October 05, 2010

Ultra training

With 4 1/2 weeks to go until the 100km Haney to Harrison, I decided it was time for a long run on the road today. Since I signed up a month ago I have not done as much training as I would have liked to, particularly when it comes to long runs.

The longest one I have done has been 2hr 20, and I feel that is a little short when preparing for a 100km. I am not sure why I haven't made myself run that extra 40 minutes, even if it was in second run later in the day. Mentally I just seem to have had a reason not to. Oh well, that's the way it is.

This morning, I ran from my house in Valleycliffe along the Sea to Sky highway to Brohm Lake, and back. While plenty of cars, it wasn't too busy and I simply need to get time on the road, instead of the soft trails, since that is the surface I will contend with in the Haney to Harrison.

I had planned to bring my iPod but found that to be out of juice as I headed out the door. So I simply brought my bottle of water, three caf gels and began running. It was a beautiful fall morning, and in the end I didn't miss the music.

Like I plan to do on race day, I took 30-second walk breaks every 20 minutes, a routine that I enjoyed. The first 45-minutes of my run were mostly flat, and then it was uphill in varying degrees of steepness until Brohm Lake, a beautiful freshwater lake very popular with local swimmers in summer.

With my walk breaks every 20 minutes and the knowledge that I would turn around at 90 minutes. it was mentally easy to commit to this long run. As is often the case, once you start something that you have postponed because it is challenging, it isn't anywhere near as tough as you'd made it out to be.

I also enjoyed the fact that on the way out I was mostly running uphill for the second quarter of the route, because of course that meant a swift downhill in the third quarter. And then it was a short stretch home.

Perhaps it was the fact that I was very rested after running only 2 1/2 hours last week over four sessions, or perhaps the walk breaks helped preserve my energy. Most likely it was a combination of both that allowed me to run strong including in the final 30 minutes. According to Gmap pedometer, I ran 32km in 2hr 45.

While I felt good, I don't want to think about the fact that I will have to run another 68km after that on race day as that feels way too intimidating. But it feels exciting too. I have walked 100km before, in a little under 24 hours, but I have never run 100km so I cannot wait to try that experience.

Tomorrow I will aim to do another long-ish run of 2 hours. And this weekend Tim, who will crew for me, and I plan to drive the route so we know where to go on November 6.

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