Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Celebrating #TrailTuesday w/ ULTRA BIG News

Happy #TrailTuesday! It's a thing, right?! Well, if it wasn't before, it is now and I'm celebrating in a monumental way ;)


For those of you who don't know my backstory in running, let me give you a brief timeline. In January of 2012, a friend told me about runDisney and an upcoming Disneyland Half Marathon (which they have since discontinued). Although I was not a runner at the time, she knew I liked Disney and only lived about 45 minutes away so she challenged me to consider giving it a go. Between January and March of 2012 I started walking a mile or so on my lunch break. In March of 2012 I started using the gym at work (99% of the time using the elliptical, usually for 45ish minutes, maybe 3 times a week). By April of 2012 I was finally brave enough to start running outside. My boss at the time was an age-group triathlete so helped put together the outline of a training plan. September 2, 2012 was my first half marathon! At that point I had an inkling running would be "my thing" but wasn't sure if half marathons (or distance running) had my name on them. On May 20, 2014 I finished my first marathon and I guess you can say the rest is history. In my first six years of running half marathons I've been able to complete 45, and in about four and a half years of running fulls I have crossed 18 finish lines.

Some of the races from 2016 and 2017 I ran.

I guess it's human nature to finish one task and think "what's next?", so when I ran the Boston Marathon earlier this year and crossed that HUGE goal off my bucket list, I had to think long and hard as to where I wanted to go in my running 'career'. Let's just say that while the hubby and I were training for our Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim adventure I started to fall in love with the trails. I was apprehensive at first, especially since I'm a total Type A personality who tends to be a perfectionist and focused on numbers/ times/ speeds/ distance, but my heart quickly melted when I saw the amazing surroundings you could lose yourself (while at the same exact time "find yourself") in while on the trails.

A picture of us taken about 2 miles from the end of our Grand Canyon "unofficial, unaided ultra"

At first I thought I'd be satisfied swapping the roads for trails, but soon after I heard a little voice in the back of my mind saying "I wonder how far I could push myself." And that's when the thought of potentially tackling an ultra came in. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term "ultra marathon" - it's any distance longer than a standard {26.2 mile} marathon. Most are 50 kilometers {31 miles}, 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles, etc.) But with so many amazing races, how do you pick?!


Well, I had a couple of stipulations. First, I was hoping it could be somewhat close to home so that the trip wouldn't turn out to be a billion and a half dollars. Second, I already had a few races on the calendar so I had to make sure they fit in with the new training plan (the biggest race to keep in mind was the Ventura Marathon that I plan to run in mid-October and will be shooting for a new PR {personal record}). Third, I was thinking it would be awesome if we could turn it into a whole crew. Not that we'd all have to run together, but I thought the camaraderie would make the race extra special.


A couple friends of mine have run the Avalon 50/50 Benefit Run in the past and have had amazing things to say about it, so I looked into it. Catalina Island is only about 30 miles (plus an hour ferry ride) from Oceanside. The race is in mid-January, which means I would have approximately 11 weeks after Ventura to build up from my marathon base to the 50 mile goal. And, at least originally, quite a few friends mentioned they might be interested in making it happen.


I talked to the hubby and he's intrigued (he's been having some funky knee issues lately so said he won't officially commit until he sees how he feels after Ventura, but that isn't a "no")! He had been pondering an ultra for a while (he loves the trails and since most ultras are on trails and there are few "shorter" distance runs on trails, ultras just seem like the next logical step), so I'd say I'm about 75% of the way there on convincing him to join me for another one of my crazy ideas.


So, in honor of #TrailTuesday, I officially registered for the Avalon 50K/50M Benefit Run this morning. I will be tackling the 50 MILE race! This will be the longest official event I have attempted and I'm equal parts excited and scared poop-less.


In case you're interested in joining the party, use code "CARLEE10" to save on your registration! The code is valid for 10% off entry into the Avalon 50/50, Catalina Island Marathon 2019, AND Catalina Half Marathon 2019 (*online only)!

I've never been to Catalina Island, and as the runner mentions in the below video, not many people get to see the majority of the island unless you take a tour... and, as you know, there's no better way to tour than running on your own two feet!

I'm sure there'll be tons to share over the coming weeks, but for now I'm STOKED I pulled the trigger and made it official!

What is the longest distance you've ever run?


RFC said...

AWESOME! You will absolutely love the ultra world. If you didn't think the running community could get any better, just wait :)

p.s. my longest race so far was 103 painful miles, haha!

Anonymous said...

How exciting Carlee! Can't wait to follow along on this new adventure!!