How many times we find ourselves saying, “How on earth did this happen?” I feel a bit of this as I contemplate a year of training for the 2015 Grizzly Ultra Marathon. For some reason last month, I bought an entrance into this event.
Looking back, I trace this madness to a poor showing running up Sulphur Mountain in late fall. I didn’t beat last year’s time and it kind of erked me. I doubled down on improving my endurance. On a big Saturday run with the Canmore Trail Culture crew I found myself at the back running with Suzanne’s co worker who had just finished a 160km race last month. We ran the same pace which gave me a sense that somehow extreme endurance running was not a mystical feat performed by demi-gods but by real people. It’s true, I would be exhausted in an hour and a half, and she could run that pace for 30 hours (really!) but somehow I felt as though a mental barrier had been breached.
And that is how I ended up where I am now, looking with some excitement and dread at the year ahead of endless miles, stretching, ice baths and soreness!
The “Grizzly Ultra” is an “easier” ultra marathon that takes place on October 12 2015 at the Nordic Centre. It is a trail course (as opposed to a road course on pavement) over some pretty hilly country. The 50km course has 4600 vertical feet of climbing.
Above: An elevation profile of the race. It’s pretty much a 10km race plus a full marathon with a 415 story building to climb up along the way!
Maintaining a training schedule over the next part of winter is difficult. My work days are long and out in the cold so when I get back to camp I have little energy to train. But I will try as best I can. My training goals for now are to stay uninjured while I slowly increase my endurance. In the spring, a more rigid mileage regime will begin in earnest when I am done winter work.
It is quite fortunate that I have so many inspiring people around here to keep me going when the task seems too hard. I know a half dozen other people in next year’s race so perhaps misery will indeed love company!