I started officially training for my second 50-miler in the depths of this past winter. I ran my first race at this distance at Cayuga Trails 50 two years ago, after having fractured my little toe yet having a good training cycle up 'til then. It was a tough race, with a 5-hour split followed by an 8-hour split. My nutrition was messed up and I almost dropped out. My answer is simple when I'm asked "Why are you doing this again?" Easy. I know I can do better.
The 50-Mile Training Plan
I followed an online plan two years ago, but after having attended a running clinic with Krissy Moehl I was thrilled to see that she had published a book. The title gears it toward first-time ultra runners, which I'm not, but I wanted the book for the goldmine within: the 50-mile training plan.
I loved the structure Krissy provided in her plan, and I grew to love some of the tougher workouts. Notable favorites were hill workouts, done on the steepness of Taughannock Park's paved roads while the ground was still (partially) frozen.
Halfway through the plan, I was feeling really great, though my biggest miles were ahead of me.
The rest of the plan went like clockwork. I trained with some homemade rice balls I made for energy, along with generous doses of Tailwind. I hit some huge weeks (for me), maxing out at 77 miles in week 19. I was surprised by my body's ability to adapt to the big mileage weekends, with back-to-back runs totaling 40-45 miles. Probably the most epic (stupid?) stunt I pulled was running a 25-miler on a Friday and jumping into Saturday's May Day 5K after "warming up" for 12.1 miles at Taughannock. I'm surprised I didn't get hurt running a fast 5K after 37 miles of trail running! It was worth it, though, since my kids and I were on a team together for the 5K and we won as a team!
Let's Rock and Roll
I'm ready to go. The months and miles have flown by. The proverbial hay is in the barn.
Looking back, I am tempted to following Tyler Finck's lead and create an infographic of just what went down during this 24-week training cycle. He created an excellent graphic of a year of his running (see Runfograph). That'll give me something creative to do while I'm recovering after this weekend.
This Saturday. Cayuga Trails 50. If you want to see me at any point to make me laugh or hear me cry, I geeked out on a pace chart. I'm pretty sure I'll be somewhere in the middle, at least that's the plan.
Happy trails, and see you on the other side!