Wish Me Luck On My First 50

As I run my first ultra… so far, I’ve focused all my endurance training on Ironman, but, under the influence of Chris, my dear husband, I’ve become engaged with the idea of doing an ultra. In fact, not just an ultra, but a 100 mile. NOT YET! But I did say out loud, quite a while ago, that I’d do one, so I thought that this year, during my triathlon off-season, would be a great time to run my first 50.

We’re heading back home to LA tomorrow to run the AVALON 50 on Catalina Island. Chris has run this one several times before and assures me it’s not too technical (I love trail running as much as road, but my version of trail is a nice, wide fire trail; not too keen on the single track, goat paths that Chris runs/hops/skips/flies on when he does runs such as the Angeles Crest 100 or the Western States! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the runners who have the agility and expertise to run on such tough terrain; I simply do not have experience on such trails and as such, prefer NOT to run on them!).

I’m going into this race completely calmly, as I don’t have anything attached to it. This is a new feeling for me. Usually when I race, I’ve got a very specific goal that I’ve decided upon and put a LOT of pressure on myself to reach it. I’m still ecstatic about having qualified for Ironman World Championships the last two years, but those qualifications do not, in any way, give me any false sense of security or cockiness that I will qualify again without lots of work and tons of training (both of which I absolutely LOVE!!). Thus, every triathlon I race is done with all my heart and loads of preparation (and yes, stress at times), with a LOT of meaning to each one. I had one race early season last year where I ran over something on the bike, flatted, realised there was a problem with my spare tubular, and proceeded to cry as hard as I’ve ever cried before (injured the abdominal muscles, actually, from all the heaving!) as I saw hundreds of people pass me while waiting for the Bike Works Van to come along! I was crushed, completely heartbroken and a wreck for days afterward!! (Happy ending: I did end up qualifying for Kona just two months later, Thank God!)

The very worst case scenario about this race, however, is that it will be a good training weekend back in the sun, so what’s there to be concerned about? : )

This time, I am simply excited for Saturday! I know I have the aerobic base so I feel like it will just come down to where my head is at the time! It’s ALL in the head, after all! You decide what you can or cannot do and your body follows.

Well, off to bed for a good night’s sleep! I’ve got an early flight tomorrow and ‘the night before the night before’ the race is when one must be sure to get a quality sleep in!

Updates and a race report to follow after the race!