Sunday, July 13, 2014

My First Ultra

My goal was to do something I've never done before, do something great. Greatness doesn't necessarily mean run however far, but to me it many pushing myself further than I've ever been before. I was aiming for 36 miles to celebrate 36 years on this earth and to essentially rid myself of anything negative from the previous year. I knew I could do 36 miles, I just knew it.

I made it 30.2 miles and called it quits. And I'm proud of myself. I didn't quite reach the 36 miles and I realize how close I was, but I wasn't as prepared as I'd like to be. However, I still achieved something great, did something I've never done before. My previous longest distance was 16 miles, so on this run I almost doubled my longest run.

I gave it my all and that's all anyone could ever ask. The Arizona heat was brutal. Between 11am and noon, it jumped in temperature so fast and so quick that it was starting to get hard to breath. I was going through water faster and faster and popping salt tabs left and right, trying to maintain my electrolytes and hydration. At mile 28, my left foot started getting very uncomfortable. Felt like I had stepped on a rock and there was a bruise on the bottom. So I turned around and walked back to the car, trying to jog through the pain, but it started getting hard to even walk.

I used this as a learning experience. Things I can learn from this: remember a few pairs of socks. Seriously, something as simple as socks would have made that run even more enjoyable than it already was. I would also like to learn how to improve my caloric intake because food and sustenance was getting harder to stomach as time went on. Also pacing. I went hard at points during my run when I should have focused on maintaining a steady pace.

Looking back now, I still can't believe that I did 30+ miles. I've been running for just over a year and I've done this. I'm so happy with my accomplishments. And the funny thing about turning 36 is that I'll be 36 for a whole year, so I can have another go whenever I want. It makes me excited for the JJ100K in November.

Thank you to everyone who came out and ran with me. You all made my birthday the best ever, seriously. It meant a lot to me. Erick, thanks for pushing me and pacing me during that last stretch. You are a beast and can't wait to run with you again buddy.