Hitting the 100-mile start line as an ultramarathon virgin

The time has come. In exactly a week, I will be well on my way running my first ultramarathon.  Last year when I made the decision to run this race I followed advice from various resources.  I realize that the conventional progression from marathon to ultramarathon distance would be to run “at least one 50k and either a 50-mile or a 100-kilometer event as part of your buildup to the 100miler”.  However, I don’t like to do many things conventionally (“extremist by nature” and all that jazz).

On September 9th I am going to hit the 100-mile starting line as an ultramarathon race virgin.  I had so many plans on how I would prepare myself for this race but of course life can throw some curveballs and things don’t always work out as planned.  That’s just life.  I learned lessons about why I got shin splits and I know how to avoid that in the future.  Getting kicked in the face (with resulting whiplash and concussion) really threw me for a loop and was not an expected type of injury.  But through prolotherapy I recovered 100% from both.  Right now my body feels stronger and healthier than it ever has.  I have no nagging injuries.  There is no reason for me not to toe the line next Saturday and give it my all.  This is going to be a lot of fun and I already feel so welcomed by this ultra running community.  These are my kind of people.

This race will be the ultimate learning experience in every respect. It will be the most challenging and painful thing I have ever done in my life.  But I’m ready.  One important aspect of my training has been “building mental toughness”.

The race I’m running is called 100 miles around the isle of Mors. After I registered last November a journalist who lives on the island of Mors contacted me and asked me some questions about why I chose Denmark for this race.  I, of course, told him way too much about myself, added him as a friend on Facebook and told him he could feel free to use any pictures he wanted.  I was very surprised with the very detailed and kind article he wrote about me!  I will post it on here as a separate post.  He really talks me up in this article.  I don’t know if I will be able to live up to all that hype however I am going to dig deep and give it my all.  I want ultramarathon running to be my ‘thing’, so I’m making it my thing.  I have a coach and am following his great advice.  I feel so thankful to have some guidance.  It provides me with structure and saves me from myself.  I was a bit ridiculous when left to my own devices such as when I ran 60 km one night. 🙊 I would often just go out and run and not really have a lot of purpose behind what I was doing (although I knew I should).  I just get so excited and my runs got away on me. (Which I liked)

The why of high fat, low carb

I truly believe that eating low-carb high fat is the right way for me to fuel. I always feel best while eating low carb: my energy levels are stable, I don’t feel ravenously hungry between meals and I just find that my eating doesn’t feel out of control.  When I am eating lots of carbohydrates I find that I never feel satisfied and just have such a big appetite.  Plus it’s much easier to stay leaner while eating in this way.  Training for an ultramarathon and using a way of eating that goes against the conventional wisdom (high carb) is a bit of a leap of faith.  Everyone is an experiment of one (n=1).  What works for other

Happiness starts now

I’m not exactly winning races, but that’s not why I do. I have always had this mindset that I need to lose 40 lbs to be skinny and lean enough to run fast. Well, instead of being dissatisfied with not being able to achieve my possibly unachieavle and lofty goal, I am deciding to be content and happy with where I am right now. This will allow me to enjoy the journey, taking one day at a time and enjoying each day as I go.
Comparison is the thief of joy. I’d rather train on my own, experience the true joy and euphoria of movement than find myself feeling like I’m not good enough when I compare myself to those I look up to who are at a level I am striving for. I’m excited to train hard and push my body further than I ever have. I am a slow runner but that’s okay. That’s where I am right now. I have never had a full year where I have been consistent in my training and it is unrealistic to expect otherwise of my body.

Single life rocks! 🙋🏼✨😌

I’m just realizing how truly amazing it is to be single and how content I feel. I really think I might be single forever. Never again will I be controlled by someone. I don’t know how being attached could improve my life more than how it is currently. I was in an unhealthy situation (aka marriage) for 7 years and am so thankful and happy to be free and independent again. That’s something that ended almost three years ago now and I rarely think about it. Onwards and upwards.
Especially right now with my current goals and training, I don’t make time for anyone. Nor do I want to. I have tunnel vision with my upcoming ultramarathon, as I should. I’m pretty happy with being self-involved. Talking with someone the other day and he said something about “Oh you’re just selfish right now.”  😂🤣 Fucking rights I am! There is nothing wrong with self-care and looking after yourself. If I don’t look after myself, there is certainly no one else who would or could – that’s the same with anyone, attached or not. I think too many people forget to prioritize self-care. I am so happy to be able to focus on getting healthier, stronger and more fit. I am also relieved to be healing from what I’ve been through and to be truly content and satisfied in my own company. I’m feeling happier and healthier than ever. 

