I’ve always been told I have a runners build but I never got into running. Well, that was until now. After 20 something years of racing and riding bicycles I’ve grown tired of it and lack general motivation. I decided I’d try something new and running is it.
I won’t completely give up my cycling, since after all it’s my first love. I still have bike trips and goals in mind for racing/riding this year. You can check those out on my bike page. As far as running goals go I’m hoping to do a few shorter races to get a feel for the sport. Other than that I’m just hoping to build a solid base for next year. It’s my goal to run a few ultra marathons next year. For some an ultra is anything over 26.2 but for most it’s anything over 50K (31 miles). Me, I want to run a 100 miler. Yes, 1 0 0 miles.
Why do I think I can or want to run that far? Well, I don’t know if I can and it does seem out of reach, but that is what makes it appealing to me. As I get older I have come to realize I enjoy doing things outside of my normal idea of what is possible. Pushing myself to my limit and beyond is something I crave. As cliche as it sounds, doing so makes me feel alive.
So over the next year I’ll be training and learning what it takes to run an ultra marathon. I have much to learn and many miles to put in. During my research I have learned that I should at least run one or two 50k races (31 miles) and one 50 miler before I do a 100 miler. I’m yet to pick any races that long but I have picked the Timberline Off-Road Half Marathon in Oregon to do and the Cutthroat Classic, an 11.1 mile off-road race in the Northern Cascades of Washington to do. The only event of any real distances I have planned is hiking from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass (a non-event but more of a personal one). It’s around a 72 mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail with 13,000′ of climbing. In 2006 I hiked this section in 47 hours. This included two nights of sleeping for about 6-7 hours. My initial plan was to just hike it again like before and try to beat my time. (last time I had ill fitting shoes and my feet were beat up for over half
of the trip). Now I’m thinking about fastpacking it. Fastpacking is simply verylight ultralight hiking. You carry the bare essentials and go fast and light. I found a gentleman named Will Thomas who fastpacked the same section in 2008 in 37 hours. Knowing just how fast one can do this section has fueled my desire to push myself once more to my limits and beyond.
To get ready for this event I have been running my local stairs once a week. There are 264 steps in total and I run about 4500+ each week. I’ve been at it for almost two months now and have started carrying a pack with weight in it. I’ll slowly build up to 40 pounds by Labor Day, the weekend I plan on trying to set a new personal best, PB. I will also do some big weekend hikes before then as well as ramp up my running miles.
I hope you’ll follow along as I train for my ultra and other events.