21 mile longrun on April 25, 2020 in Larkin State Park

Best long run after ultra race postponed

50-mile ultra race postponed

As expected, the news arrived on Thursday, April 23 that the Dam Yeti 50-mile trail ultra marathon was postponed. What was to be my first-ever trail ultra marathon, scheduled for June 6 in Damascus, Virginia, was postponed to September 12. Unfortunately, the rescheduling doesn’t work for me. I am also signed up for the Yeti 100-mile race on September 25, and running back to back ultra marathons wasn’t gonna happen. So for all intents and purposes, the 50-miler was cancelled for me.

What to do now?

Yes, I know, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are far more important things than a race. I am forever grateful that I am alive and healthy, I am employed and working, and my family is healthy and staying safe. The postponement was still a shock and disappointment, not only for me, but more importantly for the Race Director Jason Green, the Yeti Army (as its past and current race participants are known), and the local Damascus community. These outdoor events provide an important boost to the local economy, and the people and businesses that host them. I had to process this change and what it means for everyone.

Reset my goal to the 100 miler later in the year

I struggled with my runs on Thursday and Friday. My goal of completing my first-ever ultra marathon, which had motivated my training, was now gone. The 100-miler was so far away. Left without any alternatives, I had to reset and focus on the 100-mile goal on September 25. Back to training. After Friday’s aborted training, I looked back at February’s and March’s training, including the three 20-mile long runs that boosted my confidence, and I wanted to find out if I could go longer on Saturday.

Best long run ever!

The prior two weekends, my long runs were 15 miles. My fitness was there, it was all about mental fortitude. Today, at 15 miles, I knew I had it in me to go longer than 20 miles. At 18 miles, I was aerobically and mentally fine, but both feet started to hurt a lot. Not wanting to risk my sustained training with an overuse injury, I finished with 21 miles.

Quick facts:

  • Distance and time: 21 miles in 3:04:45 (8:48 mile pace)
  • Rest: 90 second water breaks at miles 5, 10, 15, and 18
  • Course: Larkin State Park rail-to-trail with 755 feet elevation gain
  • Heart rate (avg and max): 150 and 164 bpm
  • Run cadence (avg and max): 176 and 190 strides per minute
  • Estimated calories burnt: 1,877

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