Back to the ultramarathon training: It’s quite the undertaking with lots of unknown and fear involved. I feel so content and happy pursuing my passion and working towards my goal. I am fiercely independent and I love it. It’s such a relief to do whatever I want and answer to no one. I am so thankful to be secure financially and not “need” to be with someone else in order to live the lifestyle that I want and love. I’ve never felt this secure and content before and it’s truly an amazing feeling. 2017 is the best year of my life so far. I have so many amazing plans coming up and so much to look forward to. 💞🏃🏼‍♀️🚴🏼‍♀️✨ 

Reaching acceptance 

After I “tuck and rolled” off the wagon on my vacation, it’s been a definite struggle to get back into my routine: both with diet and exercise.  Finally, after a few long workouts and after being 100% consistent with my diet since June 1st, I am feeling really good. I’m back on track and believe in myself and my upcoming plans. 

Hence the title of this post, reaching acceptance, I’m finally in a place where I am very happy and content with my body. Being obsessed about the number on the scale has been a constant struggle throughout my life. I am eating properly for what I want to be doing and I am finally satisfied and accepting of my current weight. I am actually heavier than I’ve ever been, but I’m active and healthy. I ran/walked 51.5 km a few days ago. I feel absolute joy and bliss when I’m active and pushing my limits in time and distance. I know that long-term, my body will settle into the right weight that’s appropriate for me.  I am not ‘rail-thin’ and I never have been. That’s okay. I’m going to continue to fuel for performance, push myself and have fun and truly enjoy the process. 💞🏃🏼‍♀️🚴🏼‍♀️✨ Life is good and I am happy to be able to pursue my hobbies that bring me so much joy. Here’s my selfie from today. I am enough and I am happy and satisfied with where I am right now. 

Tuck and roll: 🙋🏼 Jumping off the wagon

Last evening in Swaziland. Tomorrow we make our way to South Africa and the safari at Sabi Sands. We’re going to a private game reserve called Inyati. Apparently it’s #kindofabigdeal I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to share this experience with my Mom. This trip has already been an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so incredibly thankful. #attitudeofgratitude #qualitytimewithmom #eatingmywaythroughafrica Last evening in Swaziland. Tomorrow we make our way to South Africa and the safari at Sabi Sands. We’re going to a private game reserve called Inyati. Apparently it’s #kindofabigdeal I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to share this experience with my Mom. This trip has already been an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so incredibly thankful. #attitudeofgratitude #qualitytimewithmom #eatingmywaythroughafrica About the eating. 🙄😳😬 I was a bit reticent at first but I have decided to relax and be completely flexible (read: eat anything). I was maintaining a pretty strict regime for two weeks (low carb ketogenic) on this trip but I had to cave. We had a traditional meal from Ghana that was prepared for us. I was planning things out “Okay, I’ll just have meat and veggies with some olive oil.” I was offered this very traditional juice. I declined it at first “No thank you, I don’t drink juice”. And then I quickly realized how silly I was being when I saw the reaction and expression on their face. In many cultures, the act of preparing traditional foods and sharing a meal together is an important act of giving. To refuse their offer could be offensive. I’m in Swaziland. I need to soak up every aspect of this culture that I can and be open minded. I have two weeks left on this trip. I’m just going to embrace the experience, try it all and enjoy the or sent moment. I can be rigid with my nutrition and be as weird as I want with my diet in a couple weeks when I home. So, this also means I’m back to drinking wine. Which I rather enjoy. Bit of a food vacay for the last two weeks. 🙊

In Nova Scotia, leave for Africa in a few days

I haven’t committed the time needed to develop this website/blog into the way i wanted it. I felt like I needed it to be perfect before I could release it to being open to the public. I’m about to embark on an exciting adventure to Africa with my Mom and I would love to blog about our trip so have decided to make my bare bones site public and develop it later. I want to be able to link my Instagram posts and YouTube videos into this site. I have many exciting adventures this year and am excited to capture and share the moments.