super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others

Countdown to the ultramarathon


Remember when, less than two years ago, I signed up for my first half marathon and made a big deal out of it because it really did feel like the biggest achievement of my life? Of course not, why would you remember that?Β It can’t have been too bad since I’ve run over a dozen of those since then, but, at the time, it felt pretty hardcore.

And remember a couple of months ago when I ran my first full marathon and it really did feel like it had changed my life? You might remember that since I mention it at every opportunity, including this one.

Two days ago, I signed up for my first ultramarathon.


Registration for the Vibram Tarawera Ultra opened at 11am on Saturday and I was all signed up by 3pm, just to make sure I didn’t have much of a chance to talk myself out of it.Β Come March 15 next year, I will be running SIXTY ENTIRE KILOMETERS (this sort of ridiculous distance deserves that I hit caps lock) of trail goodness up and down the rugged terrain between Rotorua and Tarawera.

Ever since getting that email confirmation, I’ve been in a OMGIAMRUNNINGTARAWERA state of euphoria, which I’m guessing (and hoping) will last for a while, before I realise what I got myself into.

I couldn’t drag myself out of bed on Sunday early enough to hit the trails with friends (thanks to the leftovers of a pretty crappy week, which meant I really needed some extra sleep) but finally got up around 11 and got 12km in just near home. I hated most of it, especially this bit, but it was one of those days when getting out of bed would have been enough of an accomplishment anyway.

Luckily, today was a public holiday in New Zealand (thanks Liz!) and I was able to make up for it.

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I met up with Stacey and her awesome puppy Ruby and we headed into the forest for a morning run. We didn’t exactly push ourselves to any extreme limits or anything (a 10km with both walking and puppy-photo breaks) but Ruby seemed to have lots of fun and our legs show evidence of a good time.

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285 days to go and I’m officially all out of excuses. Next time you invite me for a trail run and I say I can’t make it, I better have some pretty out-of-this-world excuse for you because March 15 will be here sooner than I want it to be and it won’t be long before I’m huffing and puffing a hell of a long way between Rotorua and Tarawera, in my quest for ultramarathon stardom (or, you know, just survival), a year and two weeks after becoming a marathoner, and a few months before hitting the big three-oh.

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In the meantime, a little disclaimer: if you are not interested in trail ultramarathon training ramblings, I suggest you take a gap year from this website and look up different stuff on the internet (I hear Amanda Bynes is putting on quite the entertaining show online these days). I intend to run my heart out in the next few months and use this ultra as an excuse to explore every single possible trail. I am officially out of the post-marathon funk I was in for a couple of months and I’m ready to chase another big goal.

Winter blues my ass.


33 thoughts on “Countdown to the ultramarathon

  1. I think I’m going to become a trend-setter and coin a phrase by which you shall now be known. Ultra-panic. πŸ™‚ It looks like your trail run was waaay more clean than ours. You should take us there! πŸ™‚

  2. Well – what can I say.. Nothing really apart from the fact that I signed up for the Tarawera in 2012 & didn’t run it because of an injury & reasons best left in the past. Having just read that you’ve gone & signed up I’m thinking of the 60km as well. However let me finish this upcoming Marathon first then ill see if I’d be in the right mind to add another 20k to the total! Good luck & looking forward to your updates, I was told that running ultras can be “character building” – whatever that means πŸ™‚

  3. Wait, didn’t you just run your first marathon… (I finally had a look at the website and realised just how tiny the marathon was! In Singapore we jostle with THOUSANDS of runners. For every event.)

    Anyway. That is a huge goal, and you are much braver than I, because I’m still too chicken to do an ultra, let alone a trail ultra. (If I was going to do one I would much rather do one in NZ than Singapore!) Ask me again next year… Meanwhile I will be eagerly following your ultra-training adventures!

  4. Awesome!! I think I could maybe do a 50km one day but 60… That totally deserves caps lock on!! Look forward to following the journey πŸ™‚

  5. Good on you! My toenails are still growing back after last year’s Kepler Challenge, reckon it’ll be a while before I try my hand at another trail ultra! Looking forward to the progress reports πŸ™‚

  6. That’s so exciting, congrats on taking the plunge, you will do awesome! Gives you something big to work for the next year!

  7. Wow! What an exciting goal! I would love to try an ultra but i’m pretty intimidated by it. But what a great goal to keep yourself accountable for the next year!

  8. Good luck with training and I’ll be here eagerly reading. πŸ™‚

  9. Congratulations! A great and wise decision indeed – and believe me Tarawera last year was an amazing experience – way more than any other race I’ve run or training run I’ve been on.

    I’m also in for next year (was online the moment the website opened) and happy to hit some trails with you in training if you like …. expect i’ll be slogging round the Waitakeries A LOT. So if you’re keen in a few weeks when i’m back from some business travel let me know.

  10. Congrats on this new endeavor! And since I think Amanda Bynes needs to be locked away or at least removed from the internet, I will be happy to camp out here and read all about ultras and trails for the next year.

  11. I will remember this “285 days to go and I’m officially all out of excuses. Next time you invite me for a trail run and I say I can’t make it, I better have some pretty out-of-this-world excuse for you” hahaha

  12. Sounds like just the right excuse to go exploring plenty of new trails. Enjoy every second of it!

    [And if you haven’t yet, I highly recommend the ultra book Relentless Forward Progress!]

  13. what a kick ass goal.

    I love trails, and although I have no desire to ever run a marathon, I applaud you for stepping your game and going ultra. I look forward to your future posts.

  14. Awesome! This is on my bucket list too, but first I want to do a half marathon and marathon. Following your progress will be fun and I hope your training all goes super smoothly!

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  16. This is definitely a goal of mine at some point. I’d love to try an ultra! Maybe after this baby I’ll get really motivated/ really need a few hours out of the house to go running πŸ˜‰ Good luck training!!

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  18. Good luckk, with all your training Im sure you’ll make it.

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