The afterglow of completing an Ultra

How long should you take advantage of people's admiration (and a free pass from chores) before getting back to normal?

21 to 40 of 43 messages
13/08/2012 at 14:40

When I did my first 50, I vowed that I would never do a 100.  Now 18 months on I have done three and am signed up for a fourth.  Once you have done a few 50s it seems to be only a matter of time before you start wondering if you could do a 100.  If I was a betting man, I would predict that a lot of people who ran the NDW50 this weekend, will ultimately go on to do 100 mile events!

 

13/08/2012 at 15:12

I'm sure you're probably right Ben, if you have that character trait that pushes you to think 'OK, I've done a marathon, what next?' and motivates you to enter a 50 in the first place, it probably won't be long before you then think 'hmmm, maybe I can do a 100'.  Just not quite yet for me, I don't think.  Although I have just looked at the training schedule and think it would be manageable. 

GKD
13/08/2012 at 15:13
Then don't, seriously it really does my head in this oneupmanship, enjoy your running whatever the distance. My favourite event, or events if I'm honest, a the mightcontainnuts 30 miler in the Black mountains and their 40 miler in the Brecons, pretty standard distances in terms of ultras, not a ridiculous amount of ascent/decent but enouh to make it fun but they're run on the most fantastic trails in simply the most stunning part of Wales.
GKD
13/08/2012 at 15:20

Thanks Lirish.  Makes me feel a bit better that im not thinking of a 100 miler already.   At least a couple of years away before I think of that.   I have been looking at the ultras in the Brecons and maybe next year,

Which one where you by the way?  I was the quiet one in green with Lou.

13/08/2012 at 15:36

Given the mental stresses of a 100, I think you had better be doing it because you want to do it. 

GKD
13/08/2012 at 15:52
Hiya Spen, I was the gobby Irish guy at stepping stones and at registration, it was only after you'd left our aid station that WiB mentioned who you and loulabell re otherwise I would have made a point of saying hello
GKD
13/08/2012 at 15:57
Rosemary Close 4 wrote (see)

I'm reckoning on 'as long as I can get away with it' but it will probably be 'until recovered enough for next gym visit/run', when it becomes obvious I am fully recovered.  What do other ultrarunners think?  Is there accepted practice for this?

I think that depends how much you complain after that first run. If you do lots of umming and aaaahing then you might be able to string it out a bit longer....?

Edited: 13/08/2012 at 15:59
13/08/2012 at 18:24

Yes, good point dancing in spikes!

Lirish, I will check out the mightcontainnuts website.

13/08/2012 at 18:29

Damn looked at mightcontainnuts and one clashes with Hardmoors55 and anouther is a week after Malvern.   Got to decide what to do now!

13/08/2012 at 20:23

Another vote for MCN. The 30 miler in the black mountains is as hard as nails and in the most beautiful setting you could have a trail race. Possibly my fave race ever.

13/08/2012 at 21:02
Rosemary Close 4 wrote (see)

Thanks Lirish, I think I'll do a few more around the 50-mark and see how I feel then.  I really did enjoy the event, but I can't get my head around the thought of another 50 on top of the first.

Rosemary, i think Lirish is right in that you shouldnt  feel you 'should' do a 100miler or 'have' to...for some it may be natural progression ,others not. its whatever floats your boat or makes you tick.its interesting you say that about the kind of people who do a marathon and then immediately say'ok, done it , now whats next' ...thats exactly the sort of person i am. not just running  but work, exams etc..i pass one mark then need something else to aim for..not saying i would do a 100miler...certainly not in the next year ..but im not saying i wouldnt do it either...the euphoria of completing things wears off quite quickly with me which is a bit worrying  where will it end??

Lirish, i dread to think what WIB told you....

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
Edited: 13/08/2012 at 21:02
13/08/2012 at 23:36

having started with a 33-miler (marlborough challenge) and progressed through 45, 53, 50, 53, 63, 100 .... I have loved them all for different reasons. I DID want to see what a 100-miler was like , I guess a bit like LLB is describing (in fact much of that rings true with me esp the bit about it wearing off etc), and having done one I know I'll go and do another, to see how that feels. I am competitive with myself but it's got to be about enjoying it - whatever it is - otherwise I could never put up such a battle to fit the training in.  Agree there shouldn't be the oneupmanship but I guess that applies to everything ... run 5km, must do 10km, oh you run do you? have you done a marathon etc etc.

