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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time Flies...

when you're training for an ultra. More than three months have passed since my last post and much has happened. As for the business about the ultra, hold your questions or comments until after the briefing.

July: What a month! My running for this month helped propel me to the modest heights I reached in the past three months plus. I consistently got myself to the track for 800M repeats and improved my 5k PR each week in the ORC Summer Running Series, topping at 19:56. I finished no worse than 10th in each race, much of which is due to a great Runner's World article that preaches the benefits of a pre-race Icee/Slurpee. The temps were in the 90's and humid. I kept cool with my weekly trip to WaWa for the frosty sugar-inducing beverage and it most definitely worked.

Also during this month, I decided that qualifying for Boston was out of the question. With the new and more difficult qualifying times on tap this fall, I didn't think there was any chance to cut 20 minutes from my marathon PR. After working so hard these past months, I do think it could be possible for the New Jersey Marathon this upcoming May.

So, if a marathon was out of the question, what would I be training for? Answer: the JFK 50 Mile. I've always marveled at these endurance athletes since I first learned of their existence only a few years ago and dreamed of reaching the same incredible personal feats. Many ultramarathoners aren't household names (nor are marathoners, for that matter) and hundreds more never win a single race or even their age group. They simply love getting outdoors and pushing themselves to their physical limit for 50 to 100 miles. Simply remarkable. And I want to be among them.

I took my time sending in the paperwork and scooped up one of the last open spots in the field of 1000 plus. I scoured the internet for a good 50 mile training plan and eyed August 1st as the start of my 16 week training. I should have taken the final three weeks of July easy due to the rigorous weekly goals of the training plan, but I kept pushing my track workouts and hit the gym hard four days a week, under the guise of my 17-year-old cousin who knows his way around a RetroFitness or two.