This weekend I started and finished Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man. I also pushed myself to run my longest distance yet: 14 miles. On Saturday my trainer and I had planned that I would run 5 miles Sunday, and the same 5 miles Tuesday, to compare my times and my speed. However, as my Saturday progressed, and as I read deeper into Ultramarathon Man, I just really wanted to go out and accomplish something. Sunday is my only day of the week I can actually do an extended long run, so I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than 10.
It was definitely a LSD (long slow distance) type of day. I woke up with my eyes sunken into my face, moving at a snails pace. After a Gnu bar, quick shop at Sprouts, and Protein smoothie, I finally got myself out to run by 11:30.
The first mile was tough. But I kept telling myself it was just my mind making it difficult and that my body was completely capable. It’s always a battle between pushing myself and relaxing, both of which basically yield the same results. I just psych myself out when I think about pushing harder and expending more energy. As I reached mile 5, I started to get into my stride. I decided to push it a little further and put myself out 7 miles away from my starting point. Then there would be no turning back (besides the fact I’d literally have to turn around and run back). 14 miles, 1 hour 52 minutes later, I was back at my starting point. Sunkissed and sweaty, I grabbed my bCAA’s and stretched out at the park. What a happy Sunday!
Ultramarathon Man was another inspiring ultra-marathoner book. However, it took a different angle from the ones I’ve read before…but I liked it. Karnazes had run cross-country in high school, but hangs up his shoes after quitting track, never to run again for 15 years. Then on his 30th birthday, he decides to run 30 miles. This leads to him “find” running again. While running one day, he encounters two runners who unknowingly introduce him to ultra-marathons, namely the Western States 100. Dean takes a different approach of recounting these highly challenging courses. Several chapters span the length of each race, giving the turn-by-turns of the course as well as the emotions and struggles that accompany pushing your body past its limits. Other events include Badwater, running a marathon to the South Pole, and running The Relay (199 miles usually divided into 5.5 mile legs run by 11 team members) SOLO. It was motivating enough to get my butt out to run 14 miles. So, ya, I would recommend it. Now…on to the next one!