2021 Ultra #29 – The Minimalist 50K

After #26 The Shinrin Yoku 50K took a week or so off to help heal, recover and strengthen my ankle before commencing the next set of ultras. Ran #27 The Neighborhood 50K and then #28 Dawn Patrol 50K staying on flats to carefully resume the progress towards the 50 ultras this year. Yesterday, just to switch things up, I ran my first ultra in Luna Sandals in a while. Actually first one, post ankle surgery. I almost forgot how fun, free and connected to the earth I feel when running in sandals! I’m carefully returning back to the trails to continue progressing towards the fifty. Here’s my Strava activity:

The Minimalist 50K

The run itself was 4 fairly simple laps around my backyard playground, Rancho San Antonio park. I made sure there were “escape” routes to head back to the car in case the ankle flairs up. Plus it was going to be a warm day so wanted to stay in the shaded section of this park.

I have to say the footfall on sandals is so remarkably different than in my Altras. Just lighter and with more care. Granted, I can bomb downhill like I can with the Altras, but the sandals, I think focus a lot more attention so I can run with the earth and not just on the earth. While lucked out with cloud cover for the first 2 1/2 laps, the rest got pretty warm.

After running 29 ultras so far, I have to say that both physical and mental fatigue are starting to creep in. Having come this far, even the tiniest niggle gets me down. Every little injury is like, ok am I going to run the next one or is this it for the year? And waking up at 4:30am week after week to run under cooler conditions is starting to become a chore. Lastly, it’s the route planning too. I haven’t run a single organized race so far. It’s been a lot of route planning (especially water sources) and logistics to show up to a potentially new place to explore. I’d say, this is prolly where I can get more creative. Running laps or on the same route is a lot less interesting (mentally) than exploring something new.

Maybe I’ll write more about the route “pipeline” I have – urban routes, trails, sierra routes, coastal routes (in case there’s a hot dome sits on California or the bad AQI turns the sky into a Martian sky). I literally decide on what/where to run a couple of days before I think I’m ready for the next one.

Other than the left ankle that occasionally gets wonky, rest of the body seems to be keeping up. That’s the positive. Anyways, onward and upward (cautiously, for now).

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