From 50K to 50 Miles

After slogging through a couple of 50 km races over the past 2 months, I have decided to take the next baby step and sign up for a 50 miler.  For my fellow metric readers, that equates to just over 80 km, which is about 60% longer than a 50K.  Typing that makes it sound like more than a baby step, but its too late as I have committed myself by already registering.  The good news is that the race is at the end of May 2013, so I have many months of winter running to prepare for it!

Perfect frosty fall running day

The race I registered for is called the Sulphur Springs Trail Run.  Its got a distance for everyone – 10km, 25km, 50km, 50m, and 100m.  It works for me because its not too far to travel (Ancaster, ON) and is in the spring.  Its also got a good reputation for being well organized by the Burlington Runners Club.

Beautiful course in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area

I had an opportunity to go and check out the course this past week.  It is about an hour drive for me which means it is close enough that I can likely get a few runs in there before the date of the race.  The 50 mile race is 4 times around the 20km loop.  Being that it was my first time in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, I spent a lot of time check and rechecking that I had the right route, and backtracking when I realized I didn’t.  I think I managed to figure out most of it, but was unable to run the last loop section as the trails were closed for hunting.  It was surprising that right beside the tree with the “No Hunting” sign on it, was a barricade with a sign reading that hunting would be occurring on a series of dates in Nov/Dec/Jan.  Weird.  It seems like an easy course in terms of technical demands, but has enough up and down to make it challenging.

No Hunting, except today… and a few other days. And on those days, it is No Running!

I plan to set up a training plan in the next little while.  In the past I have always used/adapted relatively generic training plans but I feel like I have learned enough and read enough to try and come up with my own.  My wife is going to help me with some strength training for my core and legs so hopefully that will help out as well.  I plan to share my training, and would be grateful for anyone that wanted to provide tips and suggestions with me.  I love the openness of the ultra community and I know there are lots of experienced people out there with a ton of information to share.

I’m not setting a goal time (at least not yet), however as luck would have it we have been invited to a friends wedding on the same day.  Start time is 6AM so I am hoping to be done within 8 hrs, drive home, shower & change, and make it to the wedding reception.

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7 responses to “From 50K to 50 Miles

  1. I am looking forward to following your progress. I am finding it inspiring to watch other trail runners prepare for their long races and learn a lot from it. Makes me excited to be able to start running again soon 🙂

  2. That is so great you’re going for the 50 miler! You will not regret it. I did my first 50 on 10/6 and at first…I was only going to do the 50k but a friend who runs ultras said the only thing holding me back from the full 50 was my mental game so it was then I just decided to go for it. I will be forever grateful to him because I did run the 50 miles and it was the best experience…and I know you’ll have am awesome experience too. My biggest advice is this: back to back long runs on the weekends and keep yourself mentally in the game because there will definitely be highs and lows…you just have to remember that your body can handle it and will handle it. Looking forward to seeing your progress! 🙂

  3. This is the reason I’m not registering for anything in 2013 yet, WEDDINGS! We have 7 already in 2013, 3 without set dates. Add on stagettes, showers, etc, and I’m very limited on race days. Hoping everyone figures out their wedding stuff soon so I can start planing my 2013 race calendar. Funny that you are always running loops, my 50K was a 25K out & back, and then 3 50K’s I’m considering next yr & 1 50M are all 1 big giant loop. Weird, guess that’s just how we roll on the West Coast!

    • We’re lucky – only one wedding so far. I just can’t believe it happens to be on the same date as this race!

      I wonder how different a single loop or out and back would be. I guess it’s a lack of big spaces down here that prevents it. I thought I would hate the loops, but it’s not as mentally hard as I expected.

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