If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been fairly quiet about the distance elephant in the room.
I signed up for the TARC 50 miler January 1st as soon as registration on ultrasignup opened up.
Sure last year was a disaster for me, but this year is a new course in a new location with a 7AM vs. 7PM start time. I learned that my choice of light really sucked last year. Luckily, I won’t need it for more than an hour at most this year.
What I did learn was that the new course, at Hale reservation, unlike the familiar and super runnable Weston course, will be hillier and more technical. It’s about an hour from my house, so I never made it out there to research or train.
My training during the winter was nonexistent as the trails were iced over near my house. I ran roads, but barely hitting the mileage I’m used to.
My training during the Spring was unmotivated at best. I was focusing on some new job responsibilities so double long runs on weekend were put to the end of the list of things I mentally wanted to handle. O and the fact that it snowed here well into April didn’t help.
So yea, lower mileage, no double back long runs, and I hit the trails for a total of three times since last fall will probably not helping my case.
And worse, an injury a month before the race. My knee was hurting a little bit at the end of May. I self diagnosed myself with runner knee, took a two-week break after struggling with it for a week and am now back to my perfect running self. However, this also left me with several weeks where I barely hit 30 miles. I’m happy to be back and healthy, but losing the peak of your training to injury isn’t a strength.
I debated DNSing
I was going to cheer on my friends and not even bother running. I had a few slower marathons that left me discouraged.
Then I convinced myself that I’ll only do one 25 mile loop to check out the course.
Now I’m all in. I have 7:45 hours to one loop before I start my second one.
What I do have on my side:
Incredible support from friends and TARC volunteers on the course… I have never ran a race where I felt more taken care of than at a TARC event.
A 15 hour limit which equates to a an 18 minute mile pace.
I’ve done a lot of things I didn’t think were possible for me.
I ran a 3:24 marathon after training on 4 hour-long 20 miler training runs which included breaks on my living room floor wondering how I can ever go on.
I ran 28 miles in 6 hours on snow and ice with barely a long run in training.
I ran a 50K in the summer heat while as usual being under trained. My first 50K which I regret to never have written about.
I will add a 50 miler to my accomplishments, I know I will.