The Beast of Burden

Ambassador Anna is training for her first 50miler race…less than 3 weeks away, here are her thoughts about getting herself across that finish line!

The BOB (Beast of Burden) was on my race radar since early December but I didn’t have the courage to click the registration button until 22 days before the race.  Twenty-two days to mentally and physically prepare myself for this Beast.  What was I thinking? This will be my first 50 mile race and my only goal is to cross the finish line.

How do you do to prepare yourself in just 22 days without loosing your mind and drive your spouse to the brink of insanity?  Positive thinking.    Training your brain.  Telling yourself: YOU CAN DO THIS.  Whether you are running your first 5k or your first 50k, going into the race with a positive attitude and confidence can be the single factor that keeps you trudging forward to cross the finish line.

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Back in the fall, I ran my first 50k trail race and loved it.  I pushed myself the entire race and finished well.  Since the 50k, I’ve kept my training up with longer runs each week varying from 13-21 miles in addition to short/fast treadmills runs, hill training and core strengthening exercises.  My max distance going into this 50 miler is a mere 21 miles.  Not even half the distance I am going to run on January 28th.  Am I worried?  Am I scared?  A little, but I know if I don’t freeze to death, I will cross that finish line because I’m stubborn, determined & want it bad.  Have I trained enough?  Only time will tell.  Is it going to be a challenge?  Hell, yeah.  Am I excited?  You betcha!

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I have two big hurdles for this race: SLOW MY PACE.  I tend to go out hard and fast.    I can maintain a hard pace for about 18 miles but then fizzle fast.  To finish, I need to reduce my pace by at least 2 minutes per mile. Believe it or not, this will be hard.   GEAR.  I perseverate on my attire.  I don’t own a lot of gear as I *try* to remind myself about minimalism and money.  Quality gear isn’t cheap but it could be worth every penny.  I love good garb, who doesn’t?  However, finding the perfect equipment has always been a challenge.  During this race, I want to stay warm but not sweat excessively.  If I sweat and run into the night, I will only freeze and run the risk of hypothermia and frost bite.  The weather for this race is a huge unknown.  There could be a a few feet of snow on the ground, which is another hurdle in itself for the proper foot gear or it could be 45F and sunny.  I have to show up to the race fully prepared for any type of winter weather.  Hand warmers, face mask, yakstraxs, the perfect layers…what if my hydration pack freezes on me?  Whoa.  For an amateur ultra runner, I feel like I really got myself into a winter adventure.  But isn’t that what life is all about?  Live your life.  Don’t sit around and let it pass you bye. Try new things.  Be bold and take risks whether you are signing up for your first 5k or 50 mile race.

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Stay tuned for how it all turns out on Saturday!  I will be traveling to upstate NY with one of my best running friends and staying in a cozy hotel. I initially told my husband I was traveling solo and was going to car camp; he nearly choked. Needless to say, that was quickly shot down and I’m very grateful for a husband who watches out for me and wonderful running friends!

Happy Running!      Xx Anna (Instagram: mumontherun80)

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