Signing up for a 50K in central NJ in the middle of August. Are you crazy? Yes, I might be.
What I neglected to mention in my last post was the course description…
Multiple ~ 2.5 mile loops on dirt roads, flat single track trails, and open fields (+ 1 additional mile on dirt roads for 50k) – per the Turkey Swamp 50K website.
That’s a lot of loops. You’re off your rocker. Perhaps.
I did research 50Ks in the area and I did voluntarily chose this one. I read some blog recaps and watched YouTube videos (yes, people have YouTubed parts of the course).
My reasons for choosing this 50K, in no particular order:
– I get to sleep in my own bed the night before the race. I really didn’t want to travel anywhere.
– I wanted to capitalize on my Boston base.
– After running 1 loop, I can pretty much memorize where every root and stump are, which greatly decreases my chances of tripping.
– The Turkey Swamp 50K is part of a festival of races (10-Miler, 25K, and 20-Miler). So if it’s ungodly hot, I can always drop down to a shorter distance.
So you’re probably thinking that last bullet sounds like a cop-out. It’s not, I am committed to training for the 50K but I like having options. In August. In 100% humidity.
My approach to training is extremely laid back, which is a first for me…to say the least. Maybe it’s the relaxed pace or the whole laid back ultra environment?
I plan to do another post on my training this week, so stay tuned if you care
Ever do a race with a crazy multiple loop course? This will be my first!
Is location a huge factor when picking a race? I’ve never signed up for a marathon that I couldn’t drive to, as crazy as that sounds.
Awesome Kristy – I don’t think that’s crazy at all (well coming from one crazy person to another I guess haha). I think this is a perfect time for you to do an ultra – you’re in amazing shape and it’s definitely more laid back than road racing which surely is nice for a change. Still super hard core and competitive but it’s not quite like trying to BQ.
Running in the summer heat and humidity though is tough for sure – I really have been struggling to adjust, and it hasn’t even been that bad yet! Hopefully it’s a bit cooler out on the trails???
It’s not the August part that is nuts here….haha that’s a lot of loops! At least it isn’t all trail so you can go faster. But yeah that’s a lot of loops…do they have volunteers to count loops for you?
I don’t think you are crazy–I think you will like that you know what is coming, especially for your first ultra. It will also make it nice because you can have a drop bag that you know you will be passing every couple of miles so you don’t have to obsess so much about what to carry with you. (Not that you would obsess or anything!)
The ultra I did was a 10 mile loop and I enjoyed it for those very reasons.
I think you are smart to prepare for the worst as far as the heat/humidity goes…and hopefully it will not be horrible weather. I mean, you did do Boston in that heat this year! Even if this is as hot as Boston was, you will be more acclimated from summer running.
Looking forward to hearing about your training!
Amanda @RunToTheFinish says
i am going to vote for crazy, but i can’t wait to hear about it!!
That is going to be a lot of loops! Even for someone who likes loops like me that might be a bit much! haha! Are you doing a lot of trail running to prepare? You can easily practice running the course beforehand too! 🙂
whaatttt? multiple 2.5 mile loops? I don’t think you’re crazy… maybe that will make you crazy though! haha. or even more mentally tough than you already are 🙂 Location is a pretty big factor with races for me right now – traveling is difficult, and I’m a big fan of sleeping in your own bed and keeping the usual routine.
Dominique @ Free To Be Athlete says
I just did a 24-hour race on a 5k loop. Granted, it was in June, in the mountains, so temps weren’t bad, but I enjoyed running the mixed terrain loop much more than I thought I would. We took lots of breaks, but we hit the first 50k at about 8 hours. I think you will really enjoy it! Have fun.
As soon as you said Turkey Swamp, I immediately knew that it was in Freehold NJ. I run their annual 10-mile St. Paddy’s Day race (though not this year). I hate loops — with a passion.
Now, I’m wondering, can people just jump in and keep you company? I don’t mind running a few miles with you if that’s at all possible. If not, then I can come out and cheer you on. I am about half an hour away. let’s talk.
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
Whoah – I can’t believe you’ve driven to every race you’ve run! Although as I write that I realize that the first race I flew to was last fall 🙂 I’ve never done a race with more than 2 loops…..multiple 2.5 mile loops is either genius or insane….can’t really decide 🙂 Good luck!
At least you’ll know you can see Matt every 20-25 min or so! I’ve done two loop marathons and once did a training run that was 3 loops of central park – that was enough for me!
I don’t think you’re crazy (though I HATE heat and humidity)! My latest marathon registrations have been strategically designed not to be near where I live…because I want lower altitudes, and I want them to be almost guaranteed to be chilly.
I think loops for an ultra course sounds like a good idea. That way you’re never far from help if anything goes wrong and you’re also never far from an aid station. It may not be as scenic or exciting as a point to point course but it sounds a lot safer.
A 50K loop course where the loop is short??? Yes, you might be crazy. 🙂
I agree with your bullets though and will enjoy following your training!