Monday, April 2, 2012

50k Training and Numbers

There are probably many training plans on the internet but I dug up 2 and that was enough for me.
The table above shows 2 different 50k training plans that I dug up in October.  The fact that I looked them up and saved them to my computer in October doesn't mean I looked at them.  I basically knew what I needed to do. I needed to run as much as I could. I needed to run a long run (say 20 miles) on Saturday, and then another run on Sunday of 10 miles. The only time I ever ran 2 days in a row on the weekend was the day after the 20 mile race.  I barely ever ran 10 miles on the weekend let alone a longer run + 10.  I only ran 10 miles or more 6 times in 2012 prior to the race. I ran a marathon November 20, 2011 and didn't run 10 or more at all the rest of 2011.

Sometimes I wonder why I even attempted an ultra.  I read on one of the online sites that they said don't even attempt an ultramarathon unless you have 3 marathons under your belt. I laughed at that and it is what pushed me over the edge to do the marathon.  I only signed up for the ultra on February 20.

The more I look at all the numbers, the more I know that is why I struggled so bad the last 5 miles. You can't argue with numbers.

With both training plans, I only hit 1 week at running more than 75% of the suggested miles.
You may think I get nerdy with all my numbers and tables I post here. Well, I get that from my dad. He made a few tables after my 50k and sent them to me. I figured I need to share them.  My dad created the table above because the official results didn't say if someone was male or female and I mentioned I wanted to know how I did compared to the other females.  He actually sent me a few versions of this file. The first version did not include the time over on the right.  My dad said he read somewhere that distance runners don' get good until they reach 40 or 50 or hit their prime.  I never heard that or read that but then I don't go reading about running.
My dad also made the table above. The first loop should have been 6.1 but you get the point.   The 4th loop is where I started doing run/walk intervals instead of just running. And at each water stop it took me longer to drink water because I had to catch my breath so I was stopped for longer.

On Tuesday, February 21, a physical therapist evaluated me because my hips were hurting. He said I had Trochanteric Bursitis. His first recommendation was to rest. I said that wasn't going to happen because I had a 20 mile race that weekend.  Then he gave me some other recommendations.  The day after the 20 mile race, I went to run an easy 5 miles and my knee started hurting. My knee pain was just like it was a year ago. I knew what exercises to do this time so I didn't have to waste time waiting for appointments and going to physical therapy.   I tried to take time off running but that was awful. I'd take 4 days off or something and it felt like an eternity.  Then my knee would hurt bad again.  I'd run 10 miles on the weekend and have trouble walking and going down the stairs the following morning.  A few days before the 50k, my knee started hurting just a couple miles into the race.  I didn't think I'd finish at all. I finished...but with a price. I had trouble walking the next few days in the morning. I walked with a limp. As the day went on, the pain went away and so did the limp but then each night my knee would hurt in the night and wake me up and then the morning would repeat itself.   My knee really bothered me for a good 4 days.  The day after the race my knee did hurt less than the previous Monday or the Monday before that so I figured my knee was improving a little.  I probably should not have run on a bad knee but I knew that was a good 50k to do. I'm not sure what other ones are even as close in location but also most other ones are on trails.

I can always say I did an ultramarathon. But I can't always say I was smart about it.  Half the time I feel like I can be done with ultras but the other half, I feel like I need to train more and do another to have an even better time and not struggle so much at the end.

In the future I will attempt to have pacers if I do it again and I will also not tell anyone else until after the fact. A 50k is so long that you can injure yourself and not finish easily.

I like races. They help you keep on track with training. But then a weekend race has me so nervous the day of and the night before and sometimes for more than one day.  If I just go on a long run, I am never nervous.

I should start looking up other races. Does anyone have any suggestions?  I think it might be fun to plan a vacation and a race together.


  1. Are there any medium-length races (30k - 50k) around PA in early or mid-July? It'd be fun to do one of those instead of a full ultra during our PA road trip visit (my mammal hates when I do an ultra on the summer visit, so it would be sort of a good compromise for her).

    1. I'll have to look it up. I don't know yet.

  2. Hey, first in our age group! Congrats! =)

    1. Thanks. even though it was just my dad's made up age group selection.

    2. Not too made up... I think 20-29 is pretty standard.

    3. Well with extra small races, I figured maybe they never even look at age groups. With 5ks the age groups are 5 year ranges most of the time but sometimes 10 years.