I recently mentioned that I was considering running an ultramarathon. I've decided I'm going to do my best to do it! I haven't signed up yet, but I'm planning on running one in December, near my home. And, I'm going to be wimpy and do the 50k.
In order to achieve this goal and not feel like death when I finish, I've really got to ramp up my mileage. My long runs, up until about three weeks ago, were only 5-6 miles. Why so short? Well, I was just running for the fun of it and that was all the time I wanted to devote to it then. And, I usually run after my husband, which means I don't get out until at least 9:00AM. This time of year, that limits how long I can run. My average runs were about 4 miles, so I was running roughly 18m/week. Not bad for a hobby jogger, right?
But no more! The past two weeks I've gotten crazy and upped my short runs to 6m. My long run on Sunday was 11.1m. That is the farthest I've ever run in one day! I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my long runs, but I plan on adding mileage pretty much every Sunday (I don't run on Mondays). I'm going to keep the short runs at 6-7 miles mostly because I only want to devote an hour to running during the weekdays; I have a job and a family and the goal is to finish the ultra, not win it. I'm not sure I'm interested in winning one, to be honest. Too much pressure!
The goal when I left the house on Sunday was to run for two hours. I didn't quite make it (1:59:15 - close enough!) and I didn't go as far as I would have liked in that time (11.14m; I was hoping for 12). And, I only did 8m of it barefoot because the damn pavement got hot. I really hate running this time of year...
But I'm learning things about myself with this already. Here's a short list so far:
- If I say I'm going to run for two hours, I can actually run for two hours.
- Running for two hours means I'll be gone for two and a half hours minutes. I turn the timer off when I stop to drink, potty, or put on my shoes. Then I stretch when I finish my run.
- I am a very slow runner in the heat, and I don't care. I know when it cools down I'll run faster. If I can train through this misery, I can do anything.
- Not only can I run for two hours, I can come home and do something besides sit on the couch all day afterward. I went to the rock gym and actually managed some climbing after the "epic" run (about an hour - but also in the heat as the gym doesn't have A/C).
- I'm learning my limits. There was a time when I would have said, "If I'm going to do 11 miles, I may as well do a half-marathon. What's 2 more miles?" I actually thought that on Sunday as well. I could have finished the two miles without a doubt. However, I also know that I would have probably fallen at least once, as I was starting to drag my feet at the end. Better to rest up for one day than four. Next week I'm sure I can get in a half-marathon, especially if I can start 30 minutes earlier.
- Each week I'm actually run a bit farther barefoot. But, running in shoes isn't killing me yet.
So far I'm enjoying pushing my limits. I don't have anything to prove (except to myself) so none of this matters. I'm making the announcement public because supposedly people are less likely to wimp out if they do that...and if just one of you decides to try it too, so much the better. :)