Looking Over the Edge… One Week & 50 Miles

One week from today I will attempt the Palo Duro Canyon 50 mile trail race.  I have run roughly 800 miles in the last 12 months to prepare for this race.  That sounds like a lot of ground to cover, but when preparing for an ultramarthon, it turns out that it is not.  Due to the demands of work, and a stronger commitment to and love for my family than running, I am substantially under-trained.

To put it into perspective, when preparing for an ultramarathon, a runner should average 4-5 runs per week and 50-60 miles per week at an absolute minimum.  Many ultramarathoners do well over 100 miles per week.  In comparison, for the last 16 weeks I have run only twice per week for an average of under 25 miles per week.  That puts me at roughly 60% under-trained.  I don’t know exactly what to expect, besides quite a bit of discomfort and pain.  I also know the Palo Duro Canyon is a beautiful place, so it will be an adventure to see how far my legs can carry me across that terrain.

Because of my state of fitness, I don’t have many expectations.  To support my usual optimism, I have two 30 mile runs recently under my belt, and a completed 60K (37.5 mile) ultramarathon earlier this summer for which I was also under-trained.  In the “odds against” column, I have the fact that I DNF’d a 60K earlier in the summer as well, and when I finished each of the 30 mile long runs previously mentioned all I could think was, “20 more miles… How am I going to do this?”  So, what will happen?  Will I finish?  I feel certain that I will finish, if for no other reason than I am determined to.  How much I will suffer, and how much I will have to walk are the big variables.  The weather is looking to be just about perfect so that will help.  If I can finish in under 9 hours with as little training as I’ve done, I’ll call it a great success.

I’m looking forward to getting out of Austin for the weekend, looking forward to being in something like wilderness, and looking even more forward to spending a long weekend with my beautiful wife and best friend Jenny.  Mad props to Lacey, Mike, Kirsten, and Kari for watching the kids while we are gone.

If cell service is available, Jenny will post live updates to my Twitter account (@JasonDBallard) and/or FaceBook page so friends and family can follow along.  If not, we’ll put up updates as soon as we can.  The race starts at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20th.


~ by jdballard on October 13, 2012.

One Response to “Looking Over the Edge… One Week & 50 Miles”

  1. Go Jason! Go Jason! Go Jason!! Let us know how it goes…blow by blow! Sue

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