Monday, October 25, 2010


My running friend Heather began her latest blog post with this quote:

 "It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit". - George Sheehan

The quote really got me thinking...isn't that just about the most spot on thing you have ever read about running and running ultras in particular?  I mean who cares about the other people out there, they aren't your competition, your mind and body are?  You have to conquer the voice in your head that tells you turn around with the 50 milers or force yourself to eat or drink when all you want to do is hurl.  You are in competition with yourself and that is both the sad and beautiful truth of it.  Someone, ok a million people have asked why run an ultra.  These are the same people that make a quip like..."I only run when being chased." I always say to them because, at the end of that race you know deep down what you are made of.  There is no faking your way through 100 miles.  Either you trained for it and are willing to suffer or you aren't.  That leads me to another thing I have been pondering lately: Training.
People ask how you train for 100 miles and really the wackiness of it is, I have only made it to 100 miles in a week for my training.  Yes in training it takes me a whole week to get in the miles I try to run in one day.  I know it doesn't seem right.  The answer to how you train is different for each runner but, for moms it is super complicated.  Especially for moms who have husbands who are out of town a huge portion of each month.  I find that many days I am just running in every free moment I can find.  I drop Chloe off at school and need to do errands and get in a run so, there I am running down the road with packages in my arms, heading to the Post Office, or carrying books to the library, or hitting the Red Box 5 miles from her school to return a movie.  You have to get creative when it comes to high mileage weeks.  I know I am not the only girl up at 2 or 3am starting a run before the house wakes up.  For many moms the weekends aren't time for long runs they are the short run days because, those are the days we have no breaks from parenting and therefore no personal time to get in a jumbo run.  You just have to take advantage of every second and be willing to go to some places a little stinky.  So what does my training look like now?  Now that I am no longer training for a 100miler.  Well...
I promised myself I wouldn't sign up for anything over 50 miles until next spring.  And I am sticking to that.  But ...dun dun dun... Marny and Cathy (see crew from Rocky post) decided they wanted to do the Rocky Raccoon this year (the 50 miler) and well I have been itching to run a 50 all out.  Of course I immediately signed up.  I get to do a girls weekend with the Running Moms and run a 50, who would say no to that? I am not totally nuts, this was a no brainer.  I have been a little slow to really hit my mileage again following Heartland but now I have a strong Training Plan that begins next Monday.  I want to train  hard so that I can really see what I can do on a 50.  My first and only 50 mile race was a 9:02 and  I would really like to beat that time.  I have been coming through the 50 mile mark on my 100's at around 10hrs so I think it is doable but, it is going to require a little ass kicking to get there.  And so...let the kicking begin. 
Happy Running Everyone.


Unknown said...

Oh, you running moms are going to have so much fun! And the quote and the beginning...holds true, even for me and my 13 miles. It is a huge mental game for sure.

Neil Richard said...

I got the same questions after I ran my 50k. My sister-in-law thought it was a typo when she read it. But you're spot on when it comes to some self-discovery when you're out there on an ultra. You really do learn what you're made of.

jill said...

Seems we all loved that quote of Heather's! Just as true for me with my long runs that are just a "leg" of one of your races.

And that 50 miler is a no brainer - girls weekend and a PR to boot.