When I committed to running a 100K, I knew it would take more than long runs, lunges and green smoothies. I had to mentally prepare for this huge undertaking, and feed off the energy of the ultra marathon community.
One of the first things I did was fire off emails to a handful of ultra trail runners and begged for advice. Something like, “I don’t know you but I follow you on Twitter and we’re Facebook friends …… I was wondering ….”
Most runners congratulated me for signing up (but a few asked if I were crazy), and applauded my new goal.
One runner in Calgary gave some solid marching orders – build up decent mileage, don’t waste time doing crossfit, and lose a little weight. Don’t row unless you are training to be a champion rower. Just run. Run. Keep running.
This week marks my third week of running 75 kilometres. Next month, I’m upping my time on feet. (I want to finish this race, and every prep race upright and with a smile on my face.)
First endurance then comes speed is my mantra.
This is one of the first winters in many years that I have run so consistently (thanks to the treadmill). Not every run has been worthy of a tweet or an Instagram photo. Truth be told, I have had some pretty crap runs but I know at the end of the day, they will make me stronger – both physically and mentally.
The “lose a little weight” part is a little tricky. I haven’t worried or paid too much serious attention about my weight since I started running several years ago. I know when I’m moving and eat well, I feel good. I’ve never been one of those people who feels entitled to extra food because I earned it.
My weight generally fluctuates between 136 to 142 pounds, a difference of six pounds.
Right now I am about 136 pounds on my 5-foot-5 frame. I would like to get down to 130 pounds before my first 50k this year in May. It doesn’t sound like a lot of weight to lose but has been challenging. The more I run, the more I eat.
Balancing eating enough to fuel my three-hour runs while trying not to take in too many calories makes me want to scream. I just want to run and not have to worry about this stuff.
But I know if I eat like crap, I will feel like crap. I can’t expect to have a good run let alone run 100Ks if I feed my body with processed or vegan junk food.
These days I am experimenting with food on my long runs, and eating strategically throughout the day. I have struggled with eating dinner too late at night or not eating enough or drinking enough water throughout the day. I am really working on my nutrition plan, and I feel it is making a difference.
Mileage. Nutrition. Mindset. Sleep.
I try not to think about all the work I have head of me. I can only enjoy one day at a time.
Crystal is a NAASFP certified running coach and mentor. You can find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to email@example.com