I’m likely to begin by stating this: I am not a runner. I have never ever loved functioning, nor was I at any time any fantastic at it. I under no circumstances comprehended the appeal, and I normally scoffed at the plan of persons acquiring enjoyment out of pounding the pavement for hrs on end. Now, with all that out of the way, I will say this: I not too long ago done my initially 50 % marathon at 6,300 toes higher than sea amount in Jackson Hole, WY, and it was one particular of the best ordeals of my existence.
To say that I done the race “straight off the couch” would be selling myself short—but it is not as well significantly off. The moment I acknowledged the invite to participate in the Jackson Hole Marathon, I realized I had to start off seriously coaching, but I was energized. After a pair years of COVID-connected monotony, I was thrilled to start off a new problem.
I experienced for around a few months foremost up to the huge working day. I started out operating every couple days with different plans each time (e.g. three to 5 miles on flat pavement, one to two miles on smooth sand at the beach, or even two to 3 miles on uphill trails). The vital for me was to transform up my routine and force my entire body in diverse techniques through the week. At that point, it was not only about hitting my mileage it was more about teaching my legs and my lungs to adapt to diverse terrain. By the conclude of my very first thirty day period or so, I was consistently hitting five to six miles with no issues at all.
Once I arrived at that benchmark, I established my eyes on the 7- to 9-mile variety, and then I found out the elusive runner’s higher. It was compared with something I’d ever felt. When I collapsed on the grass just after my to start with 10-miler, I was experiencing pure bliss.
My target in advance of race day was to hit 12 miles on various terrain. I felt like that would allow for me to head to Jackson self-confident that I could full the distance no subject what the route threw at me. 7 times before the race, I strike the 12-mile mark on an undulating route that showcased several lengthy descents blended with various steep, low-gear ascents. I desired to give my legs a sound 7 days to totally get well, but I nonetheless squeezed in two four-mile beach front operates ahead of the race. By the time I departed for Wyoming, I felt like I was at my peak.
Obtaining flown in from sea amount the working day prior to the race, the altitude was the most taxing component on my body—and the point that it was under 30 levels Fahrenheit the early morning of the race. But just after the sunshine rose earlier mentioned the wonderful Tetons (and I regained sensation in my fingertips), the operate itself turned into a single of the most satisfying activities of my lifestyle. I concluded in just in excess of two several hours, and I ran the full time. The high I felt after crossing the end line on two feet was indescribable.
Want to acquire on your personal 50 % marathon? Below, I’ve highlighted the gear that obtained me by means of the entire thing. Although just about every runner has their individual equipment tastes (specifically when it will come to races), the picks down below helped a guy who’d never ran much more than a few miles get into entry-stage “big race” territory at higher altitude—that’s saying quite a bit.
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