Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…


Last fall I set the lofty goal of completing my first 50-mile ultra. Along with my trusty running buddy, I targeted the Bel Monte Endurance Run in late March, with official training to start in late November.

Last week, plans changed.
There were plenty of reasons.
-Training didn’t take off in November as planned. Rather, it was mid-January before Bess and I were back to a consistent running routine after a full race schedule last fall. I’m sure I could finish 50 miles, but I have a lot of other races I want to do this year. I don’t want to land myself an overuse injury in March.
-I learned last month that I should be defending my dissertation the week after the race. I need my brain to be sharp – sharper than it likely would be after 50 miles and 13 hours of tough trails.
-And about that 13 hours… Last year, as I recently discovered, only 40% of the field (43 out of 103) actually finished the race within the allotted time cut-off. 50 miles is one thing. 50 miles with 22,000 feet of elevation change is quite another.
So, after much back-and-forth, Bess and I decided to transfer our registrations to the 50k. It’ll still be a challenge. 31(.4) miles. 12,600 feet of elevation change. But if how I felt two weeks ago while running the Wissahickon Loop is any indication, barring the unforeseen, I am confident that I’ll be able to finish, and finish strong.
It’s always a bit deflating, shifting gears and reorienting goals. But it was the right decision. I’m looking forward to the race, and I’m looking forward to coming back revved up for the rest of the season.
If all goes according to plan, maybe I’ll register for the next one as Dr. Esquire.

9 responses to “Downsizing

  1. Staci Dombroski February 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

    That is so exciting you are so close to your doctorate! I would do the same thing. You are going to do awesome at the race.

  2. Angela and David Kidd February 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

    A 50K with all that climbing is still pretty freaking amazing Dr. Esquire!

  3. Denise February 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Not that I'm that experienced but after doing one, I think you made the right call. Especially since you weren't giving yourself much time to train. And the dissertation is so important…I really wasn't myself for a few days after the ultra. My body was pretty out of wack. The 50k sounds like the perfect compromise.;

  4. I Run for Fun February 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Good luck on the 50K! Even your downgraded goals are too much for me, girl.And good luck on your dissertation too…Dr. Esquire!

  5. RunningLaur February 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Sounds like you've made the right decision by far, even though it's a tough one. You've put so much work into your dissertation, it'll be sure to shine through much more given some extra rest. There will be more chances to race, and you'll have to fill out the race application with Dr. on it for sure. 🙂

  6. Jill February 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    You will regroup and find another and train right for it. 12,000' up is rather intimidating, especially given cut-off times. Good luck on the dissertation!!

  7. Amanda - RunToTheFinish February 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Your life really is all about jsut making consistent choices o nwhat is best for you…I've seen this in all your racing and you always come out feeling strong and proud, this will be no different!

  8. X-Country2 February 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    50k is still pretty darn impressive. Good luck!

  9. N.D. February 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Glad you changed the plan to something more comfortable for now. Still a great challenge, should be fun!

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