Thursday, June 20, 2013

I hated running 26.2...SURE I'll sign up for a 50K!

I cannot say that I hated every minute of training and/or running the Bayshore Marathon in 2004 with Team in Training, but I can say there were more moments then not that I did not want to be doing it.  I did meet some wonderful people through the experience, raised money for Team in Training and finished a marathon (that was my only goal and 5 hours and 23 minutes after I started, I finished that marathon)

At the start-completely over dressed (b/c I was clueless about proper clothing for weather) 
The end - I did celebrate but had no desire to go through that again - EVER!
After completing Bayshore I ran a handful of half marathons but it was not until last year when I even thought about another full marathon.  I signed up for the Detroit Free Press Full Marathon, built my base, and started the Run Less Run Faster training program, only to bail in August and defer to the International Half Marathon.  The 15+ mile long runs and the high weekly mileage was just to much for me with 3 kids all under 5 and a husband working 50+ hours a week.

This is when you may be saying..."Um Jess you do know that a 50K is longer then a marathon right?" or "If you could not train for 26.2 how can you train for a 50K?"

Why I decided to run Woodstock 50K:

1. Terrain: It is a trail race, and to be honest I love the trails.  I feel at home on the trails.  I also feel a bit like a bad a*s, Katniss type character as I weave through branches, leaves, and switchbacks.  Plus, many trails here in MI are shaded, which for a girl who runs hot, is a blessing, it is much easier for me to handle 14 shaded miles in the trees then 14 miles in the sun on concrete.

2. Pace: I needed a break from the "Have to break 2/PR pressure" I was putting on myself with the half marathons.  It has been a long road and I still am 4.6 seconds short of the goal I started chasing a year and a half ago.  I am mentally exhausted, not defeated just needed to take a break and remember why I am running, to have fun, to challenge myself and be better then I was yesterday.  I knew that a 50K would take me back to my "just finish" goal and I am ok with that.  I have a pace goal in mind based on several training runs on the trail but I think it will be adjusted a few more times before race day.  Not to mention, I do not run fast in the summer, it is just fact, the humidity and heat takes it's toll, so why not chase a challenge that allows me to adjust for these things like a 50K.

3. GP Runners: This group has not only brought so many supportive people into my life, but also I am able squeeze in the majority of my runs before the family is finished with breakfast.  This helps with the guilt I felt every time I went out to run while attempting to train for the Detroit Full in 2012.  It is nice to have a group that meets consistently in the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends for long runs, but also a group full of pretty awesome people.

4. It's not a marathon: It's socially acceptable to take walk breaks (in fact most recommend walking up hills), eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or pick up a frozen burrito that's been cooking in tin foil at an aid station, or stop and change outfits and shoes 1/2 way through.  Honestly I do not feel any anxiety as I enter week 3, yes a bit nervous, but not the gut wrenching anxiety I felt last year when preparing for the full.  This may have something to do with the laid back "atmosphere" of a trail 50k or the 15 hour cut off time which even if something unforeseeable happens I can still walk it in that time.

Fun "selfies" I took during my 14 mile training run a few weeks ago (beginning, mile 7, mile 10 and done)
I'm not saying I will never run another road marathon, yes one day I would love to qualify for Boston, but right now, at this time in my life, this is where I am at and am happy.

What are you training for? What is your favorite distance to run/race?

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