Birthday run - 40 years, 40 miles

This has been a hazy goal of mine for a year or three since I started getting into longer trail runs. Doing 32 miles recently gave me the confidence to actually schedule a run with some ultramarathon runner friends so today (a few days shy of my 40th b-day) we gathered in Fremont CA and ran Mission Peak to Rose Peak and back, along the Ohlone Trail. Those are both a bit under 4000 feet high and given the topology of the run I can say that it’s more than just coincidence that “Hill” and “Hell” are spelled similarly :smiley:

Downhill stretches miles long - I gripe about uphills but those are “slow and steady”, whereas lengthy steep downhill runs do fascinating things to my quadriceps. Legs will be sore tomorrow!

Zero blisters. Conquered sore muscles and an upset stomach (with 14 miles to go) and ran across the trailhead finish (OK, it was a fast shuffle at that point).

Total time, just under 11.5 hours. One accomplished 100-mile runner who came along says that’s how long it takes her to do this same route so I feel pretty good.

To get a jump on 50 years, I’ve entered my first “official” race, the Fire Trail 50 in the Oakland hills (October this year). I’m told the hills are far easier than what we did today.

This being Passover many of the usual foods I’d eat are off the menu…no granola bars, no bread or pasta, etc. A fine repast of McD’s french fries and some clear soda to settle my stomach, a half-hour hot shower to relax and a chocolate shake leave me feeling pleasantly refreshed. Time to turn off the alarm, crawl into bed, snuggle the cat and wake up whenever my body decides it’s absolutely necessary…

Share your stories of challenging or inspiring runs, be it 5K or 100 miles!

Wow, that’s impressive. Good work.

No inspiring stories, i’m afraid. I run 5 miles a day, 5-6 days a week, on the streets in my neighborhood. It’s all pretty tame stuff, just to keep middle-age spread (i’m 40 too) at bay.

You’ve got me beat. I’ve done 100 miles on a bicycle a few times. Last fall I did 21 miles on foot. It took me two days, but there was a bit of a hill involved.

Congratulations! I do my first 5k at the end of this month, and I’m scared out of my pants.

Dude be wack. :smiley:

Holy crap! Forty miles? My hamstrings are twingeing just thinking about it. Very, very impressive. Congrats.

But I know how you feel - that’s how I felt when I finished my first (and, so far, only) half-marathon. And I was forty when I did that.

Hey, Juliana, don’t worry about your first race - running with a crowd is waaayyy more fun than training runs. Just remember, you don’t need to kill yourself or impress anyone - the only one you’re competing with is you. Good luck!

This. Unless you’re a professional athlete there’s no need to worry about whether someone is faster than you. It’s an internal challenge, to find and exceed your own limits. “One more step” is a personal victory.

Following up. Literally leaped out of bed at 1:20am this morning with a charley horse. I was up and working it out before I was awake enough to know what was going on. Startled the hell out of the cat.

Went back to sleep a few minutes later, woke up at 6am. Achy quads made routine movements such as standing up, sitting down and going downstairs a challenge. Took another long hot shower, did some light stretching and massaging of the muscles, then decided to join my running group for our regular Sunday morning run figuring it’s important to stretch out my legs (conventional wisdom is to work out lightly the day after a long run, helps prevent long-term soreness). I’m not sure if this garnered me respect or just made them think I’m mentally unstable, the general sentiment was “WTF are you doing out of bed?”…I was able to jog about 2.5 miles, then walked back. Spent the rest of today eating, drinking and watching movies. Still stiff but I can go downstairs without using the handrail and saying “ouch ouch ouch” the whole way, a noticeable improvement over this morning!

Very impressive, Valguard. I must admit to some jealousy here. I’ve been really interested in ultra-distance running for awhile now, but I just literally do not have the time in my schedule for those kinds of workouts. I have a kid, my wife and I both work, and I’m a full-time university student. I squeeze in 1-2 hours a day to work out 3 days a week if I’m lucky.

What I’ve been doing lately since I don’t have the time for the big distance runs is squats, deadlifts, sets of 90-100% effort sprints, and fast 2-3 mile runs. Do you have any experience with that kind of training? I’m hoping it’ll keep my base strong enough to give me a good start when I have more time to start running big distances (sometime next year, probably.)

Very, very cool, Valgard.

I did a marathon five years ago.

If you took a look at me, you’d be very impressed.


Not a bad time to revive this thread, the Firetrails 50 is coming up October 9th and I’m quite excited.

Cisco, I’d say that anything you do will help keep a good base to some extent. I still do strength training (including stuff like squats and lunges) and I’ve read many times that sprints are a surprisingly good way to help with endurance. I don’t know if there’s any substitute for distance running aside from running long distances, so when you feel like you’re getting spare time again you should ramp up gradually - don’t go from a long run of 3 miles to 10 miles on day 1!

Your fast twitch muscles might be in great shape but if you work them to exhaustion the first time out and then go longer than your slow twitch muscles can handle, your form will suffer and you’ll risk injury. Part of the training, I think, is learning to slow down find the pace that you can maintain for long distances and just keep building on.

Can you add some long endurance exercise like bike riding or swimming? Go for an hour bike ride, get yourself into the aerobic zone.

Mean Mr. Mustard, thanks and good on ya - a marathon is really difficult. My g/f runs them (plus she’s done her first 50 miler already) and you wouldn’t know it to look at her, she isn’t built like what people think distance runners should look like. Definitely not a gazelle.