Count Down to First Ultra!

It has been so long since I’ve written anything for this blog that I didn’t even know how to come back to it.  I’d been thinking about it for the past two months as I’ve prepared and trained for my first ultra marathon.  The thought of finding a way to segue seamlessly back into blogging without acknowledging my lack of posting was impossible.  I haven’t stopped training, watching my diet, and living the family life.  I stopped writing about it and letting others follow along my journey.

Over the past few months, myself and a running buddy have been working with a coach to prepare and train for the longest distances in our running career.  Next weekend we will toe the line for our first ultramarathon.  We chose a 50k race that was aptly named Forget the PR.  As long as we cross the finish line in the 10 hour cutoff, then it will be a PR for both of us.  Then 10 weeks later we will toe the line for our first 50 miler at the same location.  We have spent hours upon hours each week making sure we hit all of our training runs and put forth our best effort in seriously horrible weather.  We’ve scouted and trained on trails that would help us prepare for the over 4,000 feet of elevation gain we would be facing.  We quickly found out that we actually live in a fairly flat area based on our garmin and strava data.

Trail running is a different beast.  The ice and snow were a challenge in the beginning because it was winter in Ohio.  As Spring reared its head in March, it gave way to mud pits that could suck your shoe right off if you didn’t have them tied tight enough.  We practiced a ton of creek crossings to get our feet used to the moisture we are sure to face during both ultras.  In one training run alone we had 15 crossings just going in one direction.  We had to turn around and cross each one of those creeks again to get back to the car.  It was fun, exciting, and extremely exhausting.  But, each week we gathered some friends and set off to obtain our mileage goal no matter how long it took us.

This week is a nice fun taper and I’m sure I’ll be more and more anxious as Saturday approaches.  I know that we are ready and definitely prepared for the worst conditions possible.  I am not out there to set any records or to try and win it all.  My goal is to beat the cutoff and take some fun pictures in the process.  If you have run any of my training runs with me, Thank you! Thank you for pushing me and helping me achieve my goals.  Thank you to my family for letting me run away on Saturdays to spend countless hours in the woods.  Thank you to my mom who will be driving and supporting me for my first Ultra.  Thank you to my coach for creating a positive experience and giving me the confidence that I can do this and that I am ready to tackle this race.  Finally, thank you to my running buddy for putting up with my complaining of uphills, sore muscles, just plain grumpiness but most of all having lots of fun while training!  We’ve got this!

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