Anticipating my First 50 Miler…

I haven’t been documenting all the excruciating details of what I have been doing to prepare for my first 50 miler in May, but I thought I would give a quick update in case others are in the same boat, or thinking about getting in that boat!

The challenge with spring races (at least in places like Ontario) is that you need to diligently maintain/develop/wish for your base miles during the winter.  This either means lots of treadmill, or lots of cold snowy km’s.  I opted for the cold and snow, and had a decent winter of running outside.  Even the long runs tended to be shorter (<25km) but I got in enough training to maintain a decent level of fitness.

Winter isn't quite done on the Sulphur Springs course

Winter isn’t quite done on the Sulphur Springs course

The warmer days have just started to make an appearance and I have been celebrating it with some longer runs at a slower (closer to my planned 50 mile race pace).  I want to continue building up the mileage (and time) over the next few weeks, then cut back a bit going into the race at the end of May.  People are sometimes curious about weekly mileage and distances of long runs.  My long runs are up to about up to about 40km (~4 hours on trails) and my weekly distance is around 70-80km per week.  Life has been hectic lately, and it has cut into my training a bit.  I’d like to get the weekly distance/time up a little bit but am not counting on that happening (the hectic-ness is expected to continue).  I am confident that if I can keep going like I have been, and can get my pacing right I will get to the finish line.  I am not expecting to break any course records, but want to finish and get a feel for this kind of ultra distance.

no more ice!

no more ice!

I had a bit of a setback yesterday.  I headed out to Ancaster, Ontario to run a couple loops of the 50 mile course and managed to roll over on my left ankle at the 30km mark (of a planned 40km).  This happens from time to time, but I am usually lucky enough to get away without any pain.  Yesterday the pain was immediate, and seemed serious.  I couldn’t bear weight on the forefoot, and knew running was out of the question.  I decided to walk out and hope for the best.  This morning it was quite stiff but there has been no swelling or bruising so I am hopeful that I just really stretched it and a day or two of rest will “fix” it.

The nice part of spring is you get views that will be blocked by leaves in a few weeks

The nice part of spring is you get views that will be blocked by leaves in a few weeks

With 7 weeks to go I am looking forward to lots of warm long runs, with a focus on slowing my pace (still my biggest challenge).  I have been longing for the simplicity of running in shorts and a t-shirt and I am finally feeling like its coming!  I am also looking forward to building in more road and mountain biking, and keep up with yoga a couple times a week.

Yeah spring!

Yeah spring!

Anyone else training for a race this spring?  How is it going?  How did you get through the snowy months?


2 responses to “Anticipating my First 50 Miler…

  1. I training here in Manitoba for my first full next month and found winter running outside to be a challenge. We still have a fair amount of snow but the sidewalks and roads are almost clear, but for a few puddles. Still coming home with wet feet but at least it’s better than four layers in -30C!! Good luck on your race and looking forward to reading about it!

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