Olive Garden Trail – Trexler Nature Preserve
I bit the bullet and registered for my very first 50 mile trail race. That is what hanging out with a bunch of trail runners gets me. A little insanity check.
My goal for this fall has always been to find a 50k at some point to run. I’m still base training in the hopes of kicking it up a notch over the winter. My plan is to race a 50k in the spring, as opposed to running it. Big difference. I know that as a beginner ultra runner I have a lot to learn, but moving from the marathon distance to the 50k distance isn’t that big of a jump, and all it’s really going to take is a dedicated plan of attack. That, and trail legs – which I have been working on and will continue to do work on over the next many months.
So, go out and run a 50k this fall to get some more experience. Maybe two of them. Well, when my friend, Laurie, threw me a bone about this 50 mile race in November I figured, why not? What’s a couple hours longer of basically the same kind of pain I’d be feeling at the end of a 50k anyway?
After I registered and started reading the race website I saw mention that if you thought you’d take longer than 12 hours you could start the race an hour earlier. Huh? So, I emailed Laurie and asked if she thought I could do this, run it in under 12 hours. (And WTF and I thinking anyway?!? 12 HOURS!!??) She said, yep. After I looked up her time from last year (10:22:02) I decided, yes I can!
So, what exactly are trail legs anyway?
Well, I’ve already got the rock dancing and toe running down. I’m working on being lighter on my feet. I’m also working on pacing myself better so that I don’t start out too hard and end up dieing by the end of my runs.
Running the hills at TNP help – A LOT! I have noticed that they have made me much stronger in only 2 short months. I need some more of those.
I would like to get better at rock hopping. My biggest fear on the trails is falling head first on the rocks and cracking my face or skull open, so I am quite respectful of those rocks.
But, really, it’s a lot more than simply having trail legs. There is a lot of upper body strength and core strength needed to run for hours and hours. As I slowly build up time on my feet I am developing the muscles necessary to carry me for 10-something hours in November. I should probably join a gym; I’d like to build my leg muscles as well.
And then there is the nutrition. That is a vital element to all of this endurance running. Without a good nutrition plan you can kiss your goals goodbye. I’ve been experimenting with all of that as well.
… more to come …