In my last post (which was WAY too long ago), I wrote about how I was excited to sign up for my "A" race for 2015, the Laurel Highlands Ultra, a 70.5 mile trail run in Western PA. I refreshed the website every day for a month or two to see if there was any more information about registration posted. Well, when registration finally opened on the day after Thanksgiving without fanfare, I was nowhere near a functioning printer. This was highly inconvenient because Laurel Highlands only accepts old school, mail-in, paper applications. I was quite anxious that registration would fill up in the one day, so the second I got home I mailed in my paper application and check to the race director.
When my check was cashed the following week, I felt a huge sigh of relief... I was officially registered to run a 70.5 mile race on a beautiful, historic trail on June 13, 2015! But this relief was immediately followed by that voice of doubt that tends to speak up as soon as the excitement of any race registration wears off. As a runner, it becomes extremely important to recognize this voice because it never really goes away permanently. It is always there, looming large or small, and only YOU determine how loud the voice gets to be.
I've had the voice screaming in my ear for the last couple of weeks, saying things like, "how are you possibly going to run 70 miles in one day, only 6 months from today?! You haven't even run further than a half marathon in 2014!" OR, "you are nowhere near the shape you were in in 2013, what makes you think you can do this crazy race?!"
These are all valid points.
However, I have familiar feelings of ambition and passion about next year's races, and I'm starting to feel a lot like I did in early 2013, when I first started training for ultras. Ambition and passion are the feelings that drove me to train for my first 50k and first 50 miler in 2013. And they are what will drive me to work towards running 70.5 miles on June 13th.
Obviously, feeling ambitious and passionate about running trails can't get anyone to run 70.5 miles. Consistent hard work and training are what will quiet that doubtful voice, and are ultimately the real foundation for race day confidence.
So, for the past few couple of months, I've been working on consistency. For now, that means about 4 runs per week with one long run of 10+ miles on the weekend, averaging about 25-30 miles per week. But starting December 29th, week one of 24 weeks of hard training will officially begin for the Laurel Highlands Ultra. And that is where the true work lies.
I wrote my training plan today, and I'm excited to tackle it over the next six months. The simple act of writing the plan has silenced a lot of the doubt that has echoed in my mind over the past couple of weeks.
Look out for my training plan and race goals in my next post!