I’ve been talking about this a lot over the past few weeks, but honestly, it’s probably the biggest thing on my mind as the clock ticks down and my first ultramarathon gets closer and closer. Yesterday officially marked one month until I hit the trails in British Columbia for an epic weekend of running (if I can walk after it… hehe).
In case you missed it –> I will be running The Golden Ultra in Golden, British Columbia on September 22-24. It is a three-stage race series which includes:
- The Blood: Vertical KM… gain 1000M of elevation in less than 5k of running
- The Sweat: 2500m of elevation over 60km (or 37 miles) as you do one big loop
- The Tears: A 22km (about 13.6 mile) run described as “rolling”
Um, yeah. A little intense.
The most challenging race series I’ve done so far is the Great Grandma’s Challenge, where you run a 5k on Friday night and a marathon on Saturday morning. So, I think I’m in for a little bit of a surprise.
Anyways, as I’m a month away, I wanted to share some answers to some of the most common questions that I’ve received from you guys.
How has training been going?
Training has been… meh. I know, not the most enthusiastic answer in the world, but it has definitely been up and down. Some weeks, I feel like I’m ready to conquer the world and others… I’m not quite sure I can dominate a 20 miler.
It has been a different mentality for sure, especially when you compare it to marathon training. That has been a bit of a shift to get used to, and it’s taken a little bit more than I first expected.
What are you doing for training?
I’m doing a plan from Hal Koerner’s book, modified a little bit to fit my race calendar and schedule. There are some tempo and fartleks within the program, but it’s mostly just keeping yourself on your feet throughout the training period.
I’m also trying to be a good runner and have built in some strength training days. I am aiming for 2-3 strength training days a week, and have been keeping up with it pretty well. I must admit, this is the first time that I’ve focused on leg strength during training because I know it’s important to build up balance and leg muscles to handle the rough terrain of the mountains.
What are you most excited for during the race?
This may sounds ridiculous, but I am so excited for the incredible views! We do a lot of ridge running along the second day (The Sweat) and I am ready to be amazed by the mountains. I have never run an ultramarathon before, so I think that there are probably other things that will amaze me and make me excited about the opportunity to run this distance, things that I don’t even know that are things yet.
What about the race makes you the most nervous?
Well, it’s a completely new distance so I would say the thing that makes me the most nervous is I don’t know what I don’t know. Meaning, I have no idea what I should be worried about because I don’t know what may go wrong or where I may struggle.
And, I’m also a little nervous about wildlife. Bears, cougars, moose… I mean, there’s a lot in the wilderness in Canada! I will probably run with bear spray to be on the safe side, along with my cell phone, so hopefully that’s a little less of a worry. 🙂
Do you think you’ll do more ultramarathons in the future?
This is a great question. If you asked me today, I would tell you no… that I’m ready to go back to marathons and focus on the distance that I love. However, if you ask me the day I finish and the day after? That may be a different story.
Ultramarathon runners: Any tips for me?
What are you favorite supplies for a long run? Hydration packs, gels, fuel, etc.?
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