Sunday, August 20, 2006

The RD of the Catoctin 50k describes the course as "rocky, slow, difficult and demanding (but yet run-able) trail." I would agree with that statement, plus possibly painful. I was cursing this course by about 25 miles and swearing that although I was glad to have run it, I would never be back... well you know how those trail confessions go, 2 weeks later and I would have to say I may just run it again next year. It is certainly challenging, and that is the allure that I guess brings those of us who run ultra marathons back to the starting lines, that and possibly the brains apparent inability to remember the pain. I remember the pain of the rocks and downhills, but now they are somehow hollow and indistinct. I know how I felt, but I cannot "feel" it in my memory. Good thing I guess to remember while your in pain, you really won't remember it well later. So as long as you can endure it now, and push on, you will finish and the memory of the pain will fade away. I've read such things when I was thinking about getting into ultras, it is interesting to have now experienced it and now understand it. I read recently something along the lines of " all those running ultras are suffering, its not about training till you don't suffer, its about training to "endure" the suffering" this really set off a light bulb in me. There was a part of me that had thought that in time running ultras would become painless, but that is just silly, there will always be pain, you must train to endure the pain. This Saturday August 26th I will be upping the ultra ante by running my first 50miler here:
I feel good about my prep for this race, I've run some pretty tough 50k's this year, and I've be doing some easy running and resting since Caoctin so I intend to step up to the starting line rested and healthy. I will concentrate on just finishing the distance without a lot of thought for finish time, although of course I have thought about how fast I would like to finish which is sub-10hrs. we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

3 days out
Well this Saturday is my next run, the Catoctin 50k in Frederick, MD. Training since my last race has concentrated on speed, heat and some hill work. I was comparing some times from Feb and recent speed work I did, well I was a bit surprised to find I was running slower! I guess I should not be surprised, I've really dropped the ball on speed work for most of the year and have concentrated on long slow runs. I've read comments on the Ultra mailing list that long slow running makes for long slow runners. So for the past few weeks I have been doing some road runs and pushing the pace to try and up my speed. Of course there has been some serious heat lately, I've found I'm not real fond of running in it, but I've made it a point to get out and suffer through it so I'm not blindsided by the heat during my next 2 runs. My second run this month Aug 26th will be my first 50 miler, the proximity of this weeks 50k to it is of some concern so my goal for the 50k is to just treat it as a training run and take it nice and easy. I want to be as prepared as possible for the step-up to 50 miles. After the 50 miler I'm running the Army 10 miler in October with a friend of mine and then the Mountain Masochist 50 miler in November . Depending how well I recover from this months 50 miler I will have to decide on my final run of the year. I have in mind running Hellgate which although the 2006 date is not on the website I assume will be in early December. Hellgate is a 100k night start run, sounds like a lot of fun and would be a great capstone to my 2006 ultra running year.