My First Ultra-Marathon (Attempt): Endurance Training = Life

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Last week, my grandmother died from kidney failure. We were forced to bury her at a graveside-only funeral with her immediate family.

Tonight, I sit in my dark house, typing on my phone with headlamp light for my bluetooth keyboard because the heavens brought their A-game and destroyed dozens of neighborhoods within two miles of our house. 

Rewind to yesterday afternoon another blow hit me from out of nowhere. I was hanging around the house (because that’s all you can do in a quarantine), and I decided to transfer the training schedule from the book Relentless Forward Progress into an excel sheet to get a better idea of when my mileage ramped up for my training. Even though I am well versed in using Google Sheets, the task was still meticulous, typing in all the mileages and arranging the dates above. I did the task in reverse, stating in September. I slowly worked my way backwards. 


I was almost positive that the training began in late May or June. I continued putting in the dates.


I was pretty impressed with the amount of total miles required in the month of July. It took my breath a little.




Hey! Wait a second! There must be a mistake! I shouted.

I retraced my steps.






… why?

… Maybe?

… but?

I drug the auto-population bar across the final date. 

April 14th, 2020.






After the shock wore off, sometime yesterday around noon, I promised myself to start the official training anyway. I chose to focus on running the miles in the evenings and injury prevention and strength training in the mornings. I promised myself not to let ANYTHING stand in my way. 

And now, here I am. 

In the dark.

I feel that life has been preparing me for the challenge ahead. All of the quarantine garbage; the depression concerning the news; the challenge of burying my 90 year-old pain-enduring grandmother; and now this, having no power for God knows how long, and somehow facing the challenge of training for the voluntary suffering of running 38 miles through the mountains. And to think, I thought that would be the hardest part of 2020. This year’s just getting started.


6 thoughts on “My First Ultra-Marathon (Attempt): Endurance Training = Life

  1. Hey Nate, so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Even though we know they’re better off we still miss them!
    Hope your power is restored soon. There was some serious damage in places lat night. Just remember it could have been worse.
    I was wondering when you mentioned that your training plan started in June. I was like man, if I had a 30+ miler this fall I don’t think I could be ready for it even if I started training seriously for it right now! But hey you’re a young fella you’ll be okay lol.
    Is the book you’re getting your plan from called “Relentless Forward Progress”? I’ve heard that that book has some really good training plans.
    And hey, if you wanted to share your excel sheet I wouldn’t say no =)
    Looking forward to seeing your training unfold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem. I’ll try to post the sheet on the article. As for training, I’ve been doing alot of rehabing with my IT Band and strength training. Most of my milage as of late has been on our homemade trail, a mix of hiking the hills and running the flats and downhills. I’ve been training in some fashion for the race since January, it’s just been the feeling of transistioning from the foundation building stage to the milage building stage that scares me. It’s going to be a fine line of long runs/recovery and trying not to get injured while not falling to far behind on building miles.

      Liked by 1 person

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