26.2 miles. A full marathon. During my training, I’ve got to run a whole one. It’s a ridiculous distance for my relatively weak mind and legs. And the catch. This huge run is only during training. At the end of the journey, I won’t finish with cheers crossing a fancy finish line, it’ll just be me. Stopping my Garmin watch and limping back up our rocky driveway.
Although I do hard exercise routines; hike for hours; and run up mountains, my workouts still leave me feeling like I haven’t done enough. I face a constant self-nagging. I should have ran harder. Why didn’t I run one more mile? or ten more? Was that enough push-ups?
The other day, while putting the baby to sleep in her Mobi and hiking our homemade trail, it hit me. I should not only train for the race, which is in September, but practicing for my next training. Because my exercises exponentially rise in difficulty, my goals should follow these elevated efforts. This idea is common sense, but I haven’t invested in that commodity over the years.
My official race training starts in June, right now I am trying to bring my fitness, strength, mobility, and cardio to a level allowing me to survive the first week of 60k training. Even though my end goal is a 38 mile trail race. My next milestone is a much smaller landmark on the journey to my ultimate destination. And just like a road trip, I need to expect and prepare my itinerary for all the stops along the way.
My IT Band injury was only a flat on the highway. I have since strengthened them and look forward to putting a little mud on the tires.
If you’d like to follow my journey, start here.
Check out my new Facebook group for ultra-runners who weigh over 200lbs, otherwise known as Clydesdales! Find fellow husky runner’s weight-specific gear recommendations, injury mitigation strategies, fueling options, and more!
Hey Nate, I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey so far and look forward to more.
I’m 53, and just started running seriously this year. A few years ago I was 280, and am down in the 220s now, hoping to lose more.
I have a half marathon scheduled in June that I’m hoping to be ready for and beyond that who knows, but the thought of running ultras fascinates me.
If you’re looking for more inspiration for your running, and life in general, I highly recommend “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. He was also a guest on Rich Roll’s podcast if you listen to those kinds of things.
Stay hard and keep training Brother!
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That’s awesome, John! I’ve been fascinated in stories about people who face insurmountable odds and suffer through to the finish, like the movie Cast Away and all the other countless survivor stories. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check out David’s stuff this evening. I would recommend the book, Born to Run and the Documentary about the Barkley Marathons for anybody getting into running.
Haha I’ve actually read the book and seen the Barkley documentary. I’m actually going minimalist with my footwear, currently wearing Xero shoes or sandals when I train.
Sounds like the Goggins story will be right up your alley!
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Nice! I switch back and forth between Merrell Trail Gloves (Minimals) and Salamon Sense Ride 2’s. I love walking around and cross training in minimals too though.