Living the Ultra Life – Week 1: Snow Rollers, Compromises, and an Ultra Reboot

I know, I know… technically I’ve had about 9 “week ones” so far.
And although for the past month-ish, I’ve been getting my groove back after blowing out my ankle, this week is the first week I’ve started getting seriously serious about the 50 k I committed to back in October when I was in the best running shape in my life.
So while the wheels fell off for a moment and I was hanging out in a purgatory of self misery/I don’t give a fuckness, and training willy nilly at the gym and such… This week I actually sat down and planned my next move, or more so, the series of moves that will occur over the next 12 weeks.

Pay no mind to the boogers.  I love ridiculously bad (ass?) selfies.

Pay no mind to the boogers. I love ridiculously bad (ass?) selfies.

One of my biggest “issues” with training in general isn’t the act of training itself. I love being active. I would run/bike/ski/lift whatever around the clock if time allowed for it.
No, my biggest struggle is allowing myself the opportunity to do what I need to do.
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel exceptionally selfish carving out such a huge block of weekly time to working on a goal that benefits no one but yourself?
I’m fairly certain anyone with a modicum of responsibility knows where I’m coming from… Like, if your external to-do list is miles long, how can you justify blowing that off for the internal?
This week I’ve finally decided it was time for one of my uglier alter egos to be put to rest. Martha the Martyr – the bitch that wants to do everything herself and then complains that no one will help her, is on her way out.

This week, I started asking for help, and it has been strangely liberating.
I mean, nothing crazy. More like silly stuff that goes a long way – asking my fiancĂ© to take care of the dishes, for example… Things that add up in the long run, but nobody really minds doing with some mild prodding.
Even though the help I ask for may only shave 5 minutes off my to-do list, it’s the thought that there’s one less thing on my list dangling over me while I’m out on the trails that counts.

One of my hate/love back country ski spots.  I know it's all uphill from here, but the prospect of a hot shower and black coffee begins right here.

One of my hate/love back country ski spots. I know it’s all uphill from here, but the prospect of a hot shower and black coffee begins right here.

So now that that’s tidied up a touch, there’s the other thing. The whole, it’s really really too cold to run outside safely thing. Obviously from my joyous rants and snow blown photos lately, I have been picking up cross country skiing as an alternative to trying to train indoors. I know the laws of specificity are not in my favor here, nor are the input/output the same, but using some janky bro-science, I’ve come to the conclusion that an hour of skiing is about equivalent to 5 miles of running for me intensity wise.

This week’s goal was to hit about 34 miles. I mixed it up with mostly skiing, a little treadmill, and a bit of elliptical, plus supplemented with 5/3/1 Boring But Big for my lifting regime. Even after a year and a dramatic change in sports, I still have mad love for that program. My long slow run was slated to be 12 miles, and I decided to hit the backwoods for a pretty hilly 2.5 hours. My friend Zoe tagged along, and she’s a freaking tiny tank who pushed me the whole time. In all the 12 milers I’ve actually ran, I think this was probably more brutal.

Long story short, I fell just 3 miles shy of my goal, but if the “helper gods” are willing, I should be able to cut out of work for a minute and hop on the treadmill tonight to bang this week out of the ball park.

"Snow Rollers" everywhere!

“Snow Rollers” everywhere!

Other than finally coming to the realization that I need to be actively pushing myself towards accomplishing this ultra without being scared to be a little selfish, I think the other coolest thing about this first week was getting to witness the atmospherical anomaly that are “snow rollers.” Apparently the weather conditions are just right for these balls to form spontaneously all over the fields. Here’s a little video about this phenomenon. Monday, when we came out of the woods and hit the flats, we were greeted by thousands of them. Pretty slick if you ask me.

Next week is a crush week, I’m aiming for 40 miles with a 16 mile long slow run. Be it in the backwoods on my skis, the YMCA on the machines, or weather willing, through the streets of town on my own two sneakers, I’m ready to tackle come what may. And although I’ve been trying to avoid blogging about this with every fiber of my soul, I realize what a significant role writing it out has played for me in wake of any of my major accomplishments. Hate it or love it, by reading this blog you are subjected to my weekly barrage of selfish selfies, snow dumps, and verbal vom vom.

Help me out here, those of you who ever trained for an endurance event. Does the “selfish monster” ever chase you? How do you justify dedicating the time you need to be successful at your sport?

4 Thoughts on “Living the Ultra Life – Week 1: Snow Rollers, Compromises, and an Ultra Reboot

  1. This is so timely! I really struggle with giving too much to others and not being selfish, to the point where my own sanity suffers! I just wrote a post on this. I know it’s important to take time out to do the things we need to do for ourselves, but I often feel ‘bad’ doing that. But truly the only way to help others is to help yourself first.
    jill recently posted…Coming Up for AirMy Profile

    • I am so glad you can relate!!
      It really is a huge burden to carry trying to figure out how to best appropriate one of our greatest resources… Time!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’m a wife and mom and that guilt thing is definitely there. It’s why I finally made the decision to run or go to the gym at 5AM. I’m home a little after 6 for hubby to leave for work and then me and the girl child get ready for school and work. If I tried to do it in the evening it would never get done.
    Sarah @ How My World Runs recently posted…January Jumpstart Day 31: Month in reviewMy Profile

    • I definitely adore my early morning day – it feels like everything gets taken care of, and if I need a nap later so be it!
      If only I didn’t work til after 3am most nights :/
      Thanks for stopping!

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