What does it feel like to run 80km?

A couple of weeks ago, along with 3 others, I ran 80km!

Seans Really Long Run to End MS Andre Lessard Jen Ference Chris Tse

I’m not sure I can adequately describe the feelings experienced as Chris Tse, Andre Lessard, and I supported Sean Wingrave and his Really Long Run to End MS. Arriving in Camrose, 12 hours after leaving Nisku with 9 ½ hours of feet pounding pavement, was incredible! I will admit however there were times during the day that I wondered how I got myself into this.

How far are you running?!
How long will it take you?
Why are you doing this?
How far are you running??!!

These were the questions I faced as I prepared for The Really Long Run to End MS – many times question I asked myself as I prepared to attempt this run.

How far are you running?!
“(nervous chuckle)…80km…ummm…yup, 80km..(more nervous laughter)”
It’s 30km further then I have ever run before and 37km further than I had run this year. Because it was such a large number it was hard comprehend how far it actually was. I know what driving 80km feels like, I even know what biking 80km feels like having cycled this route for the MS bike ride but running 80km, I had no clue! It was difficult to actually understand what travelling on pavement for that distance would be like. That also made it a tough event to train for. To prepare, I continued with my regular weekend long runs of 18-22 km and did one “dry run”, a 43km morning where Chris and I practiced doing 2-20kms with the 20k checkpoints. I wanted to try out my nutrition plan, making sure my gut would handle the simple rice mix I would eat run day. I went into that morning reminding myself, it’s only 4-20ks or 8-10ks, breaking it down into manageable distances both calmed me and caused me some angst but checking off each of those segments during the day was a mini accomplishment. Sticking to our run plan of run 5km – walk 1km – nutrition & rest stop every 20km broke that 80km down and is how I mentally got through the day.

How long will it take you?
“As long as it takes to run 80km…” Such a simple answer and yet a powerful mindset that allowed my body to sustain itself over the day. There weren’t any cut off times, there weren’t any paces that needed to be maintained, in fact it was actually quite a liberating feeling to just run, slow and steady. Running at an easy, sustainable pace was the only way we would accomplish the end goal making it from Nisku to Camrose. It wasn’t going to matter if we ran the first 20 km in under 2 hours or kept a 5:30/km pace if we tapped out at 40 km. Just as I broke down the entire 80km distance to mentally make it through the day, keeping our focus on the 80km end goal and managing our bodies to sustain that distance is how I physically got through the day.

Why are you doing this?
My mother-in-law, Eileen, has Multiple Sclerosis and I watch her bravely live with this debilitating disease.
I want to support others who are working hard to increase awareness for MS. I have participated in the MS Bike Ride from Leduc to Camrose for years and last year met Sean Wingrave and heard about his Really Long Run to End MS. After running a 20km leg of the run with Sean last year I was incredibly inspired, so inspired that I committed to doing the entire distance with him this year. Chris’ continuous positive affirmations that we would do the whole 80km also kept me committed as the date got closer and closer and I began to doubt my sanity. The day of the run, I drew strength during the tough moments by thinking about Eileen and what she battles everyday, knowing that my current discomfort would end but for her, MS is lifelong. Here’s hoping that by raising awareness and money, we can one day End MS.

How far are you running??!!

80 km Seans Really Long Run to End MS
80km!!

In a couple weeks I will be riding in the MS Bike Ride, cycling on the same road that we ran. I think that will be a pretty cool moment.

Thank you to the Blitz Conditioning community for supporting the MS Ride with Friday’s karma classes and for all who will be cycling on June 11 & 12.

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