An ultramarathon has been on my radar for a while now. The thing that was holding me back is that I’m not a trail runner (and not likely to become one any time soon). When I started researching “the next step”, ie 50K, most of what I found was more technical than I wanted. And I admit, I have a somewhat irrational fear of getting lost. Ok, totally irrational, over the top, fear. I mean, I get that sometimes you need to leave your comfort zone, but honestly, I’d like to stay in the same galaxy as my comfort zone.
Then I was introduced to the world of timed races. I started looking around and there are lots and lots of options. You can run for 6 hours or 9 hours or 12 hours. But who wants to start with something sane. (Or as sane as an ultra runner can be.)
Nope, I’m gonna go big or go home.
I’ve chosen to run a 24 hour loop ultra. If I’m not crazy now, I’ll probably be there after.
So, how do I plan to prepare?
- I have three marathons planned for the fall: Marine Corps Marathon (yeah, I’ve succumbed to the siren lure of men in silkies) in October, Richmond Marathon in November, and Rehoboth Marathon in December.
- I’d like to run Ragnar again – what better training for 24 hours of running than not sleeping for 36 hours and running three legs? Bonus if I can get one of the longer sets or run with a group as an ultra Ragnar.
- Spend 5+ hours run/walking a few times in the fall/early winter. Bonus if I can do that while the kids are at school and then run a short run in the evening and the next morning.
Right now I plan to get back to “I can run a half marathon any time” status. I took an extended hiatus after Marine Corps, but my body is feeling good again and I’m beginning to find the run love again.
Looks like I’ve got a lot of miles ahead of me in 2016…
What crazy thing do you have planned for 2016 that you never thought you’d do?
I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud.
26 thoughts on “The Ultramarathon: it’s a natural progression”
This post is great. We don’t grow as people if we don’t push ourselves outside our regular comfort zone. For 2016, I have a few things planned including a track 10k as well as a mile road race. Both are things I never thought I would see myself doing!
Cool! I totally agree – it’s way too easy to get comfortable with status quo.
Wow. This is awesome – I think you’ll love it so much. I have no crazy race plans this year – just to PR!
I’ve kind of given up on the PR – I’m a lot slower than I was 5 years ago and I don’t really enjoy pushing myself to run fast.
As someone who sticks to 5ks, the thought of running for 24hr is pretty much beyond my realm of comprehension, but I have so much mad respect for anyone who does it. I love that you’re pushing yourself so far out of your comfort zone!
Thanks! And you have no idea what you might be capable of.
Wow, neat! You’re right about the next step. After completing a marathon in 2015, I’ve also been eyeing an ultra for the next big challenge. Good luck — it will be fun watching/reading your blog as you prepare!
They call it the comfort zone for a reason. I’m not much of a trail runner either, mostly because there really aren’t trails in Dallas. If I moved somewhere that had them, I’d get trail shoes and check them out.
That’s exactly my issue. I’m in a very urban area – even the trails are paved.
Great! I am running my first marathon in April and have already started thinking about more marathons and longer distance races. I think the challenge excites me and keeps me wanting more! I read about a gal running for 48 hours – running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours – in preparation of her ultra distance. Crazy! (…and I want to try it sometime!)
Ooh, I love that 48 hour idea. Not sure I could carve that kind of time out of my life (and don’t need to do that long since my ultra won’t be that long), but cool idea.
It sounds like you have a good plan! An ultra seems like a natural progression, but I’m not quite there yet. I think the idea of a loop course with an hour limit sounds interesting. I am running the Chicago marathon and as of Tuesday, the NYC Marathon this fall. I have never ran two marathons so close together, but I am really really excited about it. Like you I am working to half shape at any time.
Just plan one of the marathons as a race and one as a “just for fun”. That’s how I keep from getting injured.
Great idea! I’m a mostly road runner and I made the leap to ultras a few years ago and it’s been a lot of fun. The ultra and trail crew are very welcoming and always happy to share a craft beer. 🙂
I just wish I had close by trails to train on. I just don’t have time to drive to a trail, get in a decent run, and drive home most days.
Wow that does sound a little nutty even for you!
Gotta keep upping the nutty. ;o)
I have an Ragnar ultra team signed up for Ragnar WV that is in need of a 4th teammate. We’d be happy to have you join us!
As for my goals, I’m trying two hilly 50Ks this year, along with shooting for my first 50-miler this fall.
When is that one? It would totally depend on dates.
The race is August 12th & 13th.
You go! So impressive that you are going for the 24 Hour race! My body might spontaneously combust 🙂 Can’t wait to follow your Ultra journey!
The beauty of this race is that you are never more than a mile from the finish line. I’ll be making my goals accordingly. LOL
My crazy thing for 2016 is my first ultra as well. But I’m being even crazier and SKIPPING the 50K distance and going straight to a 50 miler!! I also turn 40 in a few days, and I figured why not celebrate turning 40 in style? 🙂
It sounds like a 24 Hour Loop is the safest way to do an ultra for the first time! I would like to do a 50 K eventually but I’m not a trail runner either, and I’m always paranoid about getting injured or rolling and ankle. I think this sounds like a great way to start a new adventure!