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My Next Challenge – ECS Utah 50k!

Hello all!

So on the heels of my previous announcement this week, I’ve been getting serious about my training.

A 50k was something I had been planning to tackle this year but then a hip injury sidelined me after my last marathon and as I started training for the Dumbo Double Dare I was going to take it easy. Fast forward to last week and here we are – I’m signed up for my first 50k! Not only is a 50k but it’s in Park City, Utah, in the mountains and it’s a part of an awesome series of races hosted by North Face called the Endurance Challenge Series.

The Park City,Utah race boasts:

“The North Face Endurance Challenge Series expansion into the “mountain” region of United States at Park City Mountain Resort, located 20 miles outside of Salt Lake City. This race course will not only start at the highest elevation within the North America series at 7,000 feet but it will also climb to the highest elevation of 10,000 feet.” 

These races aren’t for the faint of heart.

Luckily, I’m in Boulder so I’m already acclimated to 5,000 ft of elevation and I’m surrounded by awesome trails to train on and get use to hill climbing and trail running.

However, the kicker is that I sign up with ONLY 13 weeks to train. Eep!

I know – this is kind of insane, but as long as I can keep injury free, I know I can do this!

Also, you know what’s the best running motivation EVER? Signing up for a race that terrifies you. I remember my main motivation when training for my first marathon was – “I need to run now, so I don’t die on race day”, and I didn’t mean “die” metaphorically, I meant that quite literally.

I’ve found some great training plans online and I’m also reading 2 books, Relentless Forward Progress  by Bryon Powell and Hal Kroerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning by Hal Kroerner. These 2 books are chock full of great information and great training plans.

My biggest weakness right now is that I’m about 6-10 weeks behind where I should be according to these training plans. I have a decent base but really I’m jumping into this late which is both terrifying and invigorating!

I’ve been hitting the trails the past 2 weeks, with today’s run clocking in at 13 miles and ~2,000 ft of elevation climb. My pace is okay. I feel okay. But still – this is terrifying.

I am comforted by the fact that these plans tend to peak around 50 miles a week which is where my marathon training usually gets me to, so I know I can handle the mileage volume. The thing that’s different about these plans though is that unlike the Hal Higdon plan I normally follow where Saturday is a medium-long run and Sunday is the long run, these plans flip that. I’m assuming this is to get ultrarunners use to running on fatigued legs (still reading the books though so I’m still learning).

So with all that said, I’m BEYOND excited to tackle this challenge with my #BibRavePro teammates and push myself to a new limit. There is no “right” or “sane” time to run an ultra, you just have to jump in! Also, I’m sure the mountains of Utah will be gorgeous in late September and at that elevation the views will be breath-taking.

Pushing yourself and seeing beautiful new places, that’s what running is all about!

So with that –

Have you run an ultra? What advice can you give? What’s your next challenge?

Let me know in the comments!

Happy running!

Inspired to tackle your own ultra run? Here’s a discount for 3 of the Endurance Challenge Races use BIBRAVE15 to get 15% off the WisconsinOntario or Utah (w/ me!) races!

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