Mid 30-mile training run. Emma Wood State Beach, Ventura, CA
Do you love pushing yourself to your body’s physical and mental limits? I do!
There were several factors that inspired me to sign up for my first 50 mile running race. My husband and I were mid road trip, exploring America as we relocated to Ventura, California, when the idea came to me. I needed a challenge looming in the distance that would help hold me accountable to a fitness routine while camping. With ten marathons and two trail 50Ks under my belt, I was looking for something new, something that I truly had to dig deep for. After coaching myself to hit my Boston Qualifying time last fall, I really liked the idea of not getting hung-up on pace while entering unknown territory. For any new distance, I believe the goal should be centered around finishing and feeling strong on course. With a little research, I found my race, and vividly remember registering from the passenger seat on the drive from South Dakota into Wyoming this past July. The North Face Endurance Challenge GORE-TEX 50 Mile event, beginning in Sausalito, California, and ending with an epic run over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was my new goal!
Time check! Surfers Point Beach, Ventura, CA
What was I thinking?!!?
Somewhere in Nebraska enroute to South Dakota, several days before registering!
My mission in training was all about building volume. This was a unique approach for me. I previously would set out with a goal to run a certain distance with a target time, now I was simply running for an allotted amount of time. I’m not going to lie, 98% of my workouts I kept going until hitting an even mile mark. No mildly obsessive-compulsive person (aka most runners) can end on 5.79 miles! The lack of concern in mileage and pace was necessary as I experienced training in altitude for the first time while trekking through the beautiful elevated backcountry of Montana and the summer desert conditions in Arizona and Utah.
Our road trip concluded at the beginning of September in the upper coastal corner of Southern California. No longer traveling, I was able to familiarize myself to a new home by mapping out training routes, including several 20 to 30 mile runs. I was sure to throw in hill practice and fartlek-style speedwork. I did not feel undertrained, nor overtrained, which I would say is not a bad place to be.
20-mile hike to Sperry Glacier in Montana’s Glacier National Park. We’ll count this as the first long run!
Unfortunately, due to the extreme wildfire activity in California this fall, the race was canceled. The North Face did an incredible job turning the race packet pickup events into donation opportunities and sent a significant amount of supplies and cash to relief organizations in Butte County. We were notified just under a week before the event. After all of the training, bummed is an understatement. However, I knew this situation was much greater than me or my race.
There will be other races!
Here is to 2019 and achieving my 50-mile goal!
If you have any favorite races to suggest, training questions, thoughts or anecdotes you’d like to share, please find me on Instagram @fresh_world_press or firstname.lastname@example.org!
PS. Thank you Turtle Fur for having the right hat for all occasions!
Sawtooth National Forest, ID… definitely feeling the altitude change!
Bring on the heat! Getting in the miles in Moab, UT, just outside of Arches National Park.
Running while whale watching, doesn’t get much better than that! MacKerricher State Park, CA
Finally settled in one location and discovered these fun hilly trails at Arroyo Verde Park. Ventura, CA
Rec path bliss on the Ventura River Trail.
My favorite 6-mile route turnaround point. The Russian Mermaid, overlooking Ventura Harbor.
Photo credit: Jason Gerhart @fresh_world_press