Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ultra Marathons

I have been wanting to run an ultra for quite a while, so 6 months ago, I decided to train for a 50k race that was being held in Fort Worth, Texas, as part of the Cowtown Marathon. I began a six month training program, averaging 40-50 miles per week. I have always been curious as to what it takes in order to complete an ultra. So, this has been an experiment of sorts. I have run marathons before, but never beyond, so it is going to be an interesting adventure. The race is being held on February 23, 2008. I am now in my final tapering phase. I have survived thus far, and have made the following observations:

(1) Training for a 50k (31 miles) is not too unlike training for a 26 mile marathon.

(2) It was more mental than physical. Toward the end of my training program, I lost my motivation and focus, and almost quit running altogether. I attributed this to needing a few more rest days in my schedule. I took a couple of days off and my enthusiam returned.

(3) I feel good. I feel tired, and am in need of much rest before the big day, so I am hoping the taper will eliminate these aches and pains I have accumulated during my training period.

(4) I believe that I can finish!

(5) Finally...I can say for sure, that a 50 mile ultra would take much more effort, more training time, higher mileage, and a whole lot of mental grit.

This has been an interesting experience, and I am hoping to finish under six hours. That is my goal. However, I will be satisfied just to finish!

Jerry Hollingsworth