Ultra Runners


50K neophyte - the Bighorn (WY) (Read 129 times)


    Ok, I'm going out on a limb here. I'm looking for encouragement from people who dare to dream but who, at the same time, are realistic and protect themselves from injury/overuse. I'm open to cautious words and constructive criticism but I guess I'm just really looking for a reality check (with a good dose of optimism) from others who might understand. I have a little less than 2 months to taper in time for my first ever 50K. It's 67 days away. I had it all planned out, my training schedule on paper. By this date I scheduled myself to be up to 16 mile long runs. The reality is: the longest run I've done since November has been 8 miles. (November was 12 miles). Okay, before you say She-Rah is living in a complete fantasy, here's what I have been up to: Last summer, I did mountain trail races in the following distances: 10, 27 and 20 miles. Every year I compete in the 20-miler, I get a PR. I'm not fast. I'm generally a middle of the packer but I seem to be moving up a bit in the roster - which is something I love about this sport. The older I get, the faster I become - go figure. Experience goes a long way. Over the winter, I ran only 1-2 times a week because my focus was on skate skiing. I owe my current cardiovascular fitness to this sport. In mid-March I skied a 25K. In all, I was running/skiing at least 4 days a week, walking or hiking the other days. I am a strong proponent of rest and attribute some of my improvement in race performance to not overtraining. In late March, I incurred an inflamed disk by moving a heavy piece of furniture, followed by sitting too much at work, followed by skiing too much the following weekend. I did not run for two weeks but did try to walk most every day for exercise and sanity. I went for my first run after the back incident on April 5 - within 8 days I've been able to build up to 8 miles. I find the the distance very do-able at the time I am running and am not sore afterward. On alternate days, I hike a very steep hill or walk 5 miles roundtrip to work. I feel like I am in good shape and I am generally confident I will achieve my goal of completing my first 50K on June 20. But, I must admit, there is a little voice inside my head that questions if it'll be possible to do in a respectable time. I was hoping for 6:45-7:15 hours. Do you think I can do it? So, here I bare my soul to you, the ultra community. Thanks for listening. Now, I will listen.

    You'll ruin your knees!

      Welcome She-Rah! First of all, let me say you have picked a GREAT race for your 50K debut! I don't think there are many courses out there that rival the Bighorn course in sheer beauty. It sounds like you are pretty fit and that is a good start. I do think that you will need to get some long runs under your belt. If you did a 27 mile mountain run last summer, I don't see why this isn't achievable if you get the work in during the next 5-6 weeks. One thing you need to plan for is lots of downhill running. You have some serious downhill in the last 10 miles and it will take it's toll on your quads. It is hard to give a lot of advice without seeing your log, you may want to consider making it public (along with your profile, if you are OK with us knowing more about you). If schedules work for you, you may want to re-craft a shorter schedule starting from where you are now. Good luck with it and keep us updated on how your preparations are coming along. Lynn B

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)


        Oh! As I laid my head down to sleep I just remembered! In January, I did 35K in a Fat Ass event - running/walking. Phew! That makes me feel more confident. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, Lynn. I have never been on the Bighorn course so any and all beta is greatly appreciated. Good to know the downhill can get ya at the end - thankfully, I am used to that scenario. I hope to squeeze at least two 22-23 milers before taper time - plus all the other medium and long runs. In regards to sharing my log, I'm not sure that I am ready to do that just yet but thanks for making me feel welcome here.