Friday, April 13, 2012

Can I really run an ultra marathon?

Four years ago today, I ran my then longest run to date- 16 miles. I was training for my first marathon and was getting ready to turn 41 years old. I had a crappy run and my confidence that I could finish a marathon was shaken.

Well, I finished that marathon (barely) and five others.  I have had good races and bad ones. I finished them all.

I have wanted to take it to the next level for a while now. I thought that my first 50k would be Montana de Oro in the summer of 2010. I didn’t get the training in and the timing didn’t work.  But, I never lost the desire.

This year, when I was searching for a spring race, I was ready to take my running to another level. I am approaching a big birthday that isn’t quite big enough for a party, so I wanted a cool way to mark the event.  I found the perfect race. The San Juan Trail 50K is relatively close to home (an hour drive), it is in a location where I have run races in the past and it is ON my birthday. Only someone who really loves running would subject themselves to this kind of torture on her birthday, right?

The race is tomorrow. My training has been just OK. It was going well until a badly timed bout with the flu. Until that point, I had run at least a mile for 90 days! Breaking that streak was really sad. I was proud of that running streak and had planned a fun run for my 100th day. Check out all the blue on my DailyMile account!  This screen shot was taken early-FebruaryDaily mile streak

I did get an opportunity to run two races on the same trails, put on by the race organizers.  The 18K was a fun trail race where I met a lot of great runners. It helped to see so many familiar faces during the 21K a couple weeks later.  IMAG0515

I met the race director, Big Baz. He is a bit of a “dirty old man” but has a certain charm…


These trails are no walk in the park!

After I recovered from the flu, I was plagued with a horrible cough. I still get coughing fits—I just can’t seem to shake it. I missed close to two weeks of quality running. I missed two weekends of long runs. I missed a 30K race put on by the race organizer of the 50K. This would be the first 18 miles or so of the race. I also missed a 20+ mile run with some new trail running friends going up the Horsethief Trail, the most difficult part of the course.

Luckily, my friend Lauren invited me on a 22 mile run, which turned out to be closer to 24 miles. The run was fantastic and actually deserves its own post. It was a great trail run. It was very scenic, but incredibly difficult. There was a two mile stretch that was as difficult or more than the Horsethief Trail on the SJT 50K. It was tough, but I powered up it feeling strong. In fact, once at the top, after a bit of rest, I was feeling better than I had all day. The rest of the run was basically downhill and I felt great. The last couple of miles were tough, but I was able to finish strong. Finishing that run feeling so good gave me a lot of confidence that I can finish this race.


It is late and I must go to bed. I promise that I will write a timely race report (unlike the last half dozen races I have raced). Look for my race report sometime next week.

Happy Running….

Check out more about my training plan on


Mac said...

Good luck!!

Catey said...

Of course you can! I am excited to read your race report-I am dying to do a 50k but life dictates that I wait till next year to do so. You'll be fabulous!

Kat said...

Yes, you can!! I ran one last month. It was brutal and muddy and rainy. But I finished! Just keep going!!!

lindsay said...

I believe in you! I hope it went well. Even if it didn't, I know you are capable of it!


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