Earning Legit Ultra Cred

It has been almost two weeks since I ran my first ultra race – the Bear Chase 50K. When I wrote the race recap I had a million things to say about the race and my overall experience – as is evident by the 3,000 word recap! I cut out a lot of little details with plans to do a follow up post, but now, weeks later, I don’t have the words for the feelings. But I do have lots of race day photos to share – thanks to Running Guru – and a few plans for my running future…

Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon
Around Mile 5

I do know one thing, I don’t feel like an ultra runner. I know that is silly. I ran an ultra, I am an ultra runner. For the first time ever I understand where people are coming from when they say they don’t “feel like a runner”. I get a least a little bit of what Courtney was saying in her post about BQ’ing but not feeling like she earned it (for the record, I still stand by my opinion that she totally earned it, but I get where her feelings are coming from!).

Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon
Near Mile 15

I know I covered the distance and pulled off a solid race, but when you compare 31 miles to 50 miles or 100 miles or more it doesn’t seem like that much. Heck, even comparing my relatively easy/flat Bear Chase course to something like the snowy Uber Roc 50K that happened the same weekend feels kind of…wimpy!

Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon - Booty ShortsBear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon - Booty Shorts
Approaching Mile 18
Note the delicious potato chips in my hand…

Now, I’m definitely not complaining about my race or the course or anything like that. I am so thankful for the amazing day of running I had, the great support I got from everyone and the stellar job the race directors did with last minute changes. It was a solid day, no complaints there. I’m just saying there will be more ultras in the future before I start humble bragging about any ultra cred I think I have.

Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon Bear Chase 50K - Ultramarathon
The Finish

Which leads me right to the ever present question…what’s next?

Very Near Future

First up is a nice, long freebie birthday run! I was eyeballing the Boulder 50K or 6 Hour Fun Run but decided my money was better spent on a speeding ticket (written in sarcasm font!). Instead I decided to get creative and make up my own birthday run!

I got it in my head that I wanted to run 27 miles on my 27th birthday. Well, my birthday is Saturday and I’m hitting up the Colorado Trail with Paula for a 27+ mile run, just for fun. Its mostly planned out in the sense that we know where the car will be dropping us off and that we need to bring plenty of water/food as we’ll be self supported. At the very least, it’ll be interesting! Probably more interesting than a pricey race…Happy Freaking Birthday to me!

Near-ish Future

There is a 50 mile race penciled in on my calendar! Its next spring and registration opens in January. It is nearby and is completely affordable, plus it has just enough elevation gain to be “fun” and is on trails I know fairly well from mountain biking. At this point my only goal is survival, preferably with a solid finish that leaves me wanting more.

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Buffalo Creek, the host of my first 50 miler!

I’d also like to run a more legit mountain ultra with scarier elevation gain and more technical terrain. Nothing that will kill me, but something that will make the 50K more challenging without focusing on just pace. I’m thinking this will probably happen during the 50 miler training, though I haven’t picked out a specific race, any suggestions?!

Far Away Future

This all depends upon how the 50 miler goes, or at least that is what I’m telling myself. Will there be distances longer than 50 miles? Maybe. I’m definitely not saying “NO!” but I’m not searching out potential races…yet. It might turn out that I have no desire to go beyond the misery of 50 miles just for bragging rights, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case.

Mostly, I am loving everything I’ve found on the trails and in the community of ultra crazies. It would be cool to see how long my body can sustain a mileage base that would basically allow me to run (not race…) a marathon at the drop of a hat. I’d really like to see where all of this takes me – the mileage, the people, the trails, the races. Actually, I’m really excited to find out what my body/mind can pull off out on the trails…


Earning Legit Ultra Cred — 6 Comments

  1. Ok, a few things. 1. You didn’t mention earlier that it’s your birthday! Happy Freakin’ Birthday to you is right!! 2. I expect as many pictures as you can handle tomorrow. I know you’ll be running, but stop to take a few :) and 3. That is exactly how I feel about running. I don’t feel like a “runner” because my 5Ks feel so measly compared to things like marathons or ultras. I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s a big deal for me!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Backcountry GourmetMy Profile

    • 1 – Thanks, it was an awesome day!
      2 – That is the beauty of trail running – walk breaks are totally acceptable, especially up hill. And if you aren’t on a hill the “ooh, so pretty” excuse to take a photo nicely doubles as a breather.
      3 – Girl, you are a running! You ran a race! I know that contradicts what this entire post is about, but still. I’m calling you a runner friend! :)

  2. Nice job! Bear Chase this year was my first 50k as well. And like you, I’m already planning next spring’s adventures, including another 50k and moving up to 50 miles. It’s addictive!

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