What does an ultra marathon teach you?

Motivation

 

The Sponsorship Marketing Manager at NUUN recently ran his first 50k ultra marathon.

We’re happy to share his race recap and thoughts!

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First of all, I think it’s important to clarify that calling myself “a runner” still feels funny. I used to walk the mile in high school gym class and tried to make light of my lack of motivation by saying that I only believed in running if I was being chased. now after training for and completing a wide variety of events, including 5 half-marathons and a 30k road race, over the past 5 years, perhaps it’s time that I begin to accept the label.

Somewhere in there I really began to enjoy running and starting feeling more and more motivated. I know a lot of really incredible elite athletes that either win races or regularly have podium finishes overall or in their age groups. I also know that will never be in the cards for me and have realized that what moves me is a combination of external and internal factors. I love to compete and get others to race, whether it’s against me or their own personal best. I also realize that I am truly enjoying pushing myself to go further or faster than I thought I was capable of previously.

At the beginning of this year, these factors mixed to form the surprising (to me) motivation to sign up for my first 50k trail run. I chose the smith rock ascent near Bend, OR (which I highly recommend).

 

Here’s what I learned along the way:

1. Elevation can take a lot longer than expected.

One of the first things I learned as I started trail running (a new experience when I started training in january for the 50k), is to add 2-3 hours on to my expected finish time for long training runs. There were times when the elevation was way more than I thought, I came across snow covered trails, or even got lost for a few miles. I learned quickly to tell people not to worry if I wasn’t back for dinner (but still save me food, of course)!

2. Pack an extra layer even if it’s a beautiful day.

Sunny and 70 in the city feels a whole lot different when on the shady side of a mountain and a few thousand feet higher than when you started running. I quickly learned to start bringing light gloves and an extra layer, even if I was almost certain I wouldn’t need them.

3. Chafing is real.

I don’t think I need to go into more detail here. The point is, plan for this and find something that works for you to prevent chafing!

Read the rest of the report at NUUN’s blog!

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