Enjoy the Ride: The Road to 100 Miles

They say that you aren’t a “real” ultrarunner until you’ve completed a 100-mile race.  Since I’ve never been the type of person to claim that I am something that I am not, I decided to finally graduate to the status of a 100-mile starter (and hopefully finisher).

Actually, I find that theory to be a bunch of dog doo. Up to this point, I have completed (to the best of my memory):

  • Six, regular 26.2-mile Marathons
  • Seven, 31-mile 50k Ultra Marathons
  • Four, 50-mile Ultra Marathons
  • One, 62-mile 100k Ultra
  • Uncountable 30+ mile “Fun Runs,” Training runs and the much loved “Fat Ass” Runs

I consider myself an ultra-runner at this point, but why not let those skeptical peers and family members agree.

All of my 50 mile finishes have left me in complete joy. I have been able to jump through the finish lines with ease, which has always led me to retort when others asked why I don’t do 100-milers that “I feel great after a 50-mile run, so why ruin that?”

Why don’t I show you some enthusiastic pics so you have something to remind me later of why I never attempted a 100-mile run…

My first 50k (Lakefront 50k), October 2010
My first 50k (Lakefront 50k), October 2010
My first 50 Mile Race in October, 2012
My first 50 Mile Race in October, 2012
My favorite jumper pic through the Finish Line of the Run Woodstock 50 Mile Race in 2013
My favorite jumper pic through the Finish Line of the Run Woodstock 50 Mile Race in 2013

So in the spring of 2015, I plan on heading down to Pekin, Ill. for the Potawatomi 100 Mile Endurance Run. Everybody I run with has seemed to finish this, so I better to. Not for lack of difficulty in the course, however.  There will be over 16,000 feet of elevation gaining, which also means 16,000 feet of descent since the course is 10x, 10-mile loops. Just an idea of what that is, it is like climbing to the top of the Sears Tower (Willis Tower, but as a Chicagoan, it will always be the Sears Tower) 11 times, and then coming back down each time.

Here's a view of my Chicago Marathon results in 2012...notice the elevation gain. Yeah, that's pretty much the difference from marathons to ultras. Not just more miles, but they all have a more technical course.
Here’s a view of my Chicago Marathon results in 2012…notice the elevation gain. Yeah, that’s pretty much the difference from marathons to ultras. Not just more miles, but they all have a more technical course.

I have nothing to prove going into this run. I’m not to worried about proving anything to anyone, including myself. I just feel like this is something that I should do. I haven’t been challenging myself very much this past year with a running plan, so to me, the most important part of this is the training program. THAT is the part that I would like to prove to myself. The part that I still have the dedication, mental toughness, and perseverance to train for 26 weeks. Also, it will be a great learning experience to really discover which products work the best for me throughout the various environmental conditions.

A fellow runner at the bottom of one of the hills at the Potawatomi Trail Runs.
A fellow runner at the bottom of one of the hills at the Potawatomi Trail Runs.
About mid-way through the hill.
About mid-way through the hill.
Stream and creek crossings
Stream and creek crossings
In 2012, the winter had left us early so we were able to have some beautiful spring growth.
In 2012, the winter had left us early so we were able to have some beautiful spring growth.

I decided that my first couple of miles each day of training that I am going to make my best buddy go out with me. Here’s a “runfie” of she and I.  (Yes, the selfie term has morphed into “runfie. There is even a Facebook page of just that. Check it out, and join if you are just cool enough!)

Evie Mommy Run
Mommy and Evie on a run at a local park.

I’m hoping that this can help her cabin fever and to stay fit throughout the Chicago winter. Plus, she’s helping mommy stay motivated.

I am so bad at keeping a blog, but am hoping that I can start putting some things up to keep me motivated over time. Maybe I’ll find out that I get fast! Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll quit. Then I’ll start back up again. Then I will quit again but still toe the line on race day. Regardless, here goes nothing!

Enjoy the Ride: The Road to 100 Miles
Future magnet for the trunk of my car.

#100MileTraining

#LaziestUltraRunnerEver

#EnjoyTheRide

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