Follow by Email

Monday, January 28, 2008

Encore?

What do you do after you've done something like HURT? By my estimation HURT is the third toughest trail race in the US (1- Hardrock, 2- Plain, 3- HURT, 4- Wasatch). I've done H & H, now I'm trying to get into Wasatch, if not I'll go give Plain another try (I only made it halfway last try). Both are in September.

Meanwhile my next ultra will probably be the Diablo 50M in April, probably the toughest 50 miler in the country; followed by another 50M (TBD) in May. Then, Lord willing, it will be off to Canada this summer for the Kneeknacker 50K in July and the Canadian Death Race (125K) in August. And hopefully the Santa Barbara NineTrails in November for a total of 7 for the year- but all 7 are considered to be among the toughest in their classes.

That's enough to keep things interesting, but still leave me plenty of time and energy for all the exciting non-ultra-running challenges I'll be facing this year at church and at home. And, as always, all is subject to change without notice!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mark ... very interesting to read about your running adventures. I'm not sure where to post this, but reading this line:

That's enough to keep things interesting, but still leave me plenty of time and energy for all the exciting non-ultra-running challenges I'll be facing this year at church and at home.

... prompts me to ask how you are able to blend training and racing with non-running commitments.

I'm not an ultrarunner (marathons only so far) and I have been in a funk lately. Work, church, and family commitments have left precious little time to run. Where running was once a stress reliever, I found myself becoming increasingly stressed over trying to squeeze in runs and fretting over falling behind "schedule" when I couldn't run. I've taken a month off as a result and have appreciated one less stressor. I miss the running, however, and I miss having goals such as races to motivate me. Short term, the break from running has been good, but long term I would like to reclaim it.

How do you pursue something like ultrarunning which can be time intensive with other responsibilities? If you've addressed this before, just point me in the right direction!

Thanks,
Dennis

Mark Swanson said...

Hi Dennis,

For one thing, I didn't start running until my kids were in high school, and didn't start ultras until the youngest was in college. Once your kids are grown up you've got an extra 10 or more hours per week.

Second, I don't really have any other hobbies or pasttimes. I do a little reading for fun but don't watch hardly any TV or movies, etc. Most Christians spend more time watching TV than I spend running.

On average I spend about six hours a week running which hardly seems like an excessive amount of movement for someone who spends most of the rest of the time sitting around! Because of that I have more energy the other hours of my day.

I read somewhere that about 7% of Americans are runners, but nearly 70% of CEO's are. Not because CEO's have lots of free time, but because they need the energy and stress relief.

You can get most of the benefits with a commitment of three one-hour runs per week. At first, it reduces your energy, but as you get in shape it increases your energy, efficiency and productivity.

Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Incredible that you can do what you do on six hours of running a week. I appreciate the input. I have a seven and nine year old at home, so that limits my free time. Thanks again for the perspective!

Dennis