Yes, I know that I just announced that I am running this ultra and that my “real training” hasn’t started, but I think I am already hit overtraining.

How is this possible?

I don’t know. I can’t tell if I am or if I am just hitting a wall in my training.

Let’s back up and explain what I have been doing since I decided to run this crazy thing. I started seriously running on September 11th, topping the week off with my longest run in Lesotho, 9 miles.

Since then, I’ve incorporated speed work, longer runs during the week and upped my long runs. Two weeks ago, I did five miles with 10 intervals of two minutes hard and two minutes easy, a 17-mile long run and a total of 38 mile so for the week. Not exceptional for training but a lot with five months to go.

My legs didn’t really recover (didn’t help that I left my house after the long run to visit friends in the north and didn’t rest properly) and I could feel it the week after. I originally planned an 18 miler but ended up doing 14 miles and only 32 for the week. Still, my joints ached and I was taking hour-long naps daily, two signs of overtraining.

I am a bit concerned about this because I have a loooooooooot to do before this ultra, but I need to be realistic and not over do it, risking exhaustion and injury.

At the end of the month, I am going out to the mountains to visit my fellow volunteers living there. When I return, I plan to launch into full training mode. For now, I am going to – I need to – back off a bit and listen to my body.

Last week I talked to a volunteer last year who ran the ultra by MISTAKE. She meant to run the half but showed up too late so ran the ultra instead. As if it were no big deal. Despite not having a long run more than 11 miles, she told me the reason she could do it was that she hadn’t trained for it. Now, she has ran marathons before so she anticipated the pain, but it got me to thinking. I want to arrive to the start line fresh, not shut down from too much running.

The point is that I’ve got time before this race and I should use it. I can’t run 50 K tomorrow and expect this race to go smoothly. I need to slowly work up to that and make sure my body is adjusting as necessary. It will take some mental restraint but my mind needs that too.

Going all out now may seem like the right thing to do, but this means too much to me to risk not being able to finish or, worse, not run at all. Time to play smart and think of the long-term goal.

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