Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ultra Mentality

To be an ultra running, you have to do a number on your traditional type thinking. Since I am in disagreement with most of society's tradition modes of thought and behavior, I am happy also to contradict standard logic by being an ultra-runner.

Before I go on, let me point out a miracle. Today, at the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile race in Texas, the winner averaged 7.38 minutes per mile FOR 100 MILES! Un-effing-believable!!! A couple of others also finished with times under 8 minutes per mile.

So, I am preparing for a very easy ultra to take place on March 18-19 (starts at 7 pm). It is supposed to be a 12 hour event, but my plan is to run for 50 miles and stop (probably 10.5 hours). I went to this event last year and ran 80 miles in 20 hours. but I don't plan to destroy my body this year.

The type of ultra-running I do is in an entirely different league than those guys mentioned above. In my league, people finish that race in 25 or 30 hours. We worry about sleep deprivation. Our fueling strategy is totally different. The amount of blisters and other foot problems is deeply painful. I have not run more than 50k on a trail, so I don't think I could finish 100 miles.

But I can do the most possible with what I have to work with.

In fact, I've been putting in the time for ultra training: 65 to 70 miles a week plus some additional time cross training and weight lifting. My goal is to be able to run 50 miles without destroying my body.

Today I ran 5h41min on hills. Yesterday, I also worked out for 3h45 min and tomorrow, I'll go out and do another long run. So far this week, I have worked out over 17 hours, not counting the weight lifting or core time.

I did not start out today with any hopes of running more than an hour or two. I was running totally up and down hills because that was the only place I could find that had plowed streets, but not much traffic. But, after 2h31min, I realized my brain had quit protesting and suddenly was filled with hopeful ideas about running for hours and hours. The hills became less intimidating. I felt better than I did last week, even though I had a good rest last week due to my business trip.

This is the miracle of my ultra training. I keep seeing that I can easily do what my brain says I can't do; if I give it just a little push and ask for one more step.

I cannot really explain why I have the spirit to want to spend 5 or 6 hours every Saturday and Sunday running, but not going anywhere. It is very unglamorous.

I don't have a TV, so I am free from wasting my time watching football. I don't drink or eat junk so I am again free.

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