I am uniquely healthy

My Journey to Ultra Marathon (1)

It's official!  

I signed up for my very first Ultra Marathon. I can't believe I'm actually doing this but apparently...I am.  For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm Jen. I'm a health coach, a personal trainer, and I coach bootcamps and running camps at Fitness and Fun Transformation Center in Torrance, CA. I love what I do! I love working with people and helping them reach their fitness and nutrition goals. I'm also married to a wonderful and supportive husband, named Mark and I'm a mother of two amazing girls, Hayden and Addison. My family lights up my life and I love being a positive role model for my daughters.

I have been a runner for about 12 years now. I ran my first marathon in 2012 and I've been running various races and distances ever since. I've run three marathons and more half marathons, 10Ks and 5ks than I can count (and even a few mini triathlons). For those new to distance running, an Ultra Marathon is defined by as any running race distance greater than a full marathon (which is 26.2 miles). The race I signed up for takes place in April 2018 and is 50 miles long. Yes, FIFTY. It's called American River 50 (AR50) and it's in Folsom, CA. Thanks to my adventurous and courageous friend, Kara, who convinced me to join her on this journey, we'll soon be heading into the wild world of ultra training. And since that obviously wasn't enough for me, I've decided to blog the whole thing. So that's TWO new adventures I'm diving into 1) the Ultra Marathon and 2) blogging about it.

I'm not sure which one intimidates me more, but here I go with both.  

My plan is to take you through my whole experience from signing up, to training, to gear research, to nutrition strategies, and beyond. If you're considering training for your own Ultra Marathon or breaking into a different adventure that excites you, I hope this brings you some inspiration, raw emotion, do's and don'ts, and all the good, bad, and ugly that goes along with breaking out of your comfort zone into the unknown. Please follow me on this adventure and feel free to reach out and share some of your own running or fitness experiences as well!

So let's get started.

Sign up day: I can't tell you how nervous I was just even for this fairly basic step, just imagining all of the training, knowledge, and time I would need to prepare myself.  When I got the text from Kara saying that she signed up, I felt the pressure rise.  Its a bit silly when I think about it, but what it really meant at that moment was, "are you IN or are you OUT?". I wanted to be in, but now it was time for me to dig deep and figure out if I really meant it.  

So, I went to check out the website (www.ar50mile.com). After that, it didn't take much. I read a little about the course and watched a few videos about other people's experiences and I suddenly felt like I HAD to do it.  I had this overwhelming feeling that I would be sincerely disappointed if I didn't GO FOR IT.

For me that means reading ALL the books I could find on the subject and doing the best I can do prep myself even before it is time to begin training.  Obsessive?  Possibly.  Helpful?  Definitely!  It has been incredibly fun and tremendously motivating reading about others that have paved the way for me, so to speak. Drawing from their experiences has been endlessly inspiring and also been very humbling.  Here I thought I was already running 'a lot' only to find I need to increase my weekly mileage to over double what I'm currently running just to BEGIN my training.

Now, you may be wondering, "how are you going to find the time to run all those miles when you have a job, a business, a husband, and two little kids?" and my answer to that is simply, "good question!".  My first step will be to lay out my training calendar and start booking some shorter training races to prepare for along the way.  I'm also so excited to say that not only is my family super supportive, but a few of my running campers and friends have generously offered to help be my race crew! No ultra runner does it all alone and I'm very comforted to know I have such a great team in my corner already. I can do this!

Please comment below; I'd love to hear from you!

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Tue, Dec 18, 2018 6:37 pm
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