June 14, 2009


So, lately I've been thinking about my race schedule and how certain races lend themselves as great training runs for other, bigger, longer races. Since my foray onto the "slippery slope" of ultra running, I was able to knock off 2 50K races 2 weeks apart this spring on very low mileage and began thinking about attempting a 50 miler. I haven't even been running 50 miles per week - can I really expect to pull off that kind of distance in a single day? Will my arthritic knees and feet hold up?

Whenever I've got some ponderin' to do, running usually provides the best environment to think things through. Helps clear my head of extraneous noise so I can sort things out, especially if what I'm sorting is running related :)

Went out to Afton yesterday for 16.5 miles of hill runnin', snake hoppin' (those fox snakes really, really seem to like sunning themselves in the middle of the trail on the Africa Loop), and ponderin'. Not too many folks out on the trail even though it was a beautiful day - guess many of the "regulars" are still recovering from FANS and Kettle last weekend. Ran into Janel, and before I knew it, I was mentioning running Lean Horse later this summer.

Lean Horse will be a month after the Grand Island Marathon, which is a relatively flat, fairly non-technical trail. Hmm, good timing for a last long training run. And Lean Horse would count towards the Fab Five Fifties ultra race series. And my arthritis isn't going to get better, it will only progress as time goes on, so perhaps I should go for it now. And I will probably never feel "ready" to just go run 50 miles - it's a BIG jump up from 31. But I don't really need to run 50 miles - much of it will be walking. And I haven't had a vacation since I started my own business more than 12 years ago - the Black Hills would be a nice place to spend a week after the race. So, why not tug on the Big Girl Panties and toe the line to find out what 50 miles feels like?

I sent off the Lean Horse Half Hundred registration this morning. I don't think I've done anything this stupid in, ohhhhhhhhhh, at least a month and a half.


Londell said...

Congrats on taking the next step... From what I hear it is a great run and should be fun. Depending on my surgery, I was thinking of going to that race myself... Not to run, but to pace and support.

Steve said...

Good going, Kel! Way to test your boundaries. You'll do just fine. Running 50 miles is like running 50K, only more walking.

Wayne said...

Alright, Kel... good for you! This seems like a perfectly reasonable move, congrats on going for it. Enjoy the planning and anticipation!

SteveQ said...

Lean Horse is a very good choice for a first 50 (mine was Voyageur - a bad one). The biggest obstacles will be the heat and dry air. You can run 50 without ever having run 50 miles in a week - after all, those who run 100s never (well, rarely) run 100 mile weeks.

RunWesty said...

Go for it, that way I can follow your training. I am pondering one too but I am leaning towards Surf the Murph to give me plenty of time to figure it all out.