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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 23, 2017 1:00 am

Challenges come and go as ultra-run nears

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

It's been a while since I had a training cycle that lasted more than four months. Until now.

I've been training for my upcoming 50-mile trail race since around Thanksgiving. I have put in countless hours and miles around Chain O' Lakes State Park to ensure that I am as prepared as I can be heading into the April 29 Indiana Trail 100.

I didn't have to do it alone, though.

Mike Else, a certified coach at Three Rivers Running Company, gave me a week-by-week training plan that was adjusted based on how I felt.

There was also the ­IGNITE Ultra Running group that has put in countless hours for those like me who are relatively new to the sport of ultra running and had many questions leading up to the race.

Things started out pretty well but in January, I started to have pain in my knee caps which slowed down my training. This forced me to take about a month off from quality long runs and focus on rest and strengthening.

I had to stop any sort of speed work, but was able to get in some solid 20-mile runs in March and a 30-mile run at the beginning of April.

I went into the 30-mile run thinking it would go well and my confidence would be built up.

I was wrong.

About 25 miles in, my knee started to ache and a mile later, it hurt to run.

In this, though, I learned I could power-walk. It was different but it was effective. I'm really hoping I don't have to power-walk huge lengths until late in the race but if I have to, I have to. I will do whatever it takes to keep moving forward and finish.

I have a time goal of 10 hours, a place goal of first in my age group but to achieve those, I need to finish.

I have no idea how my body is going to react to that time, that distance in whatever conditions the weather wants to throw down that day.

In this final week, there are still some minor details I need to iron out, but it's a challenge I wanted and a challenge I will accept.

Aubree Reichel covers high schools, IPFW and recreation for The Journal Gazette. You can follow her training on the Foot Traffic blog at She can be reached at 461-8339 or at