I’ve been on a journey since last year training for my first 100 ultra trail race and what a journey it has been. I will be racing the Bryce Canyon 100 in June, which gives me a little less than 4 months left of training. I’ve decided that I need to blog about my training and thoughts on my runs more often, so here we go.
A couple of weekends ago my husband knew I was going crazy with the nasty inversion we have had here in Utah, so he told me that I HAD to run a race in Moab. Ok, maybe he didn’t force me, but he knows me well and knew that I needed to get out on an adventure. Four days before the race I signed up and was excited and ready to run.
I thought this 55K would be a great training run and a good time to experiment with some of my nutrition during a race. I had not tapered at all for this race (eeeeekkk), so I decided I was going into it to just have fun, enjoy the time out there and learn from my experience. I didn’t want to worry about my time or place. I’m not a very competitive person with other people, but when it comes to myself during a race I can be quite competitive with myself. So going into a race trying not to be consumed with my time can sometimes be a difficult thing for me. I need to train myself to learn not to put so much pressure on myself just as much as I need to train for the actual race. I run out on the trails because I love being there, and once I lose that as my main goal it turns into something that is not a pleasurable for me.
It’s surprising how well you can do if you just enjoy the ride and that is exactly what I did during this race. I was in the race for the pure joy of being out in nature with other runners racing in gorgeous Moab. I didn’t look at my time and just enjoyed each step I took in the beautiful surroundings. Since I did not taper for this race by mile 28 I was feeling a little tired, this is probably also due to the fact that I didn’t look at my heart rate, so I’m sure it was higher than usual for the first part of the race. In those moments when my legs were sore due to the rough terrain and my energy wasn’t at its peak, I still couldn’t help but smile and be grateful that I was there surrounded by gorgeous scenery doing something that I love… running. My goal in future races is to focus more on the joy of racing and not letting myself get too worked up with time or place. Yes, of course it’s important to me to strive for a good time and place, but it doesn’t need to be my main goal with every race.
I feel like I have grown since I started my journey towards my 100 mile race and I feel like I will continually grow with each long run. Not only have I grown in my knowledge of training for ultras, but I feel like I have grown a deeper connection with why I run. This race made me feel very optimistic about my training so far. I was able to run a 55K on whim and felt fairly good during and after the race.