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Once a padawan, now a freaking Jedi. I run really far, I write a bunch, and have super powers that allow me to grow amazing facial hair.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Losing Your Virginity

Sure, you have run some marathons, you've read "Born to Run" and started running trails... so maybe you're rounding the bases but despite what you've told your pals in the locker room, you aren't an ultrarunner just yet. Don't worry, I was there. People heard that I had plans to run a 70-miles when I was in high school and gave me credit that I didn't earn till a whole 5-years later.

This Is My Wife and I. She Has A Pillow Stuffed
Under Her Shirt.

But if you talk about something long enough and keep making jokes...

Not A Pillow.
Now your ultrarunning aspirations should work the same way, but instead of a baby boy, you will pop your cherry and complete your very first ultramarathon!

Picking your first race can be overwhelming but if you play your cards right, you will set yourself up for success. Here are 5 tips:

1. Pick a local race.
  • Familiar terrain. Family and friend support. Easy logistics.
2. Pick a shorter race.
  •  Some people go straight to the 50-miler, but why? A 50k counts and builds confidence.
3.  Pick an established race with a good reputation.
  • Poor course design and ill-placed aid stations on an inaugural event could turn you off.
4. Pick something that is low in difficulty but still challenging.
  • No ultra is the same. Some races might be short, but just as hard as a longer one. Research. 
5. Scout it out.
  • Run part of the course. Hike it. Bike it. Know what you're getting into.
"Okay, I think this is crux. AKA where I shit my
pants and begin hallucinating."
 The first ultra you run is something you are going to remember for the rest of your life. It's a turning point of sorts. If you've done enough to make it to the finish line, you will likely swear that you will never run again. A few hours later you will beam with pride at what you just did. A few days later you will be signing yourself up for the next one as you foam roll the hell out of your quads so you can start training next week.

The first one may not be the prettiest, the longest, or even your favorite, but it paves the way to what's next... and yes I am still talking about running.

There are two GREAT sites to start researching races and I highly recommend that before you jump out of your chair and start doing hill workouts, you take a few minutes to look at them.
  • This site has a HUGE database of races that can be filtered by everything from location and distance, to difficulty and terrain.
  • Not as good in my opinion, but sometimes one site will have a race that the other doesn't. Cool thing about this one? If the race is registered here then it creates a profile based on races you've run and ranks you.

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