I originally drafted this blog post during the late spring of 2014. Never to late to publish a good thought, right?
I'm training for my first ultramarathon. That's a race longer than a marathon. I've opted for a 50 mile race on Mt. Hood, although I'll likely precede that with a 25k or 50k in early June. Training for an ultramarathon isn't much different than training for a marathon. You just have to run. A lot.
The big question is…
How do you fit in all that running? I'm ramping up my mileage very slowly this year to avoid the medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) that nagged me before my first marathon. Currently I'm hitting about 45 miles per week. Eventually I'll get up to 70+ miles in a week, including a single run of 30 or more miles.
As a graduate student, it's a huge challenge to find time to run all that much. So recently I've been playing with different ways to log miles. Dean Karnazes, also known as The Ultramarathon Man, doesn't own a car. He lives in Marin County outside of the Bay Area and gets around primarily on foot. I decided to give his technique a try.
Work it off
I went out for a normal run last Monday after school. I did a common loop around a golf course and came back to my apartment, for a total of 5 miles. As I was stretching outside my door, my phone rang. I'm on call as an A/V Technician at my school, and a professor was having trouble with the projector. Usually I'm reluctant to go back to campus in the evening, even though it's only 1/2 mile from my place. But you look at things differently when your brain is infused with endorphins and BDNF. "I'll run right over," I told him. I snuck in another mile, saved the day for a small group of massage students just yearning for more PowerPoint slides, and I got paid for it. Win-Win-Win!
I've needed to get some audio cables to upgrade my little podcast set-up. These aren't the type of thing you buy at BestBuy or Staples. No, I wanted the real deal from Pro Audio & Lighting, an independent shop for audiophiles and indie-bands 6 miles away from home. I took a cue from Dean Karnazes, threw on my Anton Krupicka Ultimate Direction race vest, fired up The Tim Ferriss Show on my favorite podcasting app, and trotted over. Generally, I hate running on roads. This time wasn't much different, but it was a fun change to navigate the busy streets on foot rather than in a hunk of metal. The look I got from the store clerks was amusing.