Day 1- The holidays are passed, the turkey has been consumed, and the calendar has flipped to the new year. While I have been training for my really long run for MS in May, this is the week that I chose to really start training with a defined structure and diet. The reason? I found a 20 week ultra-marathon program and the first week in January coincided nicely with the planned date on May 23rd. Of course I tweaked my bad knee yesterday, but I don’t have to run today so I should be okay.
As a point of interest, this week’s training program looks like this:
- Monday – off
- Tuesday- 6.5 km
- Wednesday- 6.5 km
- Thursday- 6.5 km
- Friday- off
- Saturday- 25 km
- Sunday- 10 km
- Total- 54.5 km
I have also committed to being extremely strict with my diet. No gluten, grains, or dairy. Lots of vegetables, fruit, and protein. Alcohol will be minimal to non-existent for the next 20 weeks. My only sources of sugar will be the ones which naturally occur in the food that I eat and maple syrup and honey. The only beverages will be water and tea (preferably rooibos).
By the end of April my split between Saturday and Sunday will be 45km/20km; Basically, the next 20 weeks are going to suck. There is no way around it.
However, in a way I am excited! I have never pushed myself this hard physically and I have never been this strict about my diet, so I am looking forward to seeing the results. It is going to be one hell of a journey!
On a related note, a recurring theme keeps appearing when I talk about this run. I can tell that people doubt my ability to complete the distance of 85 kms in a single day. While the theme is similar, it appears as though people come to this doubt by one of two avenues. One route is that they simply can’t picture anyone going through with a task like this. To these people I say, “nothing is impossible; there is just some things you aren’t willing to do.” It is a motto I live by and I am willing to take on this challenge.
The other route people come to doubt me by looking at this run through an athletic performance lens. In their minds they are calculating how long it takes to run 5, 10, or 20 km and extrapolating that to 85kms. They look at what I am doing as some sort of time trial. What they don’t understand is that I don’t care how long it takes- I really don’t. If it takes me 12 hours (or more), I don’t care. It is not about the time If I have to walk 1 km out of every 10, I don’t care. I am not trying to set a world record, I just want to complete the distance without hurting myself. I’ll have people running with me at various points along the way, so it should be fun. Perspective is everything.
Anyways, on to Day 2.
Really Long Run for MS
As a person living with Multiple Sclerosis I am very fortunate. I still play hockey, run, and do most everything I was able to do before I was diagnosed. For me the worst symptoms are fatigue (sometimes extreme), issues with my balance, and constant numbness in my hands and feet. However, I am one of the lucky ones and many with this disease find simple things like walking next to impossible and there are many who can’t walk at all. Every spring my wife and I ride in the MS Bike from Leduc to Camrose. This year I have decided to run the 85 KM (one leg of the MS Bike) in a single day two weeks prior to the big ride to raise money and awareness. On May 23rd, 2015 I will begin the run in the wee hours of the morning and be met during the day by others who will run portions with me (and hopefully keep me sane and motivated). All money raised will go to the MS Society of Canada. If you would like to know more, donate, volunteer, or even join me for a portion of the run you can get more information by clicking here.