I’m Making This Up as I Go: The Emma Walker Training Method

Since last week’s post, a couple of people have asked me how I went about training for a 50k. Before I go any further, I’d like to make it exceptionally clear that I am by no means an expert, and if you’re wondering how to train for something like this, you should start by asking someone else. If, however, you’re anything like me (i.e., your reaction to most good advice is to stubbornly tell yourself “…yeah, I’m not gonna do that”), here’s what I did to prepare and, as a bonus, my 20/20 hindsight on whether I’d do it again, hypothetically speaking. (No, really. I have no immediate plans to do this again.)  Continue reading “I’m Making This Up as I Go: The Emma Walker Training Method”


List: Reasons to run a 50k


How would you like to…

…prepare for an event by spending every Saturday for three months shuffling around your local trails and bike paths, causing passersby to wonder if everything’s okay?  Continue reading “List: Reasons to run a 50k”

List: Things I totally believe count as training

I am supposed to be training for the marathon I signed up for three months ago, when I thought maybe all I needed to really motivate myself to get after it was a concrete goal. The race, which is to take place in the neighborhood of 10,000 feet elevation, and which I now deeply regret signing up for, is in three days. Here is how I’ve been getting ready. Continue reading “List: Things I totally believe count as training”

When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. (Turns out this is still true.)

When I was 21 and thinking about moving to Alaska, I paid my bills by waiting tables at a local sports bar. I had a very wise manager with whom I occasionally butted heads, due in no small part, I’m sure, to my stubbornness. I spent months waffling endlessly on whether I should apply for this teaching job or pack everything up and make for Anchorage, and one night, as I begged him to please cut me from the floor so I could go home and study, he dropped this major bombshell on me:

“When you don’t know where you’re going,” he told me, “Any road will take you there.” Continue reading “When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. (Turns out this is still true.)”

Red Hot lovin’

Around this time last year, I started a new job. In an office. I’d spent most of the previous five years working mostly outside: as a backpacking instructor, conducting field research in grad school, a brief stint as a whitewater raft guide. The closest thing I’d had to an office job still allowed me to ski, on the clock, a few times a month. This was a big shift. Continue reading “Red Hot lovin’”