Saturday, April 14, 2012
Another long run through Shubie Park: To run or not to run the ultra
I overslept this morning so didn't manage to get out the door until nearly 11:00 and wasn't sure I was up to running 32k but, since it was a glorious spring day, I decided to start and see how it felt. It was to be my last really long run before the ultra on May 12th so I opted for a relatively challenging route through and around Shubie Park. Most of Shubie's trails are far smoother than the trails I'll be running for the ultra but at least they're hilly.
To add to the challenge, I took several detours off the main trails to run rougher trails, including Vivien's Way, which I looped three times.
Vivien's Way is named for Vivian Srivastava (1931-2004), an avid walker, naturalist and paddler who helped design the Lake Charles and Portobello portion of the Trans Canada Trail along the Shubenacadie Canal. The trail - though a short loop of less than a kilometre - is a beautiful, peaceful tribute to a remarkably accomplished woman.
Back at my apartment after the run, I showered, ate lunch and settled in with a beer to savour the view from my balcony and soak up a little sun. I'll be moving to a new house in a few weeks and, though I'm looking forward to it, I have to say I'm going to miss this view. Being able to gaze at Sullivan's Pond and the ocean beyond while sipping coffee in the morning is one of the great things about living where I do.
The thing I kept thinking about on my run today is whether I really feel ready to run 50k in a month's time. I can't honestly say that I do. It's hard to imagine running another 17k on top of the 33k I did today - let alone on rough trails and logging roads. For the moment, however, I remain committed to trying. I figure the worst that can happen is that I don't finish and - really - how bad is that? Sure, I'll be disappointed but it's not like I've properly trained to run such a tough course. If I manage to complete it - great. I'm in better shape than I thought. If I don't - well, better luck next time.
Actually, maybe that's what's worrying me - knowing, if I don't finish the Wascally Wabbit ultra, my pride won't let me rest until I do another - though I promised myself and Husband I'll take a break from long distance running in order to focus on other things for awhile.
Hmmm. I guess I'm going to have to ponder it for a bit. It may be silly - not to mention dangerous - to run an ultra for which I'm not really ready. On the other hand, my chiro thinks I can do it and, if I taper properly, I should be a bit stronger in a month's time. With the excitement of race day, Husband's loving support, and a good dollop of stubborn determination, I might just be able to "get 'er done" (as we say in Nova Scotia) and it sure would feel good to cross "run an ultra" off my bucket list.
Any experienced ultramarathoners out there who'd like to wade in on my internal dialogue? How well-trained does one have to be to finish an ultra?