Tussey50 | Wk 1 | History

So here it is, race week, and the culmination of another 13 week training cycle!

For those of you who want to binge read about the ups and downs of the last 13 weeks: knock your socks off. This cycle seemed to be a bit turbulent with memorable mediums and lows along the way. Nothing very remarkable happened and fortunately nothing too debilitating either. 

I would have preferred to hit more of my target workouts in the final few weeks of training, but I seemed to wear myself out before I knew it. Regardless, I’ll toot my own horn for consistency. That is my style. I am proud and lucky and confident to have strung together 13-weeks averaging 75-ish miles each week. 

Julia joked with me just a few weeks ago that she panicked that I hadn’t been running enough. We both laughed because our running is now so easily ingrained in our daily lives that we don’t even notice the 3+ hours away from home on the weekend. That’s the other layer of consistency – when habit becomes 2nd nature.

Looking back at this training cycle, I’ve run everywhere, man: San Luis Obispo Cal PolyWash Park Washing Machine, Aspen Conundrum, Minturn Anniversary, Steamboat Stinger Race, Leadville 100 Pace, St Louis Katy Marathon, Aspen to Basalt Grand Traverse, Hwy 93 to Boulder, Golden Gate CGDH, Boston Touring, and Cape Cod Dreaming. Clearly, I was never tied to a route or a strict effort. For better or for worse, I’ve enjoyed every trip and opportunity to explore, hangout with friends, and excuse to visit family. 

I enter this race weekend with a smidge of malaise, not quite sure if I’ve got what it takes, but also confident that I am capable of achieving my goals. Confused? Don’t be, I’m  good to go and ready to run!


I had spring in my step on my run to work this morning, despite the cool drizzle. It’s encouraging to actually feel the benefits of resting and stretching through the taper.

I swung my legs out in the work gym three different times throughout the day.

The rain picked up throughout the day, and the temps dropped, as well. I hopped around streams of runoff water on the run home. There were even fat snow flakes falling from the sky. 1st snow of the year! 


Biked to work, dropped my pack, and ran off for 10-mile Time Trial workout day! This has become a customary workout on the Tuesday before a weekend race. My last attempt at this workout was an utter disaster. 

Today, all systems were go! My new sneakers felt great, I engaged my glutes, I stood up straight, I swung my arms.

Again I swung my legs out during the day. And biked home.


NP morning – stretch, swing, and chit chat. And making sure I’m warm enough, duh:

Awful running form. Pic: Manzur


We had a fantastic, low-key morning jog with the PlayGldn crew, followed by an even more enjoyable coffee & burrito session at Bean Fosters. I was kindof quiet during the run. I think I’ve been so “I’m my head” this week with race preparation, that I wasn’t ready to really chat about it. 

Similar goes with this blogpost. At this point, I’m just ensuring the right inspirations, corrective queues, and songs are floating around in my head when I need them during the race.


It’s funny how I think, “Oh what if I forget to power my stride through my glutes?” or “What if I forget to pick up my cadence?” Then I go on an easy run and these are the only things I think about. I know I’m prepared, and have everything I need to perform well. It’s the underlying doubt of the over-planner and perfectionist in me that appreciates the feeling of “sincere preparedness.”

After PG, I got the inkling to check out the registrants of Tussey. Up till then I didn’t have much interest in getting my headgame jumbled with fear of competitors, but now I know that it’s going to be a competitive race with Anthony Kunkel, David Roche, and surely others, though I didn’t recognize their names.

This works as the cherry on top of the training cupcake (poor analogy? I want to eat cupcake). For the last 13 weeks, I’ve been focused on preparing myself for all of the elements that the Tussey50 may throw at me. Now, I’m excited by the external motivations (i.e. competitors) that will give me the extra boost to transcend all the planning and preparation and let my animal instinct emerge.

Now I’m just mulling through the course map, elevation profile, and aid station locations. I’ve sifted through the data of blogs, Strava activities, and the race website to generate a game plan with intermediate check points to assess my progress towards my ultimate goal.

Course Profile Studying


During the last few months, I been a student of the sport of ultra distance running. There’s a whole different sect for road ultra racing, which I think I’m better suited for than Trail ultra racing. 

There’s only a  few events in the US that cater to the flat ultra crowd like the Mad City 100k, JFK50, Tussey50. Internationaly,l the big event is the Comrades Marathon, a 54-ish mile, point-to-point road run in South Africa, that attracts 20,000 racers despite a grueling amount of rolling hill climbing. 

In my research, I’ve filed a bunch of names of runners who’ve competed in these races. Their stories provide insight to the preparation, strategy, & execution of race day. As well as, the puking, the bonking, and the struggles of ultra distance racing.

Pennsylvania Bound

I’m ready to hear the mile beeps of my watch. I can’t wait for this course……

tussey trail

Tussey 50 Course. Pic: Tussey Mountainback Facebook

You call this stretchcing?

If you’d like to follow along as the race unfolds, use the best-in-class tracking available:

  • Follow Julia on Instagram Stories @griffeletti
  • Tussey Mountainback 50-Mile Ultra, 7AM Eastern, Sunday October, 8, 2017.

Endurance Changes Time,



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