haven’t figured out how to wear them with a pack yet, but that’s on the agenda. And finally, although I don’t know yet how I’m going to get there, I won a race entry to The North Face Endurance Challenge in Park City, UT in September (https://www.thenorthface.com/get-outdoors/endurance-challenge/utah.html). It looks like an amazing race. I signed up for the 50K because if I’m going to make it down there, then I’m going to do a big damn race. And 2 50 milers in 2 months is just too much. I’m not Mike Wardian…

So that’s the bit of bragging I have I guess? Twitter has turned out to be pretty great for me in the winning stuff regard I guess. Also meeting awesome runners from around the world. Now I just need to figure out how the hell I’m going to hydrate for this ultra, as I just don’t have enough time (or money) I think to get a pack and adequately break it in. I really want one from http://www.orangemud.com, but it’ll probably have to wait until I can afford it. Two handhelds sound awful, so I imagine that I’ll do either my two Simple Hydration bottles if I can get my shorts to stay up, or one of those and the sixteen ounce Nathan handheld I have. The electrolyte tabs work better in 16 oz. of water than  13 oz, so that might be my best bet. 4 more longs runs to test this stuff out and then it’ll be time to freak out. Just realized I need to make a hotel reservation for down in Custer, SD for the race…Never enough time! If anyone actually read this, thanks. If it bored you to tears, I apologize. If neither, then that’s fine too. Back to homework…

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