My training for the 50 miler was sort of built with the assumption that I was going to stay 100% healthy and injury free. With that in mind, I built a very “ambitious” 16-week training calendar. Looking back, I was a very optimistic about how I would be feeling. Although I rarely hit my weekly miles and fell short a lot of most weeks, I’m happy that I was able to listen to my body when it needed rest and hit the smaller goals I was aiming for.

Here is how my 16 weeks looked.

The first number is what was scheduled, the second is what I actually ran.

Week of 8/13 – 43 — 43.4
Week of 8/20 – 50 — 51.3 – looking good, right?
Week of 8/27 – 45 — 26.7 – I had a race on the calendar that I didn’t do.
Week of 9/3 – 58 — 41.8
Week of 9/10 – 56 — 66.6 – included a marathon w/ 6k elevation (read more)
Week of 9/17 – 66 — 11.15 – the hard race from week prior wiped me out
Week of 9/24 – 78 — 65.3 – low, but included back-to-back (strong) 20 milers
Week of 10/1 – 71 — 13.65 – these 3-4 weeks were key looking back.
Week of 10/8 – 80 — 12.9 – these were a busy 2 weeks. This was the ambitious part.
Week of 10/15 – 85 — 63 – after 2 low weeks, I bounce back strong. Includes 38 mile run.
Week of 10/22 – 68 — 29.75 – not sure what happened here
Week of 10/29 – 60 — 44 – includes Two Cities Marathon and a PR by 15 mins. (read more)
Week of 11/5 – 90 — 25.1 – this is the week I wish I had done.
Week of 11/12 – 65 — 20.5 – low, but included hill repeats
Week of 11/19 – 50 — 34.55 – also low, but included more hills
Race week – 64 — includes the 50 mile race, should be right on target.

Total miles run for 15 weeks: 549.7 – not including race week.

As you can see, after the first couple weeks, I never really hit my marks. This isn’t something I’m surprised by. I have never trained for a 50 mile race and I sort of built one off of what I had seen around the web and slightly modified it based on suggestions from friends. I definitely wanted to have back-to-back long distance runs and include trails and elevation. Check.

View from the Marin Headlands (where the run is) looking out ABOVE the fog.

I really wish I had a couple more weeks, but I’m confident that I have put myself in a position to finish, which is my goal. Because I never really hit the high milage weeks like planned, it may have made it a bit tougher on myself, but nothing I can do about it now.

Total for 15 weeks is more miles than I ran in all of 2011.

I’m actually really proud of my training. I ran MORE than I have before. I have noticed I can run a lot faster, which means my legs are stronger. I was running 5-6 days of the week, even if they were shorter runs. Ideally, I would have liked to have stayed more consistent and should have hit a minimum of 50 miles each week.

I have full confidence that I will be able to finish my first 50 miler — that really means nothing when it comes to actually DOING it because anything can happen over 50 miles and 10k+ elevation. But I’m going in confident in my legs, mental strength and ability to finish this race.

Only one way to find out: 3 days until race day.

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