If you’re looking for some serious fitness inspo, you’ve come to the right place!
Last week, we introduced Eir NYC team member Nichole Abma, an ultra marathoner living in Canmore, Alberta, who is currently training to run her first 100 miles.
Below, find out more about the world of Ultra Running – and what Nichole does on her days off (hint: think hammock hanging and chocolate cake!).
Eir: It seems like there is a strong sense of community among the Ultra Running communities. Do you have a story or situation you can share where the community is really showcased?
NA: I think it really showcased during an Ultra. Every time you pass anyone they are always telling "good job, keep going" and it is just so encouraging. Everyone is out there to test their limits and push themselves. There will be people better than you and slower than you, but everyone is so supportive and it is truly just an amazing environment to be in.
Do you use a heart monitor or any other technology on your runs?
I use a heart rate monitor and the Garmin forerunner watch.
Do you listen to music while you run? If so, what is your fav?
I do not listen to music. I actually find I do not do as well during my runs when I have music in. I like being present during my runs with no distractions. I like being aware of my breathing and my surroundings, especially when I am out in the backcountry.
How do your quads hold up during all the pounding of downhill running? How do you mentally push through the discomfort/pain of long steep climbs?
My quads hold up well, I do downhill training which obviously helps prepare my legs for downhill running, and strength training as well. If I am ever in a tough spot mentally, I start counting in my head and try not to look at how far the top is but instead pick a tree or a rock that I have to make it to before my next challenge to whatever thing I pick to make it to next. That helps tons.
Do you have a post race routine? After being on your feet, in the wilderness for hours I can imagine you are tired, hungry, and muddy.
Shower, refuel and sleep. I am not much of a drinker, so I really just want a good meal, a long shower, and a great sleep.
Do your family and friends think you’re nuts? Do you have a running buddy?
I think maybe some of them do, but I have a really great support system and they see how important this is to me and how hard I have been working, so I think more than anything they are just happy for me. I have an amazing running buddy named Faye. She is also running Sinister 7 solo and she is going to absolutely crush it. She inspires me a lot. She crushes her training.
What other sports or activities do you like to do? How do those intersect with your running?
I cross country ski, backcountry tour, mountain bike, road bike, and hike. I just love being outside and in nature. Cross country skiing and road biking are amazing ways to cross-train for running. Ultimately running is the priority right now in my life and if that means sometimes not being able to do the other activities I enjoy, I am ok with that. I have this goal set for myself to run 100 miles and sometimes that means making sacrifices to stay consistent in my training.
What are your favorite non-sport things to do? What is your favorite junk food or indulgence?
I love camping, laying in hammocks, being around my family, my dog, and my boyfriend. I love a good book and listening to great music. I LOVE chocolate cake. I love chocolate, but a good chocolate mousse cake – that is my weakness.