Today I did something I have never done and always dreamed of: back-to-back VERY long runs. It’s the staple of ultra runner training, but even when doing a 50k, I didn’t feel the need to do them because it’s not that long. With the Ultra Beast taking 7 hours or more, I am treating it more like a 50 miler than a 50k, making the back-to-back long runs a reality. To keep-it-real I picked two ski mountains to run up to simulate the two laps of Lake Tahoe.
As I got ready this morning I was excited because I LOVE the route I created. Sublime but pure evil. Yet, while my mind was excited,my body was not. I found myself in the Stages of grief of back-to-back 25 milers: 1) denial / I can’t do this! 2) Anger / this is so stupid! 3) Bargaining / ok I will do this but I get more coffee! 4) Acceptance / and out the door I go.
Today was the reverse of yesterday – mist at the bottom and sunshine appeared as I got higher and higher up the first mountain. There is nothing more magical than looking down on clouds from a mountain top. It’s like being in the Cloud City from Star Wars (the good ones).
But all the views in the world (and Boom Gels with 40mg of caffeine) couldn’t change the fact that my legs were screaming, and as the miles counted down, I could feel myself slowing. The proof was on my watch, as today was 15 minutes slower but I ran the final 4 miles well, (OK the gels helped!) and that was a big confidence boost.