Monday, April 9, 2018

Girls who Ultra ~ Going on up ~ Ultramarathoning

Ultramarathon:

An ultramarathon, also called ultra distance or ultra running, is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi).


So in the midst of all the amazing training runs I had when training for my first marathon I knew I was going to do another!\

I was talking to a college this week and sharing my account of the marathon and realized I had a very different experience than some. I don't "race" races. I run them. I enjoy the race maybe a little more than some people do because I want to soak up all the moments along the way and I am not super focused on a time goal! I am your everyday average runner and I want to stay running for a long long time. I am not running the race to ever try to win it (although it is fun when I do) and I do not want to puch my body so hard that it can't keep going for years to come. I really run races to experience something new or sometimes something familiar that I love. 

I loved the marathon. It was hard but I loved it! I especially loved training for it!

Right before the marathon Kim, who was also running the marathon, mentioned how she wished we could find another marathon within the next month or so since we were all trained up. That got my wheels spinning. 

After the marathon we kept talking and made plans for a 40K in the fall. We also kept looking for upcoming marathons. On March 21st, 3 days after the marathon, I, half joking, floated out the idea of running the Fonta Flora 50K...

Kim and I decided to run a section of the trail and if we didn't die we'd sign up for the 50K.... On March 31st we ran 5 miles on the trail and decided to sign up!! 

I think we have lost our minds!!

This past weekend we went out and ran 21 miles on those trails and man I am nervous and excited!! 


The route we ran was not entirely the route we will run for the race so that is encoring. We ran a lot of road and hills!! My legs were so tired but we did it! I know that running trails I run quite a bit more slowly than roads, with all the roots and rocks. The cut off time for the 50K is 9 hours. I think we can finish within 8. 

I let my Garmin run nonstop Saturday so that I would know worst case scenario and we stopped A LOT!! We did that 21 miles in 5:47. Ten more miles would add about 2 or so hours so that would be 7:47 or so! I think we can, I think we can!!!

Even with all the stops (we got lost A LOT lol) we had a blast!!! I am super excited to continue on this crazy journey!!


We originally planned to split park with one car at one end of the trail and the other at another. This would enable us to get a lot of our miles on the trails we would run during the race. The forecast called for rain and that morning my husband said I bet the trails are closed.

We dropped one car at the first trail head as planned and drove out to the next. As he predicted it was closed. We re-grouped and decided to just do an out and back from the first stop and so we drove back there. 

The only problem was that I couldn't quite tell from the map just how and where this trail connected to the next. Surely we could figure it out right??? Wrong!!! 


We were stopped at one point by a park ranger who asked if we were running the race. Why yes we told him we were... He told us we were waaaay off track and then we realized he was talking about a race that was actually happening that day!! Ha Ha!! We were talking about the upcoming race. Still we were waaaaay off track and he brought out his big map to try to get us back on course, I had my map and we compared. No luck. We decided to keep on running. I knew we would eventually run into Whippoorwill Farm and could run the Over Mountain Victory Trail that I had ran before from there and regardless we'd get our mileage. 

We got to the farm and I saw a gate I recognized, the trail was just beyond there. Except that the gate was closed and locked. Weird. So we decided to go under. Seemed easier than over. Except I soon realized that was NOT the gate from my memory... I saw the other gate and so we crawled back out and ran a bit more until we found the trail!


We stopped for a sandwich at the half way point and then turned to re-trace our steps!

We were only chased by a pack of dogs once. I realized I am more scared of dogs on the run than I thought. I was seriously terrified. On the way back we found some big sticks in case we needed them. The big dog was sleeping and we did our best to let sleeping dogs lie.

At one spot deep in the woods there was a pretty deep and slightly too wide to jump creek. We made our best attempt to build a bridge with no luck. We ended up scaling the side of a hill, thank goodness for small trees with deep roots; it was like a mud slide.




Kim only tried to knock me down once when we got to a fork in the road, I must have gasped like oh no which way do we go and she thought my gasp sounded more like oh no there is a giant snake. LOL!!


We had 2,500 feet of elevation gain, holy hills!! There was thankfully no rain!!



Lucky for us next week the course will be marked!! Or so we hope!!

Stay tuned!! More adventure tales to come!



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