19 Days

OH MY GOD. I AM FREAKING OUT. IN NINETEEN DAYS I’LL BE RUNNING MY FIRST ULTRA MARATHON. THAT IS 30 MILES. HOLY CRAP.

Okay. I feel better now. Thanks.

But seriously. Did you know that? Do you have your calendars marked with my training goals? If you did then you realized today the same thing I realized – that in 19 days I’ll be running a race that is longer than a marathon. LONGER than a marathon. 30 miles.

It’s not the 50-miler I had set out to run before the pregnancy/miscarriage/D&C – but it’s still a huge goal and I’m freaking out a tiny bit over it.

It’s funny. Around here I actually know a lot of ultra runners. A lot of my running friends have done this particular race several times. So it’s easy to lose sight of the magnitude of this accomplishment.

So I come here and talk to you guys because I know you guys are with me: THIS IS SOME CRAZY SHIT I’M DOING HERE.

But around here? In this running community? Maniacs who do this annual race are a dime a dozen. And sometimes it gets a bit intimidating because – not only do they do these races regularly – but they do them FAST. On the road I’m average, sometimes on the faster side of average if the race is shorter, but still…NOT FAST. I’ve done 10 miles at an under 10-minute/mile pace. That means 10 miles in an hour and forty minutes. See? Kinda fast!

But on the trails? On this course I’ll be running? It takes me a hair over TWO HOURS to run 9.5 miles. And that’s the FIRST loop. I get slower with each loop. So, if you factor in all of the miles I’m hoping I’ll finish under eight hours. But some of those people out there? Will do it in HALF the time.

So…I get easily intimidated. Especially when I have to share trails with those faster people. A trail race is not like a road race, there’s not a lot of room to move around. A lot of these trails are called “single track” trails which means it’s one person wide. There’s courteous rules to abide by, like someone saying, “On your left!” if they want to pass you. And if that happens I jump out of the way as quick as possible. But sometimes they’re coming up fast, around a corner, or coming down a steep incline where “side” doesn’t really exist. There are tons of scenarios where getting out of someone’s way is not as easy as it sounds.

My point? I’m skeered! Not just of doing the miles…I’ve actually trained for that. It’s the mental game – the worry about not “fitting in” or not seeming “worthy” – that’s the tougher challenge. Which is SO DUMB. Logically? I know how dumb that is. I ran 35 miles in two days this weekend. Why would I not be worthy? But my mind…my mind plays tricks on me. And one of my running coaches once told me, “It’s over 80% mental. It’s much easier to train your body than your mind.”

So I’ll spend the next 19 days trying to convince myself I’m worthy. I have one more long run on Sunday and then physically? My body will be ready. And I’ll have two weeks for my body to rest and my mind to learn to trust my body.

30 miles. WHAT IN THE HELL WAS I THINKING?

7 Comments

  • Heather@YSP

    You’re a fricking rockstar, no matter how slow you go. Don’t forget that the discipline it takes to even contemplate doing 30 miles is incredible. I don’t care if it takes you eight hours or eight days, to me, it’s absolutely amazing and just a little bit insane. 🙂

  • ccr in MA

    The anticipation is always worse than the event. You can do it! You will do it! And you’ll probably enjoy it, at least partially. Which is pretty weird to me, but more power to you!

  • Patti

    You are going to be AWESOME!

    And, know that to a lot of people you are really, really fast!

    I have recently diagnosed, pretty bad asthma and a 12.5 minute mile is all I can manage for anything over a 5k without throwing myself into an attack. For me, right now, 12.5 minutes is fast — to you and some of my elite athlete friends it sounds like walking. I’ve had to really stop getting into my head too much about my pace and comparing myself to others because the fact that you are out there, doing 30 miles? That sounds like an impossible dream to someone who has just started running. You’re a rockstar!

    p.s. I’m running my first full marathon in December, I am having a similar, “Wait, how many weeks away are we now?” feeling.

  • tracey

    One thing I’ve learned from running ultras is that the community is SO supportive. Nobody cares how fast/slow you are and the vibe is super chilled out. You will rock it and have the best time out there!

  • Beth B.

    Kim – you have so got this. Trust in your training. Its going to be awesome and we all can’t wait to read your race report when you’re done!!!

  • Diana

    I never usually comment, but I wanted to say – I bet if you look back in your archives to your very first 5K there is an entry that looks a lot like this. It is normal to feel not worthy and scared, and when all is said and done, conquering these feelings will be the best part of accomplishing this race! YOU ARE WORTHY (and a little nuts if you ask me)!! 🙂 So excited for you and we are all cheering you on!!