Monday, October 27, 2014

10 Tips To Train For An Ultramarathon While Vacationing In Mexico

A week ago our family went on a short cruise to Mexico, land of beautiful sunsets, crappy fountain drinks, and cheap Chiclets. It was also be a prime opportunity to get in some training for a 100 miler, the Javelina Jundred (also known as Sweat Fest 2014), coming up in precisely FIVE days. I'd like to give you some tips for training I utilized while on vacation:

1) Spend six hours in a cramped car driving from southern Utah to Los Angeles where the boat departs. You will be forced to tune out the relentless whining of grumpy kids which resembles a yapping chihuahua barking in your ear for six hours. That experience will teach you to tune out the screaming your legs make at mile 85 of the ultra. (Bonus points if you get stuck in traffic in the absolute armpit of the United States where they just threw up a bunch of leftover letters on the street sign.)

2) Try sleeping on a cruise ship. Crunch a family of five into a room the size of a filing cabinet. Good luck on that sleep thing amigo. But don't worry, the sleep deprivation will prepare you for the race.

3) Admire the amazing sunsets while sitting next to the pool watching people so drunk that they are barfing on their feet. Trust me, you'll see more people staggering sideways, stumbling, and barfing on their feet during an ultra than you'll see poolside.

4) Eat obscene amounts of ice cream cones. (I ate 19 ice cream cones in less than three days to be exact.) Your body will need those fat stores to burn off during the race.

5) Get some training miles in running on the track. (It will become one of those "It sounded like a good idea at the time" experiences. Like that time you got food from the questionable street corner taco stand.)

6) After a few laps notice the sign that says it takes 16 LAPS to make a mile. Realize that 16 laps on a swaying cruise ship sounds 0% enjoyable. Decide to stop running and take a jumping picture instead.

7) Get a spontaneous speed workout. This will be accomplished by dodging the droppings from the roughly nine bajillion birds flying around.

8) Try running on the treadmill for the first time in years. Promptly remember that running on Satan's Sidewalk is pure and utter torture and that you could be eating ice cream cones instead of this running nonsense. Take a picture then head to the Lido Deck for ice cream.

9) Wear a sweat shirt from a previous race. Pictures will look like you're heat training. (Leave out the fact that you're actually wearing a sweat shirt because it's a little cold at night.)

10) Spend time with the kids. They're moody just like you'll be during the race. One minute they're happy. Next minute they're crying. Then they're hallucinating a conversation with leprechauns who have hair like Kenny G and smell like Nacho Cheese Doritos. Oh, wait. That's just you at mile 94.


  1. Looks like fun (minus the laps on the track) and I'd eat that much ice cream too. Good luck this weekend!

  2. Rats, I was hoping you had done a 50 mile training run around the deck, but I guess 800 laps would be pretty crazy.

  3. I have heard it called allot of things but " Satan's Sidewalk " is priceless!

  4. Wow, I can't decide if I never want to run a 100 miler or never go on a cruise. Wait, I know I'll never run 100 miler but I absolutely LOVE your attitude and willingness for family time!

  5. you should try doing a hundred miler on a cruise ship haha

  6. I have to say -- the whole "eat ice cream" training plan is legit! It got me through Run Rabbit! It also helps with recovery, fwiw!

    Have fun out there! :)

  7. Very cool jumping pictures, you should make it a new sport! ;-)
    Interesting timing of your post, I "had to" taper as well last week in Belize before the MCM marathon: Tapering in Belize: resting and relaxing as part of the training regimen and did have a few ice creams too!
    Actually, I must have done the same cruise a few years ago: I was uncomfortable running on the track as the folks in the fitness room below the track were disturbed by the noise of my pounding. I disembarked on Catalina Island and ran 20 miles!
    Good luck at JJ!