Back in April, I took a HUGE leap. I’ve actually been told that it was downright insane adding in the fact that I am currently going through chemo and this leap would require training through the “hot as Hades” Texas summer. So be it, most of us ultrarunners are actually crazy and embrace that. *shrug*
I registered for my very first 50 miler! I tackled my first ultra, a 50K in April 2018 and a second, a 54K in January 2019. Obvious next step (in my mind anyway) is to move on to the next distance. So, in November, I am registered for Run Amok 50 Miler, part trail race, part overnight camping party. Perfect for what I was looking for and came highly recommended from several ladies in my trail group.
It took me FOREVER to find a race to commit to. Knowing that I was going through chemo, I really needed a long cutoff and didn’t want crazy elevation. Well, I got both. I have somewhere around 50 hours to finish and a practically flat course. The race is held in Harrison Bay State Park outside of Chatanooga, TN (I get to check off another state…woohoo!).
So, after registering it was time to get busy on building a training plan. For both my last ultras, I used the 50K plan from UltraLadies.com. The plan works and got me through both 50K’s still strong at the finish (and one 50K for Bryan, too). This time around though, I knew I needed a plan that was a bit more adaptable. The chemo drugs I am on can cause fatigue and I want to get through this training strong and healthy still at the end. I ended up choosing the “40 Miles to 100K on 50 miles per Week” training plan from the Relentless Forward Progress book (with tweaks). I love how the author adds in tips for modifying the plan to lower weekly mileage, so I took some of those suggestions and my own coaching knowledge and put together my plan. Here’s what I ended up with.
Training “officially” began on May 27, so I am 3.5-ish weeks in. Training thus far is going okay. My body is not adapting to the heat/humidity combo as fast as I would like, but I am finishing my long runs and only hitting a wall about 2 miles until the end each week. Perfectly normal and nothing I am going to beat myself up about at this point. My paces are not what I would like either, but this weather here in Texas is terrible (someone take me back to the desert ASAP). This article doesn’t even recommend running in the temps/humidity we have here daily. Ha, jokes on them (or I guess actually us)…..I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that these harsh miles now will equate into easier miles this fall when temps mellow out.
This is by far going to be one of my biggest challenges thus far (at least until February…more about that later, but there is a clue above) and I am so thankful to have such a supportive family and tribe to join me along the way!