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running, ultra marathon, 50k, Mt. Cheaha, Alabama, motivational quote

I did it! I took the plunge and registered for my first 50k. That’s 31 miles folks. Not 3.1, not 13, but 31. What.Did.I.Do. I’ll be running the Mt. Cheaha 50k on February 23, 2013 – also known as the “race to the top of Alabama.” Gulp.

This is something that I added to my bucket list only a few months ago, but it’s been on my mind a lot. My cousin picked up trail running back in the spring and through his stories and our Dean Karnazes book club I got bitten with the ultra running bug. I have also become friends with some great ultra runners in Birmingham (Dan and Greg to name a few) who have inspired me to see how far I can run.

Mt. Cheaha 50k, ultra running, Alabama, trail running, 50k

This is happening.

I’m not exactly sure what I have gotten myself into, but I’ll figure it out as I go. Piece of cake, right? I have a new training plan and am planning to do a lot of research over the next two months. Here are a few changes I’m making to my routine:

  • Run at least one weekday run and my long run on trails each week
  • Learn to literally eat on the run and figure out what I can stomach
  • Change my mindset to think in terms of hours logged instead of miles
  • Make friends with hills
  • Learn to walk the hills and not feel guilty
  • Crosstrain and strengthen my legs, back, core
  • Learn to run on tired legs
Mt. Cheaha 50k, ultra marathon, trail running, Alabama

The plan.

It’ll be interesting to see how my body handles the distance and difficulty of the training and race. My initial thoughts were to ease into ultra running with an easy, flat 50k. But in my mind that is taking the easy way out, and if I am going to branch out and try new things, I want to do them 100%. So we’ll see. This is either a big mistake or the start of a new chapter in my running career. Either way I will learn from it and will have fun sharing my thoughts along the way!

Do you have any plans to tackle a big goal of yours or a bucket list item in 2013?