Training For Ultra's Training Diaries - Issue #15



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Guest: Addie Bracy

Episode Title: Addie Bracy Finds a Key to Unlocking a Run Rabbit Run 100 Win

Bio: Addie Bracy is an ultrarunner, author, mental performance consultant, running coach, and Nike Trail athlete based in Denver, Colorado. Addie started running at 8 years old with her father and although she played lots of different sports in high school running was definitely her passion. She was a D1 athlete at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and she has qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon twice and once in the 10 k and she currently runs on the Nike Trail team! In 2016 Addie was just a few seconds off of the Olympic trial time in the steeplechase and this close call made her rethink her passion for road and track running and she realized she was started to feel burnt out so, she started trail running and actually won her first trail race: the U.S. Mountain Championships in New Hampshire. Addie fell in love with trail running and six months later started ultrarunning. She is the first to admit that her passion for ultrarunning is likely intertwined with her passion for sports psychology. After all it was while she was in grad school pursuing her degree in sports psychology and performance that she started ultrarunning. Addie’s work with athletes, as well as her own personal experience, has shown her that you cannot let running become too much of your identity and that ultrarunning requires a unique level of mental toughness unlike many other sports. Addie is the author of the book “Mental Training for Ultrarunning” which profiles ten different ultrarunners and the mental skills they have which help bring them success in the sport. Addie is quite the prolific runner and has run everything from Western States to Quad Rock her most recent accomplishment was winning the 2021 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Race!

Quotes from podcast episode:

“Seeing the difference between the two races, my biggest thing that I figured out was just kind of that, letting the course come to me, responding to the things that were coming, making adjustments, if I had a second where I felt tired taking my time at aid stations, really assessing what I needed, and making it more about the little things, rather than just getting so focused on the running and racing part, which really wasn’t working for me before.” -  7:39 Addie Bracy

“I fully take the blame at Western States, I think that the scenario I got myself into was 100% avoidable.” - 16:44 Addie Bracy

“That’s the biggest failure I have had in the sport yet, I would say at Western States, and just using that as a chance to learn and recognize that it wasn’t just a bad race, it was a poorly executed race. If I can look at it that way it gives me things to take forward.” - 17:41 Addie Bracy

“If you are willing to learn and make changes, you can see the results pretty quickly.” - 18:04 Addie Bracy

“I would rather accept responsibility because then it’s suggesting there is something I can do about it, versus just chalking it up to a bad day.” - 20:35 Addie Bracy

“I have been doing this sport, in some version, for over 20 years and there’s not many chances I get anymore to do firsts… I try to look at it like that like, “this is cool that, 20 plus years into this sport, I am still finding new ways to challenge myself,” and I am thankful for that.” - 25:53 Addie Bracy

“I truly never felt like I had it in the bag until I was coming down the last downhill into the finish line.” - 31:22 Addie Bracy

“Having that conservative approach before you need to and then things can kind of elongate and you can feel good for a heck of a lot longer, rather than trying to just go out and absolutely crush everything and then see if you can just hold on for dear life at the end, is not a fun way to run a 100 and has not been successful, in my experience, either. That approach changed the game for me and I am really excited to see what I can do with that now.” - 35:34 Addie Bracy

“Luckily I had my phone, so I ran I think eight miles, most of it downhill, with just my iPhone light.” 42:48 Addie Bracy

“I think that we are at an exciting time for women’s ultrarunning in general.” - 46:53 Addie Bracy

“This is my first big win, so I never let myself think that I had won until I could see the finish line and so the last half mile, I was just smiling so big, like so excited and it was so cool to see it come together.”- 51:54 Addie Bracy

“That’s the hard part with 100s too, right? You finish and you feel so terrible, that it’s like you can’t even celebrate for several days because you’re just like barely surviving.” - 52:20 Addie Bracy

“I think the issue was that I always knew that I was tough, I thought I had it dialed already like, “well I’m tough. I’m going to push through anything.” I knew that I could suffer, but that wasn’t what my problem was. My problem was confidence in relaxing early, confidence in taking my time at aid stations, you know, problem solving. There were a lot of other mental skills that I wasn’t focusing on because I felt like I had it locked in because I consider myself a tough person and the reality is you can’t just tough your way through 100 miles.” -  55:05 Addie Bracy

“Writing a book was very much like a career equivalent of an ultra.” - 58:57 Addie Bracy

“I think that something is happening in ultrarunning that’s not happening in any other sport right now.” - 1:01:06 Addie Bracy

“What’s so exciting about sports psychology and mental performance is nobody has some kind of like resource pool bigger than anybody else everybody has the exact same access to these tools and these skills… and the results are almost instant.” - 1:12:46 Addie Bracy

Episode Timeline:

3:10 Writing a book

4:05 Addie’s past year and a half of training and racing

5:30 Addie’s experience at the 2021 Western States 100

15:15 Taking responsibility for your D.N.F.s

16:10 Never Summer Race

21:45 Build up to Run Rabbit Run

24:35 Mentally preparing to run through the night for the first time

27:30 Run Rabbit Run start line

29:30 Getting the early lead at Run Rabbit Run

33:15 Letting the race come to you

38:20 Five minutes off course record

39:20 If you could do it again would you change anything?

45:25 Harder course this year

48:28 Any hallucinations?

50:03 Run Rabbit Run finish line

53:30 Finding physical success through figuring out the mental side of ultrarunning

58:17 “Mental Training for Ultrarunning” by Addie Bracy

1:05:10 Are all these successful ultrarunners successful for the same reasons? Are these traits trainable?

1:10:20 The purpose of Addie’s book: actionable, practical applications for ultrarunning success

1:11:40 Addie’s favorite part of her book

Social Media:

Instagram: Addie Bracy (@addiebracy) • Instagram photos and videos Twitter: Addie Bracy (She/Her) (@AddieBracy) / Twitter Website: Strive Mental Performance

Sponsors: Nike

Big thank you to the podcast supporters!

John Wayne Cancer Foundation - Run the GRIT Series

Tanri Outdoors - All Natural Sun Protection for Runners (use “ULTRA10” for 10% off)

XoSkin (use “T4U20” for 15% off)

Thank you Patreon supporters!