Monday, June 6, 2011

Ultra vs. Marathon

This is probably more like trail race vs. road race but its my blog so I'm basing it on my experiences with super long distances.
Ways that an ultra is different than a marathon:
  • The majority of the time I had no idea what mile I was on, and I didn't care. I mean considering this is from the girl who will run around the parking lot if we get back from a 10 mile run at mile 9.93, that's pretty shocking. Reading Kara's blog I was impressed that she seemed to at least have a general idea of where we were when different events happened. Jen or Lily asked me when we left Mike at some point and I was like "uhh....definitely between mile 15 and 25".
  • The “crowd support” included a few random kids in the state park, and the birds. But, I was prepared for this, so it was fine. I was so dependent on the crowd support in marathons to get me through, but I didn't miss it.
  • Walking up all the hills.
  • We stopped for like 5 minutes to bandage a guy's ankle who was running the 50 Miler.
  •   I mean, be honest, if you saw that in marathon, you'd be like, "wow that sucks, hope he gets some help".
  • Another runner stopped to take a picture of us. Again, if someone asked you to do this in a marathon, you'd act like you were running the asshole race.
  • I didn't use an ipod – still can't believe that.
  • Taking our time to eat and drink at each aid station.
  • The aid stations being up to 7 miles apart!
  • The strong possibility of getting lost in the woods – several times we headed the wrong way and luckily someone in our group realized it right away, but it was so easy to do.
  • After finishing, I was able to walk around, sit down, get up, and even sit cross legged with no pain or problems. 
I really can't believe how much I loved the trail racing atmosphere. Everyone was so helpful to everyone else, if you saw another runner coming from the opposite way you automatically cheered them on, and if you saw anyone who looked remotely to be struggling, you stopped to help them out.

Yesterday I brought the laundry down three flights of stairs, and was shocked that I didn't feel any pain. After a marathon, I have been going downstairs backwards, and not unless there is a dire need, which I do not consider laundry to be. 

I wouldn't say my legs feel nothing, they are very still, and I can feel the muscles working extra hard. It feels more like the day after when I first started doing long runs, not like the day after 32 miles of running.

Eric and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and I tried to loosen up my legs with a 3.3 mile walk around the neighborhood. It was a really fun way to catch up on each other's weekends. Why don't we do it more often? Oh, right, probably laziness.

After the walk I foam rolled like crazy, did my Yoga for Runners download, and drank some Muscle Milk. I was scared that when I woke up today all the soreness would be there, but I still just feel somewhat stiff. The real test will be when I head down the three flights of stairs to go to work.

I have a new addiction to trail races now....I desperately want to sign up for another one....but I promised myself I'd wait a me from myself.


    1. I'd say I'm just "long run stiff" too. I love the trail running atmosphere and how friendly everyone was (well except for those marathon relay people). :)

    2. I wonder if running in the woods is less impact than running on cement and that's why you don't feel as bad afterwards. Still 31 miles and no soreness is pretty fantastic.

    3. Can't believe you're not more sore--that's really fantastic. I love hearing about your race!

    4. P.S--thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. And yes, the dress is from Old Navy, I love it!

    5. Amazing stuff. I enjoyed reading it.


    Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.