Saturday, April 16, 2016

Here I Go Again!

Disclaimer: I've decided not to reread my old posts before writing this one. I thought about starting a new blog, but really, I'm just too lazy to come up with a new name.

6 year summary: 2010 was my biggest year for running, logging over 80 miles over three half marathons, one relay race, one sprint triathlon, and one marathon. 2011 wasn't much different, at 58 race miles. 2012 was about 70 miles, and included my second marathon. After that it went downhill. I began a Master's program in Speech Language Pathology in Fall 2013, where running quickly dropped down on my list of priorities. I did two half marathons in 2014 and one half marathon in 2015. I graduated in August 2015 and have been attempting to get back into running since then.

When I began running back in 2009 after moving to Boston, I got bit by the running bug after signing up for my first half marathon, the Hyannis Half Marathon, which takes place at the end of every February on Cape Cod. After succumbing to my new life as an addicted runner, a coworker sent me a link to one of her favorite blogs, No Meat Athlete. I read the following post by the writer:, and thought, dear god I want to do this race so badly (a little bit of masochism goes a long way when you like distance running). I thought it would be too difficult to get in the miles and training required, so each year I think about it and then decide to save it for another year.

In March, I turned 30 (woohoo!) and decided that to celebrate I either had to finally go skydiving or begin training to run the Vermont 50 in September. I'm really not crazy enough to jump out of a plane. But I am crazy enough to attempt an ultramarathon. When registration for the Vermont 50 opens up in May, I will be signing up for it.

I began "training" for it in March and have been fumbling my way through the various books and websites about ultramarathons. See, the problem is that I am lazy and worry about injuries, and don't want to spend hours running and then worrying about every twinge of pain I feel. I've chosen to deal with this by breaking up the training into pieces. I've trained for a marathon, so why not train for another marathon? I signed up for the Mad Marathon in Vermont in July as a halfway point to the 50 miler training. I can do marathon training. I've done it before with minimal injuries and have hopefully learned (and more importantly will act) on the things I've learned to keep from getting injured again. Hellooooo foam roller and hip strengthening exercises.

It has also helped to talk to people who have done ultras before. A random person I started talking to during a 10k I did in February (I'm that person that talks to random people when running, so sorry) recommended the following books: Relentless Forward Progress, by Bryon Powell, and Never Wipe Your Ass With a Squirrel, by Jason Robillard. The former is a fairly serious approach to training for an ultramarathon. The latter is, naturally, a less serious approach. Both have been immensely helpful. I've decided on a combination of training plans: I'm using a combination of the plan from Relentless Forward Progress and a plan from The Santa Clarita Runners plan has me starting my ultra training on May 23 with a total weekly mileage of 20 miles, running 5 days a week.

Where I am currently: I'm trying to build my weekly mileage so that 20 a week is comfortable. I'm a 4-day a week runner right now but I think getting up to 5 days a week will help with be successful in the ultra. I am also beginning to run on trails. 2/3 of the Vermont 50 is on trails or jeep roads. I've done one trail run so far and it was hard, although I was able to catch myself each of the 20 times I tripped. I have my work cut out for me.

I've heard its important to figure out what you want out of a race, and to figure out what success means. I define success in the Vermont 50 as no DNF and no injuries. And, hopefully, no crying. I'm flexible on the crying part.