Running My First Ultra

 “Forget about speed on the long runs. Focus only on the component of endurance.” –Jeff Galloway

Movement. I feel a lot of people take advantage of their ability to move. It's something we don't notice we do everyday, effortlessly. It's something we don't see as a gift, but an obligation. I have found the beauty of movement through running, through sprints, through high knees, through hurdles, through stretching, through yoga.

My grandma had a stroke in November, which paralyzed her entire left side. When I visited her, it made me realize that some of the simplest things (sitting up, combing your hair, drinking water) was impossible for her to do without assistance. This was one of the many reasons why I wanted to commit to my goal of becoming an ultramarathoner.

Some do not even attempt a marathon in their lifetime. I believe it is a lofty goal that everyone should experience once. It's nothing you can put into words. It brings exhilaration, exhaustion, success, and relief. Not to mention, the hurt in your hamstrings, calves and quads. For some, their goals are to go faster, to have a better time, to qualify for Boston, to run in exotic places like the Great Wall of China. And then for some, one marathon is enough.

For me, I want to keep challenging myself. I want to go far. 50k (usually 31 miles) is my goal for 2016. I represent The North Face through their North Face Locals program, where they are giving me the opportunity to run their Endurance Challenge this December for the 50k Trail Race. I feel with ultrarunning, I have to adapt my body with increased mileage and of course, get used to running while fatigued. I need to experiment with different types of nutrition and hydration. I have to recalibrate my expectations of speed because I'm going to be slower on trails. Hills will be my best friend. And I will seek advice, but will try things for myself. The key for me is to develop my aerobic capacity and strength to handle the distance.

When training for half marathons or full marathons, I usually do long runs every weekend. This time around, my long runs will range anywhere from 10-28 miles. My plan is to actually train on the course since it takes place in the Marin Headlands. The race is in December, so it will be freezing, possible rain even! Wish me luck!

Happy running all!