Daily Chatter

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Doing Things Differently

Often before an ultra event it is the logistics that have me worked into a nervous frenzy.  Rarely is my biggest concern whether or not I will finish a race, I stress over the how to get there, where to park, whether to drop bags or not, when to arrange for support or whether to run solo...

So imagine, if you will, my mental state when I tell you that this Saturday while I am doing this:

My hubby with be else where doing this:

This will be my first time running a 50 miler solo and will add a new element to my mental state.  Thus far I have typically done really well running a 50k solo.  The fact that the finish line would not hold any family didn't effect my ability to push through those tough miles. 
At least I don't think it did. 

Given that I'll be solo I've decided to make a few changes in how I'll be handling the logistics of this event.  Here are a few:

1.  Roughing ItI'll be staying in the bunk house.  As they said on the event website, think summer camp. 

2.  Over pack.  Normally I try to take a little as possible.  This time I will be packing for every possible scenario I've encountered.  Having run this event last year, I know that I will have access to my car once throughout the race if needed and can get or ditch anything that I might need to.

3.  Drop bagsThus far I rarely were drop bags and even less often do I ever use them.  But this time I will be staging drop bags and I plan to change my shoes at the 16 ish mile mark if I have any hot spots on my feet.

4.  CameraI did this during my first ultra and I plan on taking photos during this event.  Tomorrow I will post about my race goals and I do have some goals as to my finish time however my biggest goal is to spend solid time on my feet.  I need to practice a steadier pace and remember that I am at 33 on the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 wait list.  This 100 mile adventure is less than a month away! 
Feel free to pray that I get in soon!

5.  Make friends.  Yep.  This would be different.  I usually have a little group of ultra runners that I "hang" with but when the family is there I mostly stick with them.  This Saturday I will be an ultra running social butterfly.  With big life changes coming soon, I want to find other runners I can connect with who share my crazy obsession.  Having like-minded friends does give your family a break from listening to the constant trail chatter.

I hope that having a concrete plan will help ease my race morning nerves but either way my family will have loads of stories to share from an event filled April weekend.

Have you ever run an ultra solo?  What worked for you?  What didn't?
Are you and your partner both runners?  How do you make it all work?
Share your tips, experiences and advice.  I'm all ears!


  1. Shelly,
    you'll be great. Bull Run Run is good because just when you get tired of running, there's a big hill so you can walk. And the aid stations are spaced so you can really break the sections up mentally - "just 5 miles this section, just 2 to the next aid station," etc.
    And making new friends is a great strategy. This run more than any other, people seem to socialize.

  2. Making friends is a great idea! I've never done an ultra solo, but I think you're mentally strong enough for that. I can't imagine staying in those bunk beds though! That is roughing it more than I like :)

  3. Oh, and GOOD LUCK! You're going to do great. :)

  4. That race sounds so, so fun! I love the idea of bunking it with a bunch of roomies. I actually prefer to run solo and enjoy the alone time. I try really hard to not get overwhelmed with how much farther I have to go. I want to completely get mileage out of my head during a race and just focus on the mile I'm in and running it wisely.

    Good luck, you will do awesome!

  5. I think that even solo you will crush that 50 miler. I've traveled to races without the family before and although I've missed their support, I have had some amazing times. So excited to hear how it goes! Good luck!

  6. Go for it and have a running roomie party. :)