I’ve been interviewing all types of runners over the past few months as we gear up for the Salmon Falls 50K. I’ve learned many things about how people train and why they like running ultras. For some runners, it’s something they never imagined doing.
Alicia Andrews is a “newbie” to this intense sport with the Salmon Falls 50k being her first ultra-race. Her road to ultras started when she ran her first mile. “The first time I ran a full mile I loved how it made me feel and how it cleared my head. I quickly became addicted.”
Alicia owns Kaia FIT Rocklin, a women-only gym and knows the importance of exercise to lead a balanced, healthy life. She’s been a small business owner and fitness instructor for more than a year but started her running career on the pavement in 2008. “After my third child was born, I needed a fitness challenge and an outlet from the day-to-day but couldn’t commit to a gym at the time,” says Alicia. “That’s when I started running with a double jogger, both my girls in tow and my son would ride his bike alongside me.” Alicia started to increase her distance and speed. Friends encouraged her to try a 5K for her first race but she wanted to challenge and push herself for more. Go big or go home! Alicia wanted to train for a half marathon. That’s where the 6x6x6 comes in.
To ensure she was ready to take on the challenge and training, Alicia committed to running six miles a day, six days a week, for six weeks. “There were days it wasn’t pretty, but I did it,” says Alicia. After conquering her 6x6x6 challenge she decided to register for her first half marathon. She had built a solid base and improved her form and pace. Her first official half marathon was the Davis Stampede in 2009.
Now with more than 20 half marathons and four marathons completed, Alicia believes she is ready for the next level of running. Alicia has several friends who trail run but she was concerned about getting injured and the additional time commitment. Alicia was fresh off running the CIM this past December and decided to jump into training for the ultra-run after Christmas. “I was so sore after my first trail run. I was working muscles I forgot I had,” says Alicia. “I’m learning to get used to the pace of trail running and fueling with real food.” Alicia’s training regimen for the upcoming race averages 20 miles of trail/road running during the week and 25-35 trail miles on the weekends.
Alicia will be running her first 50K with her Moms Run This Town (MRTT) training buddies. Some of their training runs have been on the Salmon Falls course. Alicia says her goal is to finish the race. “It will be a fun challenge and I can’t wait to say, I’m an ultra-runner.”