TOTALS: 42 miles, 2 strength sessions
The week dawned, quicker than I would have ever expected. It was finally time for me to tackle the beast that was the 48km Vulcano UltraTrail, around Volcano Osorno in the Chilean Lake District. The week had arrived, and taper anxiety soon set in with me constantly doubting my abilities to do anything and strange aches and pains springing up out of nowhere.
It was also a busy week for work, and I travelled there and back to the race town from Santiago – a 12-hour coach journey each way. Needless to say, I now feel absolutely shattered but I’m finally moving home on Wednesday so I have goodbye parties and packing and shopping to do before I can REST.
I bet you’re wondering how race day went…. And I am happy to say I AM NOW AN ULTRA-MARATHONER!! A more detailed breakdown of the race will be appearing soon on my blog [EDIT – now found HERE], but first a general recap of my week.
MONDAY: 3 miles, 60 mins arms
An intense weekend of back-to-back trail running had left me in good spirits, but slightly achier than I should have been less than a week before my race. 3 very easy treadmill miles to some TV was the remedy followed by a great arm session. I decided not to do a full-body routine as I didn’t want to be stressing my body any more than absolutely necessary.
TUESDAY: Full rest day
Day to chill and to sort myself out. I can’t even remember what I did apart from sleep in and start packing for the race!
WEDNESDAY: 5 easy miles
Up the river, around the bridges, and back through the park – a route that now seems so normal to me after 4 months of running from my flat here in Santiago. It seems strange to think that that may have been the last time I do that run! Easy, and I had to consciously stop myself from speeding up, especially towards the end. It was a sunset run, which was beautiful over the river, mountains and the city skyline. During the day, I walked 3 miles to the bus station to make sure I bought tickets correctly (since it was rejecting my card online) as well as some wanderings around town. Definitely got my steps in!
THURSDAY: 4 easy miles, low intensity strength
My last run before the race!! It was hot (I went out into the midday sun) and kept getting stopped by traffic lights at intersections, which wasn’t ideal. But I just ran through, thinking about the months of training that had led up to where I was at that point. And I got home, then showered, and took the metro to the bus station to hop onto a 12-hour night bus.
FRIDAY: Rest day
Top tip: Don’t take 12-hour night buses if you know you can’t sleep on public transport. I think I got 3, maybe 4 hours max of broken sleep, but I guess it meant I got to catch up with my podcasts? After arriving at my hostel, I did a few hours work and then went to the expo to pick up my kit and buy a couple of extra items such as salt pills and a thermal blanket, which was a requirement for the race. I also went to the race briefing, then laid out all of my race gear so I could make a quick escape from the dorm in the morning. After a very carb-heavy bowl of granola, banana and chocolate, I fell straight to sleep.
SATURDAY: RACE DAY!!!!
For the full recap, you’ll have to wait until later in the week [EDIT – it’s here now!]. I’m still processing all the emotions that came with this crazy, mad, difficult, fun, intense 48km trail race. I completed it, and can now call myself an ultra-marathoner. I’m not exactly “proud” of my time, but the terrain was so difficult that it was hard to walk at times, let alone run! It was definitely a very very technical race, and not the best choice for a beginner… But I DID IT!
SUNDAY: Rest and recovery
After another not-very-great night of sleep (too much adrenaline) I was up and trying to live some kind of nice day. I only had one day around the race-town, a small resort perched among mountains and volcanoes next to a beautiful lake. I wandered around, realised I was very achey, did a bit of shopping, and sat drinking coffee and eating ice cream. And then, time to get back onto another night bus for yet another 12-hour journey.
Spoiler alert, I didn’t sleep A WINK on that last bus, so I’m currently writing this having had about 16 hours of sleep in the past 4 nights, and having run a 48km race in that time too. I’m sorry for any typos or silly mistakes you spot! Early night for me I think 😊
So that was my week… jam packed, adrenaline-filled and tiring. As per normal, I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippinPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap. It’s a great way to share the adventures of the week, and I’d really recommending checking out all the posts that are up already!
Does it take you a while to process emotions after a race? Have you ever done a trail race or an ultra? What did you think of the experience?