One of the first bits of advice I read about going ultra was “lube up your butt cheeks.” It has stuck with me. It’s easy to understand and easy to follow. Not following will result in uncomfortableness that even a person who has never run for six straight hours can understand. If only all ultra advice were as easy to learn, remember, and practice.
I could go on for a while about all this chafing business. There are a lot of points of friction when running. But I won’t belabor the topic.
Training has been going great! The miles come pretty easy. I don’t mean that I can just run any distance at the drop of a hat. It’s still a little daunting to take the first few steps of a run that will take a few hours, but once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. It feels good to be out there. I like the long, long runs that take me to neighboring towns and down long, endless roads. There are times I experience the relaxing run I’ve always hoped for. My weekends get so busy, it’s a relief to be able to switch off and coast, listening to music or a podcast (The Steel Wheels have been my jam lately).
My favorite runs have been to a large cemetery near my neighborhood. Last night I was out there, and the weather was absolutely perfect, rendering my 6.26 miles quite transcendent indeed. The sun was bright, which illuminated the white headstones brilliantly.
Oak Hill Cemetery was opened in 1853 and is the final resting place for quite a few of Evansville’s finest (and perhaps not-so-finest) – including General Robert Evans, the man for whom our fair city is named. I run by him and his family every time I’m out there. There’s also a gypsy queen in there somewhere.
It’s a beautiful, peaceful place to be – which is surprising considering that it is surrounded by neighborhoods and a highway. Somehow when you’re inside those old brick walls, it’s like a different world altogether. I’m headed that way again tonight – probably in the rain this time.
This coming weekend we’re going to Big South Fork in Kentucky to volunteer for Yamacraw 50k/10k, a brand-new ultra race. This is the first time we’ve volunteered for a race, and first time in BSF! The next day, I’ll be running 23 miles on the Sheltowee Trace Trail. It’s going to be a long day of running in a place I’m not familiar with. But Ashley has been amazing at finding maps and helping me plot a doable course. It’s going to be an adventure! This run will be my longest long run, the last long run before I taper, and by far the longest I’ve run on trails.
Gnaw Bone is going to be unforgiving in the hills department, so I’m doing everything I can to get prepared for that challenge. Just running a long way isn’t going to cut it! Since haven’t been able to run on trails nearly as much as I’ve wanted, I have really stepped up my game by pushing myself harder on the roads and really working my core and legs hard at the gym. I’ve also been diligent about finding places in town where I can run hills. This weekend’s long run will be an excellent test of what I can expect on race day. It will also be a beautiful run – also quite possibly in the rain (yay spring!). Adventureland here I come!