to 50 or not to 50…

3 Jan

I’ve been hemming and hawing for a month now about this whole 50 mile thing.  I’ve looked at a slew of options, made charts comparing and contrasting them.  I’ve weighed the options, looked at pros and cons, and had moments of elation as I looked at races that I had looked at in the past and said “hell no” and this time said “someday for sure.”  I was ready physically.  But I couldn’t pull the trigger.

This morning, I was supposed to run 14 miles.  My alarm went off and I was so tired.  Everything in me wanted to swipe the terrible alarm sounds away and stay tucked in our nice warm bed.  But I crawled from bed, feeling all disconnected and out of it, like I’d taken a ton of cold medicine or something.  My body felt tired–down-to-the-bones tired.  Bending down to tie my shoes took all my effort.  I just kept telling myself I’d shake it off in the first few minutes of the run. Off we went.

You know those runs that just seem to fly by?  You end and you feel like you just started?  Yeah that was not this kind of run.  From about mile 5 on, it was a slow death march.   My legs felt like frozen blocks of ice.  Normally I warm up nicely after the first mile or so.  Today my arms and legs were freezing the whole time.  And that tired, groggy feeling I woke up with never lifted.  Maybe it’s the fact that we mountain biked (through snow) Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week on top of our normal running/lifting schedule.  Because even now, after I finished running, I swear even my fingers and toes are tired.

In the 5 mile death march back to the car, I kept thinking about how I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to get up early to run for hours in the winter–in the snow, on the slippery trails, being cold, my lungs telling me to f off, not just on the hills but for the rest of the day.

I’m still new to this whole ultra thing, so I don’t know a whole lot.  But I do know that if you’re not in it, like 100% in it, the chances of finishing are slim.  And the chances that (even if you do finish) it’s going to be miserable are high.  And I don’t need to fill my time with things that make me miserable.  Maybe it’s time to give the distance a little rest and focus on speed and strength.  I’m still not completely ruling out a 50 miler, but I’m finally weighing some other options to see if there’s something that might fit better right now.

love

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2 Responses to “to 50 or not to 50…”

  1. Rekkless Running January 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Do it! They really aren’t as terrible as they sound. You will have bad training runs, but you’ll also have ones you wish will never end. You will feel miserable at times in a 50 miler – but if you keep moving forward you’ll get 2nd, 3rd, 4th winds. It’s an amazing feeling. Totally worth feeling miserable.

    It’s definitely something to think about more. Maybe this year – maybe next year? But I vote yes! You should 50 🙂

    • shmeruns January 4, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

      I agree, Laura! The feelings of misery happen, but when they pass/at the finish line, it’s totally all worth it. On the flip side, I’m wondering if maybe my body is just telling me to take a little break from the distance for right now. I’ve been very cranky on my runs, so maybe time for some shorter stuff and mixing in more cross training…we’ll see. I’m definitely going to do one…it’s just a matter of when it will be best.

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