Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ultra Lauren

May and June kind of got away from me. I have a toddler, nuff said, right? Or I could go on; a toddler that runs, climbs, tries to jump off things and generally causes all sorts of mayhem. He's pretty darn fantastic. :) And super cute to boot.

(little trouble maker)

As if raising a toddler wasn't enough there's always a new adventure in the works. In May we held an incredibly crazy first birthday party with tons of toddlers and preschoolers, my husband went away for the whole month and Hunter decided not to nap or sleep the entire time he was gone. In June my husband returned but moved to a studio out of the house (he is missed but I'm super excited about the extra space) and Hunter started running (mostly into sharp corners.)

And now in July I'm embarking on another adventure all my own. I've decided to start training for a 50k trail run. The distance sounds a little crazy but I've run 5 marathons and a handful of other races. 50k is about 31 miles so just 5 miles longer than a marathon. 5 miles is nothing after 26, right? I'm hoping so.

I started training about a month ago with the intent to eventually run a marathon but couldn't find a marathon that I really wanted to run that occurred at the right time or in the right area. I've had my heart set on EVENTUALLY running an ultra, I just had no idea it would be in 8 weeks.

Today I did my first hill and trail training run. It was incredible! Leaving my house at 5:45 it was already 72 degrees, but 5 minutes away the hills were about 10 degrees cooler, almost chilly. And trails are so much more fun than running around the same park every day.

This run also happens to be a lengthened version of the first route I ran post partum, weighing 230 lbs. Let me tell you how awesome it was running it again. Not only have I dropped 75 pounds since then, but I've also dropped about 5 minutes from my pace. I felt so light and free, even while running 2 miles up a very steep incline. I absolutely cannot wait to run the trails again. I'm even looking forward to a 15 mile run on them.

So people keep asking why? Dude, I don't know, there are so many reasons. What I do know is that the first day I started training for my first marathon I told my friend I had this overwhelming feeling of "why haven't I been doing this my whole life?" Even though that first run was more walking and gasping for air, and ended with feet full of blisters and muscles sore for days, it was the best thing I've ever done for myself. I had this goal that seemed totally unattainable but I was on my way to completing it.

Now, 8 years later I've completed 5 full marathons and a handful of other races. Not too shabby for a chubby girl. And after all that and a pregnancy I'm in the best shape of my life and feel like "So what now?" This 50k seems right up my alley. It's a shorter distance for an ultra. Most REAL ultras are 50 miles, 100 miles and upward. 31 miles seems like a good place to start.

For years I never thought I could run fast but always knew I had the endurance to run forever, so I focused on training for longer distances. This year, actually the past 2 months, is the first time I was ever able to run a quick pace. I set a goal to run an average pace of 9 minutes and I reached that goal. Now I'm actually passing people, which is just nuts. So now I get to go back to my love of distance. And maybe when I complete this goal I'll go back to working on speed. I keep hearing a whisper telling me it's time to get to Boston.


  1. I got a little moist around the eyelids reading this one. Massive cheers to you. Your son has an amazing role model in you.