More than two months ago, I ran in and completed my first ultramarathon. It was one of the most rewarding athletic experiences of my life and my hips just stopped being sore from the run. Because I ran it in a hurricane and my coach/nutritionist, Nolan, and I had to drive back to Washington DC that day, we ditched out early and I never saw my final time and results. After lots of checking and waiting, the results were finally posted!
I placed 15th overall and 2nd in my age-group (20-29). Due to the hurricane like conditions, the times were definitely slower than in past years, but I’m still pretty impressed with some of the times that were posted, especially by the over-50 crowd. Long distance runners definitely hit their peak in their mid-3o’s, but winning an ultramarathon in your 50′s? That’s just ridiculous.
Distance: 31.2 miles
Weather: Hurricane-like conditions
Pace: 9 minutes+ per mile (much slower than I wanted it to be, but again, I cite the hurricane-like conditions)
Muscles Pulled: 7
Check out the results here or just look below!
I have officially signed up for an ultramarathon after taking a 12 mile jaunt to Queens earlier this Memorial Day afternoon. I feel confident, healthy, and dedicated to doing well in this race, no matter what I read on other sites. For example this one:
Before you begin your ultra marathon training, you need to have at least 3 consistent years of running experience. You should also have completed at least 3 marathons. Your marathon finishing times aren’t important.
Sure, I would say that I have at least 3 consistent years of running, with some soccer and cycling thrown in there. And of course I’ve completed loads of marathons. Honestly, who hasn’t? I mean, I’ve never actually finished a marathon, or even signed up, but I’m sure I’ve metaphorically completed many marathons. For example, after a really hard day at work, I tend to say things like: “Wow, I had a marathon of a day at work today” (that’s 1) or after watching a triple overtime basketball game: “What a marathon of a game!” (that’s 2) and plenty of people I know will attest that my life motto is: “Life’s a marathon, not a sprint” (not really).
So, it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve completed at least three marathons. I can’t even begin to count all the other metaphorical marathons I have ran and completed. There must be dozens of them.
I have signed up for The Green Lakes Endurance Run, a 50 kilometer run in western New York, near Syracuse. The race takes place on August 28th and is a good couple of hours from where I live, so if anyone has a car they want to lend me, that’d be great.
Tonight, I met Timothy Ferriss. He’s a cool cat. He wrote such hit books as Four Hour Workweek and Four Hour Body. In the latter book, he experimented on his body to do all sorts of strange things, like gain 34 pounds of muscle in one month or go from a 5k to a 50k in 12 weeks. He is one of the leaders of today’s lifestyle design and his book is inspirational for any of those looking to find their next great adventure.
As you may know, I’m a sucker for adventure. I like to do things just for the sake of doing them, especially if there is a competition involved. As you know from my previous post about running the entire length of Manhattan, I have decided to train and run an ultramarathon myself. Over 30 miles of trail and mountain running. So far, I’ve been following Tim’s ultramarathon plan, which calls for less long-distance running (which is usually the norm for training for long-distance running – crazy, right?) and more short sprints and crossfit training and strength training.
After 10 days of training, I’ve been sprinting, using my new Russian Kettlebell for legs and core strengthening, and have put on five pounds, but feel stronger and fitter, so I hope, and don’t think, it’s fat weight.
Over the course of the next 11 weeks, I’ll be sprinting and squatting and rowing my way to ulramarathon success, with a few trips to Iceland and (hopefully) Costa Rica thrown in. Also, I’m growing a bushier beard.
Me and Tim:
Last Saturday, May 7, I woke up at 6:30am, sent a message to my brother and sister-in-law congratulating them on their first baby girl, Emeline, ate two pieces of peanut butter toast, and headed out the door. I rode the subway 1 hour and 15 minutes north from my home in Park Slope, Brooklyn until I reached Dyckman Street, also known as 201st street, at the northern tip of Manhattan. I turned on my iPod, started my Nike+ armband and began what would turn out to be the finest run, and a defining moment, of my life. What followed was a re-discovery for running, a new appreciation for New York City, and a confirmation on my notion that I was born to explore.
I am currently trying to gather all of my thoughts and feelings from the run, but in the meantime I have mapped my entire run with some of the standout landmarks I passed along the way. Download the file (it’s utterly massive) and check it out. Make sure to zoom in and out to get the a sense of scale and distance.
The Manhattan Project Map
I ran the length of Manhattan. From 201st, down to the Brooklyn Bridge, across the bridge and back to my home in Park Slope. I have the statistics to prove it. Feast your eyes on the beastiest run of my life:
To me, this was more than just a run. It was literally defining moment of my life, and something I will never forget. I’ll have a full review, story, stats, and more in the coming days!
Tomorrow, I am running the entire length of Manhattan! I do so in honor of my brand new niece, who is being born sometime tonight!
Love you, new niece!
This Saturday, I am embarking on a quest. The quest goes a little something like this. Become an Ultramarathon machine. I plan on running an ultramarathon by the end of the summer – a 50 kilometer beast of a run. To begin my quest, I am going to do a little warm-up, a 15 mile jaunt (nearly half the distance of my ultramarathon) from the very top of the Manhattan to nearly its most southern point, across the Brooklyn Bridge and back to my apartment in Park Slope. I have a few goals for The Manhattan Project. They are as follows:
- Don’t die.
- Keep a good, steady pace – I’m thinking somewhere around an 8:30 mile.
That’s it really. This will be my last major run (probably my longest) before my 50k ultramarathon run at the end of August (tentatively scheduled – still need to sign up!). I’ll go into more detail as the summer wears on, but the reason for this is because I am preparing with a non-conformist approach – in other words, ditching long, obvious workouts for short distances, sprints, and strength training. It’s a little workout regime created by the CrossFit team and tested and vouched for by Mr. Human Experiment himself, Timothy Ferris.
Check back Saturday for a graph and rundown of The Manhattan Project.
I have just finished the Clean detoxication diet. A three (or four) week program that limits what you can eat and how you can eat it in order to rid your body of all the harmful toxics a normal diet infects you with. For three weeks I’ve eating nothing but fruit smoothies, brown rice and pasta, and vegetable soup. After just a few days, I did feel healthier, more alert, and less reliant on food for happiness and continued energy. At times, I was hungry, annoyed, and just plain crabby that I couldn’t eat a Whopper or eat my usual morning bagel (or even my two favorite fruits: strawberries and bananas). But that anger soon turned to acceptance and understanding as I gnawed at my raw almonds and drank my herbal tea. After three weeks of Clean, I am excited to eat more protein and wheat again, but I have gained a deeper appreciation for cooking and preparing meals in advance so I don’t rely on Subway or the cafe downstairs to provide me with afternoon sustenance.
But the end of one experiment prompts the beginning of another.
You know that I love to run. You know that I love to bike, play soccer, and just overall be a healthy, energized person. You may even know that I have participated in multiple duathlons, triathlons, and road races. So it may not surprise you that I have decided to do another race. A way to build back my fitness and strength that I have lost during Clean (conservative estimates are 8 pounds lost). I don’t really feel like doing another duathlon and I have no way to train for the swimming portion of a triathlon. So, with the help of Timothy Ferris (author of The 4 Hour Work-Week and 4 Hour Body) I have decided to enter an ultramarathon. Continue reading