“Couch” to 50K

Well, it’s official. Yesterday we signed up for the Oki Ultramarathon. Nearly killed me to pay about $110 per person simply to run 50 kilometers through Oki’s mountains. At midday. In the middle of summer. When I’ve never run more than 10K (that was once). I’d better get a reeeally cool towel out of this.

Us 50K-ers have exactly eight hours to complete the course, which covers half of the island. It actually seems do-able, until I think about the check points we have to meet. If anyone is a little behind reaching the check point, they will not be allowed to finish, and will have to ride the bus to the finish line.


Running from sea level, up to the airport, and around. 


Experienced Ultra runners have said this is one of the hardest races they’ve done.

Good thing I’m doing it when I’m not even a runner. *whimpers*

After looking everywhere online for information on how to run a 50K, when I don’t even run normally, I decided that I would have to figure it out on my own. I see so many “Couch to 5K” or “Couch to 10K” articles but there’s nothing for “Couch to 50K,” which is a bit terrifying. Even if I find a training plan to get to 50K, it’s a 24 week program for trying to go from a half or full marathon to an ultra. I am nowhere in that category. Also, we only have 12 weeks to train.

So, yeah. We’re making it up as we go.

Aaron and I figure if we start running about 5K a day, bumping up the distance every week, plus long runs on the weekends, we might be able to do it. I already ran 9K yesterday (2K through a mountain on lunch break, and 7K back home with Aaron and Theo). I lost feeling in my back side and cramped all up my shins during the second run, but worse things have happened. At least I could breathe.

I’m feeling quite encouraged actually. I used to think 5K was daunting.


Running through Saigo will be our final step before the last hill.

Also, I’ve found another reason to finish the race: to prove the head of the BOE wrong.

First thing at work on Thursday my co-workers asked Theo and I if we were doing the 100K. Noooo no no nope not a chance. Oh, you’re doing the 50K? Yes. *feels heart break more than a little*

The head of the BOE then looked at me. “Rachael, isn’t that impossible for you?”


“T-chan has run it twice now, but she hasn’t been able to finish it. I’ll buy you dinner if you can finish it.”

“What about Theo?” (who was right next to us).

“No, Theo’s fine.”

At this point my supervisor, laughing at the spectacle of me sputtering in indignation at the head honcho, walks over to me, leans in just a tiny bit, and says, “You’d better tell him you want yakiniku.” Yakiniku just happens to be the most expensive choice for dinner.

What they don’t know is that, contrary to popular belief, I have been running. I just don’t like people seeing me look like a beached whale, so I run through the back roads and the rice fields where I occasionally startle a granny or two. Theo runs through the city, therefore everyone knows he runs.

We also don’t have a car, so we’ve been walking everywhere for the past year. A half-hour to hour walk means our destination is close.

Hah! Gonna get me some free dinner!

Feeling extra motivated, Theo and I rode home with another co-worker. Guess what we talked about? Yup.

Once again, we were asked if we were doing the 50K. Yup. “Theo will do great! …Rachael, will you be OK??”

“Why does everyone keep asking me that?!”

He laughed but didn’t give an answer.

(ノಠ ∩ಠ)ノ彡( o°o)

Time to prove them all wrong. I hope.

P.S. – I say “‘Couch’ to 50K” because we’re in Japan and we don’t actually have a couch. We sit on the floor. Like cave people. Aaron and I are so refined that we’ve even put a blanket on our floor for cushioning. Aw, yiss.

Oki Ultramarathon website: http://oki-dougo.info/ultra.html


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