The Sask50 Ultra… Or Not…

Last October I joined two other ladies and ran my first Sask50 Ultra relay. It was different from other races I’d done and I was looking forward to running it again this year.

A couple of months ago, my friends Morgan and Glenda and I decided to enter a team in the Ultra this year. They quickly claimed the shorter legs and stuck me with the 18 km leg. There is also a solo event, but none of us are quite brave enough to tackle that! Back in July when Glenda told her husband she was going to run a 50K with me he said “well… that’s… ambitious…” He was much more enthusiastic when he realized it was a relay. šŸ™‚

After the Mogathon, I really felt like I needed to scale back my running a bit. I had trained hard for that race, and though the runs were usually shorter, they were definitely intense. With speedwork three times a week, one long run and one easy run, I needed to just relax and run for fun again. I started to resent the longer runs required of me to train for the Ultra, and settled on a much smaller training load than usual. I rode my horse, went to Zumba classes, and ran only twice a week. One was a long run, but it felt more like an obligation than a desire to run.

Then rumors began circulating that the Ultra may be cancelled. Registration numbers were considerably lower than usual, to the point where the race was actually going to lose money if a lot moreĀ people didn’t register – soon.Ā Morgan and Glenda were both sick, too sick to train. Between the three of us we just weren’t feeling it. Of course we would still run (slowly) if the race went ahead, but we were honestly okay with it if it didn’t.

It didn’t. I feel really bad for the organizing committee who spent so many hours planning (and money – non-refundable deposits, money spent on an online entry host, medals likely already ordered, etc.), as well as the runners who trained so hard for this. I can’t imagine the kind of training that would go into preparing for a 50K race, and the people who choose to run this event solo amaze me.

This morning would have been race day. Instead, I took my kids to swimming lessons. We went for lunch with some ladies I went to college with (ten years since we graduated!), and on the drive home the cold that had been hanging around in the background for a week hit full force. By the time I got home there was such pressure in my head that I got dizzy when I got out of the truck. We were supposed to leave for a 40th anniversary party minutes later, but I got the kids changed into their party clothes and sent them off with my husband. I’ve spent the last four hours on my couch napping, watching old DVDs of Friends and feeling sorry for myself.

In the end, I’m glad the Ultra was cancelled. Of our team of three, none of us were properly prepared for this race, and with the way I feel right now I’m not sure that I would have made it through 18 km this morning.Ā  I’m already planning how I can alter my summer running a bit next year so that I don’t feel quite so burnt out by the fall and run the Ultra with joy in 2014!

Next up: Day Of The Dead on November 1 – my favourite running event of the year!


One response to this post.

  1. Well said! Running is a grind physically and mentally, those who do it need to find down time and get away for a bit. Many people had colds around the Ultra time so in a way I too am glad it was cancelled even though I was not participating. Hope to see you at DOTD, get well. šŸ™‚


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