Since I am planning on running the 12 hour race on June 2nd, I needed to be prepared to go beyond the pain, to continue running no matter how I felt. In the morning, I went to the gym, cycled for 15 minutes, then did 10 minutes in the sauna. At night, I went to the sauna for ten minutes, then cycled for 30 minutes (8.28 miles) and then ran 3.26 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill (average of 9:12 min/mile). At first, my legs weren't cooperating that well, and I forced it to continue to go on, and as the time ticked by, my legs began to get used to the pain and was able to continue to run. At first, I started out running at a 10:00 pace, but at every quarter of a mile, I increased my mph by a tenth of a mile, and by the end of the thirty minutes, I was running below a 8:30 pace. Since my race plan is to run at a 10:00 pace, I was doing pretty well... I just needed to be able to run 12 hours of that. I still don't know how possible it is for me to do that, but it's a goal that I'm shooting for, and I'm hoping that I could make it.
Last year, the first place runner was able to do 68.2 miles. The best distance for this course is 69 miles. I want to do 72 miles. 3 miles longer than the number one person. Is it impossible? I'm about to find out. Just looking at whats been done and the experience I have in running... the probability is really low. However, if I don't try, the chance I have at beating it is non-existent. I'm going to have to learn to push myself forward during the times I feel like I could not go on. When you run an endurance race, you run the first 20 miles or so with your legs... the rest, with your resolve. The moment you lose your resolve is the moment you lose the race. The moment you give up is the moment you lose your chance. Therefore, don't give up, don't lose your resolve. If you keep it with you, you can go further than you would have if you had lost the hope.
As I am training my body to submit to my will, I am training my mind to go on, ignoring the pain that I would go through, so that when the race starts, I would be able to continue without slowing, keeping a safe pace so that I would be able to achieve my goal. If I think that the goal is realistic, then I have a better chance at achieving that goal. If I choose an unrealistic goal, then my body would not be able to handle it, and I would fail to get close. When running a long distance race, if you run too fast, you'll lose your stamina. If you run too slow, you preserve that stamina, but you also lose your pace. My goal requires me to run slow and steady, and not stopping (for anything other than a water/food/bathroom break) for 12 hours. I believe that if I could possibly do that, then I would be able to compete with the other ultra-distance athletes. After the 12 hour race, my next step would be getting a top spot in the North Face Endurance Challenge in Atlanta. Completing the 12 hour race would definitely boost my confidence, as well as motivating me to continue what I am doing.
Endurance training can be tough, but every time you look back, you see the results of your training, and all that hard effort becomes worth it. Right now, I have a month until the race. I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can in order to get into the best shape I possibly can for that race.
Endurance training is not giving up and continuing to push forward.