Training For Ultra
HARDCOVER PRE-ORDER Training For Ultra - Ultra Running Stories From the Middle of the Pack
Training For Ultra - Ultra Running Stories From the Middle of the Pack
Expected Release Date: March 1, 2019
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This book has a single purpose - to inspire you to run! Through sharing a detailed account of my first three years of pursuing running from the middle to back of the pack, it will hopefully show you you are capable of much more than you may think. After my father almost died of a heart attack, it was time for me to change everything. Little did I know how much I would learn after taking on some physical exercise. It’s not clear to me why I chose running ultra marathons of all forms of exercise, since I was unable to run beyond 1 mile just a few years prior. But since that fateful day, I’ve never looked back. I was finding that sometimes the experiences of training for ultra could be just as rich and fulfilling as the ultra event itself.
Below is a book preview, thank you for your purchase.
Lovely, Dark and Digging Deep
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” -Robert Frost
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
I swung my head left, then right, blinking several times, neck stretching out away from my hydration vest. My eyes trying their best to adjust to the darkness, my ears on full alert for even the faintest of sounds. The night was illuminated by a giant full moon, bright enough to cast shadows across the trail, even within the darkness I found myself running in at 2:00am. With a powerful 750 lumen headlamp affixed to the top of my head, my hat on backwards, any noise or movement, I immediately swung my head toward it to cast a beam of light on it. I clanked my hiking poles together as I had every minute or two, trying to give these real or imagined animals fair warning, so not to surprise any of them. It almost felt primal, a taunt to let me test these spears out, but it was a bluff, I was scared.
I was in the middle of the densely wooded area surrounding Steamboat Springs, Colorado, attempting a difficult 100 mile ultra marathon called the Run Rabbit Run 100. The race was more towards 103 miles actually, with over 20,000 feet of vertical gain, but what’s an extra 5K after running for more than 30 hours. It was exhilarating, as I felt my body’s energy levels begin to recover from uncomfortably low levels early on in the race. Maybe it was the adrenaline from being scared, but deep down I felt alive.
Then once again I heard a noise, my head whipped to the right, the beam from my headlamp piercing through the night air to a low brush area near a small creek. It sounded like a horse, was it an elk or possibly a moose? I clanked my poles and picked up my pace, imagining the headlines of a trail runner attacked on the trails by a wild animal. Would I just become another link to an article on an daily news website?
At the pre-race meeting, the race directors had warned runners about several bear sightings along with a large cat seen by course markers just a day or two prior. Normally my mind would be clear, out here in the wild, on plush dirt packed trails. But at this moment, a million thoughts were rushing through my head as I tried to prepare myself for what was needed when predator eyes were staring back at me. It was only a matter of time, I thought to myself, mentally prepare.
Hopping along some well placed rocks, I was now on the other side of the creek and my feet were still dry, a small victory. The trail markings glowed pink in the distance, reflections from my headlamp. Each marking bringing a subconscious level of relief that I was still on course, even if I was out here in the wild alone tonight. Luckily I hadn’t seen any eyes reflecting back at me yet. That’s when this race could get interesting. It was eerie how quiet it had become, then I turned and said out loud, “What the!?”
It was another headlamp, only about a 100 feet behind me, coming from around a corner. An extremely fit, short woman, maybe 100 pounds, with a single handheld water bottle gracefully passed me on the trail saying “Hi!”, making the halfway mark of the race look easy. I was obviously newer to trail running at night in heavily wooded areas of Colorado.
What was so special about this 2017 edition of the Run Rabbit Run 100 miler? Yes, it was one of the very few HardRock 100 miler qualifier races and it was incredibly difficult with a 36 hour cutoff. But for me, this race marked the 2 year anniversary down to the day, that I went for my first run. Wait, let’s take a step back, how in the world did I find myself attempting one of the harder 100 milers in the world, two years after picking up the sport? Don’t most people work towards doing their first marathon for the very first two years of running?
You hear stories of people transforming themselves, typically someone goes from the couch to a 5K. These are almost always inspirational stories and laying with my throbbing leg and knee propped up with iced bags, my crutches not far away from a previously broken ankle, I would read some of them. My story is different. You might call my story Training For Ultra.