reading ultra books, listening to stories, and actually running in the races and fell in love with ultras. I live in the Chicagoland area, which is flat with fickle weather especially during the winter months. If one is not dedicated, focused, and determined, spring races can be difficult to train for.
My race is April 5-8 Potawatomi-McNaughton in Pekin, IL. It consists of a 10-mile loop with two creek crossings that can be calf deep depending on what the weather decides to deposit (did I mention I cannot swim??? TERRIFIED), and a touch of elevation. Sometimes information can be very daunting but I do not like surprises, I will look up everything, and will ask everybody hence making my nerves a bit rattled. I will say that the ultra community is very caring and supportive regardless of your level of running.
My current training consists of running four days a week with back-to-back runs on the weekend. When DST kicks in I will start doing double runs during the week, the key is for me to get time on my feet and run on tired legs. I am not a fast runner but I do have endurance and stamina. Running has not been easy for me but I love it none-the-less. I have to consistently monitor my nutrition due to my being Type 2 Diabetic but I have found what works for me. There are so many things that I will need for this race... trail shoes (just got them), trekking poles (need to get them), a few changes of clothes. I will be hours away from home, in the woods, and in a tent (did I mentioned I’ve NEVER CAMPED). I will definitely be out of my comfort zone.
I am 7 weeks out from my race with a lot of mileage to get under my feet. I look back at my previous races, try to evaluate what I did, and look at what needs to be changed/adjusted. So, now I am in the process of tackling hills, adding more core work, and of course more miles. From early on when I first started, I was told that running it is 90% mental, and it can derail everything regardless of how well you have trained. I will have plenty of time to finish but I cannot let the “mind” creep in and take over. I will stay focused, on task, and will report back with an update half way through.