Here we are at a day that I didn’t think would ever come, and one that now that it’s here I have really mixed feelings, part of me is very hopeful and excited, but I also am focused on other things and excited about them. I ran my first marathon in 2005, my time was 4:27:49, I was injured through a lot of the training and when I finished I thought I had checked off “Run a marathon” from my bucket list, time to move on to other life goals.
Fast forward many years, many races and two kids later. Last October I Boston Qualified with a 3:42:54 at the Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna B.C. When I first got into the whole marathon culture, and learned of the Boston Marathon, I firstly never dreamed that I’d ever be fast enough to qualify, and secondly I didn’t get the draw of the Boston Marathon, I remember commenting once to my husband that even if I qualified I didn’t have any interest in actually running the race. I think like a lot of runners, the Boston Bombings did a lot to change my opinion on this race, also having so many virtual friends that have run it or are going to or want to run it.
Now that I’ve qualified, and registered and am waiting to find out whether I get in, I’m feeling excited and hopeful but also of two minds. I’ve spent this past summer running a lot of trails, and have done a few trail races, and feel like I’ve really caught the trail bug. This is a good thing of course because in just under 3 weeks I’m running my first Ultra, a 50k on the trails around the Canmore Nordic Center.
Which is a nice segue into a training update. It’s been about a month since The Moose Mountain Marathon. My legs went into that race feeling tired, and I’ve spent the last month balancing recovering from the marathon and trying to get some volume in for the 50k. Now that I’m done my peak week, I feel like I’ve managed to balance things well. I did a bit of a reverse taper, running just 17 km’s the week after Moose, then 57 km’s, 75 km’s and this past week 92 km’s.
I also got in two nice long training runs on trails. Last weekend Lori, Rob and I ran most of the way up Moose Mountain from the highway, making for 28km’s running, and almost 1000 m’s of elevation. This past weekend, I ran with Rob, Yulia and Jane for my second longest training run, and biggest elevation run ever. It was a 34.5 km run, with somewhere between 1600 m and 2000 m of elevation depending on what source you believe. The best part of it all is that over the last week, while putting in 6 runs, my legs have felt better and better. Today, post big trail run, my legs feel great.
I’m planning on enjoying this 3 week taper, and don’t see any gains to be made by hammering any more hard or super long distances. I’d much rather play things conservative and take it easy, and end up being slightly less trained, than risk and injury or over training. I really want to enjoy this first 50 k experience because I want there to be more ultra-races in my future.