and… im doing a 50 miler

Yes you read that right. I am doing a 50 mile race. Sometimes i cannot believe, and others I cannot wait!

The 50 mile race is the North Face Endurance Challenge in Wisconsin next Saturday the 14th. My mom has been training for it since the beginning of summer, with me as her training buddy on most of her runs.

I was going to be the pacer. The pacer. Only 23 miles to run. I was looking at it like a nice easy run, trying not to make fun of mom as she hobbles up hills, but not anymore. Now i will be snailing up the hill right along side of her.

The other night I got a call from my mom, out to dinner with my dad with about 2 beers down her. “You should just run with me!” she exclaimed.

Instead of hesitation, fear, dread, laughing, I responded, “Ok!”

And that was it. I decided to run. My mom told me to run at least 40 miles that weekend (last weekend) and call her afterwards if I decide to do it or not based on the runs. Already decided in my mind, I had a great 25-mile run through the Griffy Lake trails and a nice, flat Carmel, IN run with a friend.

Now, with only 9 more days to race day, I am gorging myself on ultra podcasts, videos, and blogs. I watched Rory and Tony during each mile of the UTMB, well whatever i got through twitter at least.

I have been listening to TrailRunner Nation podcasts each time I go on a run by myself. I have learned so much and yet have one thing to learn: actually experiencing the run for myself. I know I can read and study all week long but I will not know what will happen come race day.

As of now, my runs have been good, light and quick. I have been talkative, which is not usually the case, and I feel good. Thinking about the race I am more nervous that something will happen, like stomach issues or an injury, more so than the actual running 50 miles. But one thing trumps all fears: Community.

I will be part of the ultra-running community. I am so excited to join the people talking on Twitter every Sunday on #ultrachat. I will know what the T.R.N guys are saying about hitting the wall, feeling the emotions of finishing an ultra, and learning about trail etiquette during a 50 miler. I am ready to be an ultra-runner and ready to fulfill the part of me that yearns to run for 10+ hours!

“Let’s run some hills!” – Saint Ralph

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