Is a 100 miles too far to run?
I hear this question asked quite frequently “how can that possibly be good for my health?” I personally do not know the answer to this, but I am hoping on June 18, 2016 that I can run 100 miles, and stay healthy of course. I feel like a lot of people think I am a seasoned ultra-runner, but really I’m still a greenhorn, I’m quite new at all of this ultra-running stuff. In fact, I have only been a runner since 2007, and I didn’t do my first trail run until 2011. I didn’t run in high school or college, or even in my 20s or 30s. I did start racing mountain bikes in the early 90s, and I’ve spent most of my life hunting and fishing. In middle school and high school I was the weirdo who would ride my bike 7 miles to school (I avoided near death experiences with logging trucks on a daily basis). I would race home after school (up a 2.5 mile long hill) and try to beat the bus to my scheduled stop in front of the house. Some days I was victorious and other days I could see the kids pointing fingers and laughing at me because I was weird. After several years of racing my mountain bike in the Wild Rockies series, I stopped in 1999 because of a skiing injury that required 2-two inch long screws in my left knee. My orthopedic surgeon told me that I wouldn’t be able to run, but I could bike all I wanted.
Why did I choose a 100 mile trail running event? Running a hundred mile trail run is a tough concept to grasp for me, yet runners do this all the time. Actually the 200 mile distance is the new race for some ultra-runners. I just read an article that the 200 mile-distance has a higher completion rate than the 100 mile-distance. So how do I get my head wrapped around this distance? I actually felt the same way when I first tackled the Ironman distance, the concept just seems so huge to me. I chose Bryce 100 miler for my first 100 miler.
The first thing that helped me was to break my pace down in my head, if I average a 15 min per mile pace for 24 hours, that’s just a fast hike! I signed up for a 100 mile race because I’m excited about the challenge. It’s more than just physical, it’s a mental challenge as well. What is my body capable of? Do we ever push our bodies to their absolute limit? I personally don’t think I ever have. I have experienced the highs and lows of emotions during training and during a race itself, but never over this distance and never for this length of time. I want to see how I’m going to handle the situation and how I can problem-solve to accomplish my goal.
I have drafted up a conservative training plan for myself, with the first 12 weeks mostly working on base-building and most importantly CORE/HIP STRENGTH! I feel most people think that if they are training for 100 mile race they need to run an insane amount of miles per week. I don’t believe this at all. I think training for a 100 miler is about time management (let’s face it all that training is stressful for your family), corrective exercises and of course the mental game we all play with ourselves. Don’t let the negative demons in your head. Yes Bryce Canyon is at elevation, but every other runner there will be dealing with the same issues that I am! My longest mileage weeks will actually peak at about 90 miles during week 20. I like to tell myself that its quality miles over quantity of miles. Right now I have two more weeks of base building before all of the crazy training starts, but so far I am injury free, I’m not burned out and my initial excitement over this adventure is still strong! That may change of course, but for now I am so excited about this crazy 100 mile adventure! Bryce Canyon 2016 or BUST! Stay tuned and I will post another blog in a few weeks for anyone who might find my training interesting.
If you are interested in what corrective exercise I am using, click this link for my YouTube videos