Thursday, June 12, 2008

Better Get Serious About Ultra Training

In 36 days, I'll be running my first ultramarathon, the BT 50k. With all that has been going on over the last few months (a couple of marathons come to mind), I have not really focused on this...but I need to. My longest run since Cleveland has been 15 miles, hardly adequate preparation for a 31 miler. I must get serious about training, I mean starting now. The 'BT' in BT50k does not stand for 'Bad Training', but it might stand for 'Brutal Torture' if I don't start getting some miles in.
As a kick-off to my 'Get Serious About Training' period, on Monday evening I attended a runners' seminar presented by the Cleveland Clinic. The featured speaker was Dr. Jack Andrish, a veteran ultramarathoner who coincidentally happens to be a renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon. He vividly described the ultra experience, focusing on the Western States Endurance Run, and showed photos and short video excerpts from the movie 'Race for the Soul'. It was a very inspiring session. At the end, I asked him what advice he would give me as I approached my first ultra. "Just keep in mind, eventually you'll cross the finish, and you will, and when you do, the feeling will be unlike anything you've felt before." I'll keep that in mind.


Recap of the week so far:

Sunday: I started out with the group, but dropped back to join a runner who was going a bit slower. He said the heat and humidity were affecting his asthma, and so I stayed with him. He seemed to be struggling, so I asked if he wanted to cut the run short. He decided that would be best, so I stayed with him and we ran slowly back to the start. Once I was sure he was OK, I took off to try to catch up with the group, and did eventually at the top of the hill on Route 91. I ran back with Wyatt, Paul, and Jeff U. It ended up being only 10.25 miles, but after a tough Saturday trail run, that felt right to me.

Monday: I ran a nice 6 miles at a moderate pace, down into the valley, along the tow path, and back.

Tuesday: This is normally speed-work day, but it happened to fall on our 33rd wedding anniversary, so I ran 6 miles at lunch, then we had a lovely evening, barbecuing marlin and asparagus on the patio. Some neighbors came over to celebrate with us. We had a few beers and talked for a few hours, enjoying the beautiful weather.

Wednesday: Another 6 miles (am I in a rut?) at lunch. Lots of hills.

Today: I rode my bike in and will ride home as well (about 26 miles round trip). I hope to sneak a tempo run in at lunch, but schedule may not allow for this. I hope to avoid doing yet another 6 miler.


solarsquirrel said...

I wish I didn't have school on Monday's or I would have totally gone to that seminar. That's cool advice you got - it's the truth, too! It's an interesting feeling to know that you've just ran 31 miles...
Even months later I still can't believe I did it!!!!

Wyatt said...

Frank, you're going to be fine at the BT50K. You've run the course and know it well. Over the next few weeks I'm sure the Lock 29 crew will spend a lot of time on it. This being your first race over 26.2, just aim for finishing it strong. Whatever you do, don't go out too fast. Run the 1st half conservatively, take advantage of the aid stations, get back to Snowville in one piece and then, only then, should you pick it up. That, in my opinion, is the best approach for running an enjoyable first BT50K. This will be my 4th BT50K--hard to believe....


Graham said...

Congratulation on 33 years!!

Steve Hawthorne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Hawthorne said...

Happy Anniversary Frank!

Advice on the BT50K, go out fast and hang on. Walk the hills and hydrate. One step in front of the other.