14/08/2012 at 07:56

cragchick yes there has to be enjoyment most definately-but like you, even during the harder parts i know damn well within a few minutes of finishing i will be saying i loved it and looking forward to the next one.

the competiveness for me is with myself and to go further, not really against anyone else on the day.i rarely scrutinise finsh times, have no idea what my northants time was exactly and not too fussed so long as im in comfortably. maybe as i do a few more or go bac and repeat events im sure i will look at reducing the times maybe. but until then its learning and enjoying

14/08/2012 at 08:28

cragchick: I'm self-competitive as well, which is why I'd set myself the initial 10-hours target and really pushed for it when, at 12 miles out, I realised it was within reach. I -know - I'm not the fastest runner out there, at any distance, but I like seeing what I can achieve for myself, at whatever distance I'm running. I can still have fun knocking time off my parkrun PB, for example.

One nice thing about having reached the 50 is that now it's about maintaining fitness, rather than building it (having spent some 14 months building to this point after my foot injury).

And yes, I'm sure I'll want to up the distances again in a while, just to try it out and confirm that I -can- do it, but I also want to find great trail races to run, whatever the distance (and preferably on a Sunday, so they don't interfere with managing the parkrun).

Edited: 14/08/2012 at 08:28
14/08/2012 at 10:34

Cragchick, Loula, you have articulated what I am feeling much better than I did.  I am also very goal-orientated and self-competitive.  I feel quite flat after NDW, now that the elation has worn away, particularly as I haven't come out of it thinking either 'that was so tough I will never do that distance again' or 'OK, now I am ready for a bigger challenge'.  Perhaps the flatness is also down to fatigue? 

My problem is that I need to have a goal which will challenge me, which was certainly the case with NDW50. I think for the next few seasons, I shall stick with similarish distances (and possibly multi-day events), enjoy the trail running and improve my hillwork.

14/08/2012 at 11:04

You could always try a 50 with a bit more ascent/descent.  Doing more 50s on different types of terrain will give you a better idea of which 100 you might want to do. 

In any event, I think that pretty much all the 100 mile events in the UK are sold out up to May next year, so that will enforce a period of consolidation. 

14/08/2012 at 14:44
Rosemary Close 4 wrote (see)

Cragchick, Loula, you have articulated what I am feeling much better than I did.  I am also very goal-orientated and self-competitive.  I feel quite flat after NDW, now that the elation has worn away, particularly as I haven't come out of it thinking either 'that was so tough I will never do that distance again' or 'OK, now I am ready for a bigger challenge'.  Perhaps the flatness is also down to fatigue? 

My problem is that I need to have a goal which will challenge me, which was certainly the case with NDW50. I think for the next few seasons, I shall stick with similarish distances (and possibly multi-day events), enjoy the trail running and improve my hillwork.

Rosemary i agree totally. NDW50 was challenge to myself not against anyone else.like you i came out of pretty unscathed and was asked minutes after i finished would i do it again-and i didnt have to think twice before saying yes. Had i had a really awful time and missed cut offs then i think id be saying well, maybe 50 isnt for me or flatter etc but like yourself new things are always needed. i too though will stick to 50,40,45,30 for a year or so and try to reduce times in managable /realistic amounts. i am not fast  but have done very little hillwork so with more i could probably gain strength and get a little quicker. at the end of the day we choose to do this because we ENJOY it...its not meant to be a punishment

14/08/2012 at 21:38

So nice to find others with pretty much the same thoughts/mindset. I always want to maintain my fitness etc but think this summer has dented it enormously. Hey ho, and then I find when I am not running for a long period, more niggles appear than when I'm running!!!! 

Anyway, there are more aplenty adventures out there - way more than I can ever dream of doing, which also makes me frustrated!!! I would definitely recommend a look at the adventurehub events if you want some challenging stuff, I absolutely LOVED their Northumberland one I did last year ... there were about 15 of us doing the ultra on the day (100km) of which about 7 or 8 finished I think!!! 3 were ladies and I was the only finishing lady.  This year the times absolutely blasted last years out the window but I think that was a reflection of the weather and conditions!!  But I found that the challenge of the weather, terrain (Cheviot hills) and route summed up everything that ticks my boxes!!!

I love the way you are all talking about not being fast,  ladies, you are pretty speedy ultra runners by the looks of it!!    Hills is definitely the way to go and that's what I'll be starting work on next week ... less than a week of school hols left

As for sold out races, I'm hoping for the West Highland Way race ... entries open in November I think ... and it's local(ish) for me!

 

15/08/2012 at 08:43

Talking about maintaining fitness, if I run B2B 20+ and 10-12 every second weekend and 10/10 or similar the alternate weekends (with shorter runs during the week, of course), that should keep me ticking over, I'd have thought?

15/08/2012 at 11:58

That ought to get the job done.  What I will say, is that if your commitments restrict the time you can spend running, focus on quality rather than quantity.  Make sure that you work in hills session and speed sessions amongst other things. 

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