Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Do We Do This?

As you can tell, it has been a couple of weeks since we have put a blog up.  It isn't necessarily because we haven't been training, but we are already hitting some bumps in the road.  Kevin has been sick and has been trying to get his strength back over the last week.  Me?  Well, I have been training... getting my miles in... but I have been wrestling with the mental aspect of it all.  Let me explain.

Kevin and I are notorious for biting off more than we should be able to chew.  Running ultra marathons is no exception. Kevin has run a couple of 50K's but I haven't run further than 26.2.. and that is on the pavement.  We both set out on this journey because we wanted to try something different.  I love to be in the woods and I love to be on trails so naturally I decided to join Kevin and hit the trails for 2013.  I was pumped when we decided on our races, and even when we began training.  Don't get me wrong, I am still excited and I am enjoying the training but the mental battles have begun.

I have mentioned before that we have really enjoyed listening to the podcasts of the elite runners on The interviews with these runners are excellent.  They share their stories and experiences and even try to give advice about the different aspects of trail running.  The advice is good, but I often feel that most of the content is directed to ultra runners who are elite, or at the very least, able to put in 70-100 miles a week in training.  That is impossible for a husband, a father of 3 children under the age of 10, and as someone who holds a full time job with an 1 hour and 30 min round trip commute every day.  I often feel discouraged after listening to these podcasts.  I don't understand how I am supposed to approach the simple goal of finishing an ultra marathon with all of the higher priorities I have mentioned above.  Just getting in my back to back long runs on the weekend are a huge challenge.  I try my hardest not to infringe on my family time.  They come first.  I have a loving wife who supports me and wants me to reach my goal, however, she works hard all week being a mom and I need to help her on our weekends.  I simply need to be there with my family.  The elite runners make this a job, I can't do that.

Other things I hear the top runners talking about that leave me wondering what I should do?  Well, let's see...
  1. Core workouts to go along with your running - I love the thought of this and have really tried to implement it.  Time is at a premium though and it has been tough.  I get up at 4:30am each day just to get my run in before I commute to work.  It has been tough fitting this in the schedule as well.
  2. Running with someone - Kevin and I try to run together every chance we get, however, he lives 20 min away so it is almost impossible for him to come run with me early in the mornings.  We have made an effort to run together on the weekends but our family schedules can trump that too.
  3. Pit crews/support at races - I often worry about what we are going to do regarding this. Kevin and I are the only people we know that enjoy running, let alone, ultra running like we do.  I can't think of one person that would want to sit out on a trail all day talking us through 50 miles.  Every elite runner I talk to talks about someone to help them with nutrition and just be there to support them.  Is this not the case for someone who has a goal just to finish?  This is a big question I have.
  4. Nutrition - I know nutrition is important but let's face it... when you have 3 kids and are on the go every night, it isn't often you can get a healthy meal at the dinner table together.  It is too easy to grab something to go so you make it where you are supposed to be on time.  On the flip side, I worry about nutrition in the race.  Will I get enough?  How do I know how much I need in a race?  I am experimenting on my long runs but it is something that makes me uneasy.
I have loved training for these races and that won't stop.  I just can't get past these questions on how to approach some of these things as an Average Joe.  I will continue to listen to the elite runners because they inspire me.  Maybe someone out there can relate and can share their experiences and encouragement with us so we can figure it all out.


  1. Thanks for the link, and I hear ya! I've got a one year old and a 3 year old, I run URP (which takes up a considerable amount of time) and live in a 100 year old house (which takes up even more time!) Finding time to train leaves me with the 3 am option, and that's what I go with.
    Most fascinating to me are the guys/gals who can squeeze it all in...Scott Dunlap, Tweitmeyer, etc.
    Thanks again,

  2. Eric, we really enjoy your podcasts. I load one up just about every time I run trying to catch up with all of them. It is encouraging to hear that you and other runners find it just as hard to manage the balance between the running and the training. I guess we hear the highlights of these runners lives more than we hear of their struggles as well.

    Thanks for the comment on our blog. We are doing our best to try and get the word out and get it exposure. We want to reach runners like us who enjoy it and realize you don't have to be great to enjoy ultra running and the trails.



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