From 21.2 to 42.2 to 88 to Insanity?

I suspect that I’ve really done it this time. I’ve relinquished whatever shreds of my sanity I still possessed prior to today. I’ve signed myself up for my first ultramarathon. Sort of.

Hey, you know, while I’m on this streak of new running experiences (midnight runs, parkruns, fell races…), I thought, hell, why not try running 88km (or 54 miles) in one day and see what happens?

That’s what I’ll be doing on the 28th of June on the stunning Cateran Trail with two fellow crazy runners. It’s not a race as such (hence I say it’s only sort of an ultramarathon); instead, it’s a charity challenge for a very good cause.

Most people walk the trail, but we’re going to run it. Due to the walkers, it’s got a generous time limit of 24 hours to finish the course. I think it’ll be as gentle an introduction to ultra running as is possible (if such a thing is possible at all!).

Right now, I’m just stupidly excited about the prospects of this new adventure. However, I suspect that my brain is still a little too shell-shocked to fully comprehend what I’ve signed us up for. Until it catches on, I’m just going to enjoy the hype. The fear will come, and I’ve got no doubts that I’m in for some very dark moments that will see me reduced to a shivering, twitching mess of trail trash. Really, I can’t wait!

At the moment, I’m still training for a – hopefully – very fast half-marathon in Inverness in March, followed by a jolly doddle around Rome for the marathon there at the end of March. After that, it looks like I’ll transition into unchartered running territory, by venturing into the land of crazy mileage.

Maspie_waterfall(I’ll be doing lots of this in the spring!)*

But for now, there are other things I must do. For a start, I’ll add my physiotherapist to my Christmas card list and save his number on speed dial. I have a hunch that we’ll become great friends over the next couple of months!

*I realise that this picture might give the misleading impression that I’m planning on standing around a lot under a waterfall in preparation for running an ultramarathon. Although it sounds like good fun too, I don’t think that this would adequately prepare me for running 55 miles. It just so happens that I’m not running (yet) in this picture, as I was walking my most awesome and most loyal friend, the lovely Myra. She’s 14 years old and sadly can’t join me on my runs anymore. I often take her for a little walk before I run, so she gets her exercise and doesn’t feel left out. Note to self: try to get a decent picture of trail running self, so people don’t think that all I do is stand around on the trails!

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20 thoughts on “From 21.2 to 42.2 to 88 to Insanity?

  1. TartanJogger says:

    Oh, wow! That’s brilliant! I’m seriously in awe of you! 🙂

  2. Jim Brennan says:

    Yes, yes, yes, Go, go, go. Train well, train smart, and enjoy the ride. Can’t wait to read about it, Fullmoonrunner!
    jim

  3. Trails and Ultras says:

    Woohoo! Your first ultra of many! That’s thesame day I’m doing the 10 peaks so we can compare injuries afterwards 🙂

    • Hahaha I love it! I don’t think it’s quite comparable though, as I won’t be racing and running with two friends. But it’ll be a great start! It’s so cool that we’ll be running on the same day though. I’d love to pick your brains about training for such a beast too at some point!

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        You’re running more than a marathon so its still an ultra! The best advice I could give would be to work on increasing time on your feet… 6, 10, 12 hours….you don’t need to run the whole distance but just get used to the mental fatigue. That’s the killer…when you’re mentally tired it’s hard to keep convincing yourself to carry on. Physically I’m often fine but my brain weakens when I get sleepy! Oh, and if you drink a lot of coffee try to cut down because that will come back to bite you when you suddenly can’t get any. That was a harsh lesson for me! By the way I made that walnut and blueberry loaf and it was LUSH. I ate it all in two days which is a bit embarrassing. I definitely agree it will be nice with apples. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

      • I’m glad you liked the walnut and blueberry loaf so much! I’m going to try eating in on a run and see what happens, I think it could work well. Thanks for all the training advice. I don’t drink coffee, so I’ll be good in that department. I’ve started to look at training schedules today, and will get my head around really, really, really long runs. 😀 Even during my marathon training, I found the long runs mentally much harder than physically, so I bet that’ll only get worse. Incidentally, do you find that you handle marathons better since you’ve moved up to ultras?

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        oh yeah…I still find road marathons hard because I don’t do huge amounts of road running (until recently). Trail marathons are still hard but that’s I push myself to go faster now because its a shorter distance.

  4. Angie says:

    That is so cool! What an experience that will be. I can’t wait to hear all the training stories and then about the actual race!

    • Thank you Angie! I’ll start the event specific training in April, after my Rome Marathon (which should give me a great mileage basis!). I really can’t wait, although I’m a bit daunted by the back-to-back longruns!

  5. vttrailgirl says:

    Hooray! Good for you! You can do it!!

  6. mtbader says:

    Wow! Best of luck! I’d like to run an ultra someday but just ran my first full marathon and let’s just say it didn’t go quite as smoothly as hoped…my hat is off to you!

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m going to have to totally change my mentality for this, and really make it all about finishing the distance, no matter what the pace. It’s going to be such an adventure! I’m actually quite interested in how this will change my perception of the marathon distance. I’ve had quite a shift in how I feel about half-marathons when I went up to the marathon, in a really good way.

      • mtbader says:

        It sounds like a great adventure and a shift in thinking! I’m looking forward to see how it turns out for you!

  7. Lily says:

    How exciting! I love a good challenge!

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