Well hello there! Hope this is finding you enjoying your weekend!
So, I just realized I have 41 days until my first 50 miler, and I’m still a bit terrified of that distance! I did a 50k last June in Farmville, VA and I remember how tough that was! I was very under prepared though, the heat index was over 100 and it started at 5pm at night.
I’m very excited for the upcoming 50 miler as even though my injury cost me 3 months of training, my foundation is a lot stronger! I also have 6 more weeks to keep building while gaining confidence with a few long races along the way! You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the Hachie 50 over the next few months!
Any pointers, suggestions, feedback you can offer, please let me know! I have so much admiration for all of you runners and ultra marathoners and would love to hear your advice!
Some of the top ten things I’m telling myself during my racing, training, etc and what I want to remember for the big 50 are the following! I want to share these tips with you:
1) Get to the starting line
****We often fail before we ever begin. I’d say most of the time it’s from focusing on fears we’ve created from thin air! But what’s incredible about becoming a runner is that it literally ONLY takes one step forward and poof – you’re a runner. However, we naturally develop excuses during training to stop us from even getting to the starting line. I’ve learned to try and recognize excuses for what they are–excuses. Because there’s one thing I know for certain: if you look for excuses you will always find them. Mental strength is sometimes my weakness, and something I’m working on every day. Especially during the longer runs!
As I said the other day in THIS POST, its left foot right foot and repeat!
2) Absolute Certainty
****It’s always beneficial to have a definitive level of certainty for both getting to the starting line and crossing the finish. When building up to race day I attempt to eliminate any thoughts of incompletion. This type of mentality can be controlled. But just as easily as you can control this, you can just as easily loose control. I want to complete my first 50 mile ultra very badly and I know I can do it! The secret ingredient is FOCUS and being present in each mile!
3) Stay calm and hold on
When the race begins, it’s common to get a rush of adrenaline and you may not even realize it. This causes a much quicker starting pace. If you give in, it will certainly catch up to you later in the race. This has always been a struggle for me and when I go out too fast, it costs me every single time. Ive been reminding myself of this rush at every new starting line. I stay in tune with my body and back my pace off slightly now at the beginning and it’s absolutely helped with stronger finishes!
4) Run your own race
**** There are many runners of all different shapes, sizes, and speeds. I try not to get caught up in attempting to run faster than the person next to me! This was a fault of mine earlier in my running career and now I only focus on me. We might be running the same race, but the REAL race is against yourself!
5) Fueling Technique
****I always fuel the same during my training as I would on race day. I seldom try something new even at the big exciting expos. I’ve learned the harm from this first hand. Race day is not the day for experimentation. Trust your process!
6) Uphill Striding
**** Hills are something I’m trying to get much stronger running and are part of my weekly training as of now. When training or racing these, Keep your uphill strides small and quick. Hills can be a great change of pace and a chance for different muscles to be activated. Hills can be your best friend or your worst friend, the choice is yours. Put them in your training and you’ll be that much more confidant in race day!
7) Know your aid stations
**** I’m a little crazy about knowing my race course before hand. I want to know when, how often and what type of hydration or fuel will be available. However, I don’t rely on these and always have my own available!
Most races will have a section on their website dedicated to aid stations. You’ll find information on the various types of food and drinks available, along with the precise mile location. If you have any additional questions, you can always email the race director. This information will allow you to plan what fuel to carry and what to leave home. Ultra runners use handhelds, belts, pockets, hydration packs, etc. Our bodies are all different. A fueling plan for one person could be completely different for another. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Find out what works best for you.
8) Stay in the present
**** This one is HUGE for me, especially on longer runs and as I said, mental toughness can sometimes be my weakness! I’m trying to not think about how many miles I still have to go, but being present in the mile I’m in.
One technique I use is to look at an object in the near distance and run to it. Then pick another object a little further and run to that. Then another, and another, and so on. This technique can help take your mind off the ultimate finish line. You can also focus on one aid station at a time. Let the goal be the next aid station. Celebrate each small victory and readjust your goals, keeping the finish line distant in your mind. Every small achievement will eventually be one amazing success.
Enjoy the journey!
9) Prevent Chafing
**** This is something I never used to get, but anything longer than a half now I seem to start feeling it under my arms, etc…
Lube up all friction spots. You will thank yourself later in the race. Reapply during the race periodically and proactively – more so if it’s raining.
A lot of first aid stations will hand out sticks of Vaseline, and I’ve definitely used that once or twice in my past!
10) Priceless Energy
Race day is an incredible day with many mixed emotions. Nervousness is extremely common, especially if you’re new to running or if it’s your first ultra. Bottle up that excitement and use it to your advantage. This type of energy is priceless – a type of energy you can’t purchase online with a holiday promo code. In my opinion it’s not the races that make us better as runners – it’s the intense training and sacrifices we make to get us there. I’m putting in the work more now than ever, I can wait to see what the next few years bring!
I don’t want to just show up for races, I want a goal for each and one I can work towards and feel good about no matter the end result!
So when you toe that starting line, guess what? The hard work is done. The only thing left to do is stay focused, enjoy the ride, and run baby run! Left foot, right foot, repeat! Again, trust your training!
So, back to yesterday. I had a 10 mile run on my schedule for today/Saturday, but had to adjust and we had other things on our calendar. So, I ran after work… much later than I had planned as it was a busy day. I ended up just heading to the track and knocking the ten miles out there.
I had a few podcasts I wanted to listen to, one featuring Molly Huddle and the other one Janae Baron whose blog I have read for the past 7 or 8 years. Hungry Runner Girl has inspired me with her running and life for so long, and it was cool to listen to her speak about her triumphs, struggles etc… She is actually out running her first 50 miler as we speak, and I know she is crushing it! Can’t wait to read her recap!
Also, check out Ali on the Run HERE as she has an incredible blog and amazing podcasts! Her blog is packed full of amazing things and her podcasts get me through a lot of miles!!!
I did a very slow 10 miles, but I logged 50 for the week being that it was a day early, so I was okay with it! I’ve only been back full blown from injury for about 3 weeks, and it feel so good to log these miles every day! I’m blessed for the sport and remind myself in those hard miles, or when I’m tired and my legs hurt… of those months when I couldn’t. Makes me straighten up a bit and focus more on the present and how lucky I am!
With as much walking as I did at work yesterday, I actually logged about 17 miles. Pretty crazy!
We are currently at a photo shoot of Lynn’s and I’m outside watching the pups and peaking in every so often. I’m a proud fiancé today and not only is the Sanchez family beautiful, the little baby is precious. The pictures are going to be amazing!
See you at the start line!
– What is the one pointer or piece of advice you’d give another runner that you wish you’d have known earlier in your career?
– What is the furthest you’ve ever ran around a track?
– What are some of your favorites blogs?