Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running lessons: Reality check

The Wascally Wabbit Ultra is just 7 weeks away so I thought I'd check out the course on my long run today. It was - to put it mildly - a rather sobering experience.

To be fair, 62% of the course is on logging roads and, though they're steep and deeply rutted in places, I'm likely strong and nimble enough to handle them. The problem is the 38% of the course that's on ATV trails. The trails were too icy and wet to attempt running the full length of them today. With no one else in sight (aside from one mountain biker out taking pictures), I wasn't anxious to risk falling and injuring myself, maybe getting soaked in the process. (See above.)
I did however venture down two of the trails far enough to realize that running 19kms on them - especially as part of a 50k race - is going to be tough. I enjoyed running the short stretches I did but running their full length may take more strength and focus than I'm likely to have during the second half of a 50k race. 

So, now what?

To begin with, I contacted the organizers to see if I could run the 30k race instead. I think I can finish that distance safely though I may have to walk some of the trickier sections. The problem is, if I switch down to the 30k race, I won't reach my goal of completing a 50k race to mark my 50th birthday. 

I could always run the 50k race in Niagara, I suppose. Husband is ready and willing to make the trip to support me and it would be nice to spend a few days in wine country afterwards - but it would be expensive and chances are I'll be too tired and sore to enjoy wine touring.  Another option is to run another marathon instead - but I won't be satisfied with that unless I run a PB and that's not likely given that I haven't done much speed or strength training in recent months.  A final option - and the one I'm leaning towards at the moment - is to pick a date and route and run 50k. There'd be no finishers' medal, no chip timing, and no cheering crowds but at least I'd know I'd done it.

Or, I suppose I could just accept that running 50k won't be part of my milestone celebrations. 

Which would be fine. 


Except that it wouldn't. Because I've had my heart set on running 50k for awhile now. And because I never like to give up on a goal I've set for myself.

So - running friends - what would you do in my shoes? Resign your fate to the running gods and attempt the Wascally Wabbit despite your fear and misgivings, register for some other race, or breathe a sigh of relief and put your feet up for a few weeks?

PS  I was feeling pretty tired and discouraged as I finished my run today. Fortunately, I noticed these two towers as I was packing up to head back to the city.  Thirty years ago, my baby brother dubbed them "cat spaceships" - so seeing them always make me think of him and smile.  

And when I arrived home, Her Majesty, was happy to comfort me as I lay stretched out on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. 

Thank goodness for small children and feline companions to remind me of what's important. And for Husband who patiently and lovingly commiserated when I called him to report on my run. 


  1. You still have 7 weeks of training! Go for the 50k! You don't have to worry about time, just go for the goal!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it.

      In fact, I had a long heart-to-heart with my chiro last evening. He gave me the same advice - to moderate my expectations and just go for it! Think I likely will but I'm going to give myself a few days to rest up and mull it all over before I make a final decision.

      Thanks again!