Ultramarathon? Ultramarathon!

Finally, after weeks and weeks of talking and planning I have signed up for my first Ultramarathon – Ultra Trail South West 60 miler. We (me and my dearest BF, who has just successfully smashed his first ultra race this weekend- Wadi Bih 72 km) have been planning for this for quite some time. Planning included research of the training plans and thinking “Gosh, I cannot possibly run this much”, shopping for gear (come on, you need all those latest trail shoes before you even hit the trails, don’t you?), generally dreaming of crossing the finish line after running for 100 km and feeling badass…. Planning didn’t really include any real training, at least for me lol. And now it begins. The race is end of June. It is almost mid Feb now. I better get my ass off the couch and start running some serious miles…

There are however a few things that I need to consider:

1. The race is hilly – last year’s race vertical ascent was around 3000 m. The problem is that I live in the UAE. UAE, in its majority, is as flat as a pancake and for us, desert runners, going up and down the bridge or a flyover is considered “hill training” and jumping over speedbumps poses a significant threat to legs. However I am lucky enough to live in Ras Al Khaimah right now, which is pretty close to Hajar Mountains, and this means some long trail runs on the weekends to learn running up and downhill.

2. The race is in UK. UK is rainy, wet and cold and chances are it will be exactly that – rainy, wet and cold on race day and there is absolutely nothing here that will prepare me for these kind of conditions.  But I have already got myself a nice waterproof Northface running jacket, so I presume I am ready to handle rain, mud and dirt!

3. Feb and March are the months when it is becoming hot in the sandpit. By hot I mean easily +35-37 degrees Celsius in day time. What does that mean for me? It means that my alarm clock will be permanently set for somewhere between 3 to 4 am.  Lovely, isn’t it? As they say “early to bed and early to rise and you are guaranteed no social or sex life”.

4. It is quite obvious that I have never run a distance longer than a marathon. Marathon is 42.2 km, the ultra I am running in June is 100km. Just plain attempts to imagine what it feels like to run for 100 km makes my feet ache and blister and my legs cramp.

5. I have no idea how I will manage to combine this amount of running with my other fitness activities and goals. I am yet to figure that out I guess…

I think I need to go run now…

4 thoughts on “Ultramarathon? Ultramarathon!

  1. pwhent

    Wow Tania – that is some challenge. As an Englishman I should defend our island! It is not always rainy, wet and cold in the UK but after last summer you are wise to come prepared!! Good luck!!

    Reply

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