Angela Moses

How to Train For a 100 Mile Race While Being a Working Mom 

1. What does your life consist of outside of running? 

This question feels hard to even answer—what does my life NOT consist of outside of running is the real question. I have a doctorate in nursing and work M-F as a Supervisor of Simulation and Clinical Placement Coordinator for a local community college in Southeast Missouri.  My second job is I started working back on the hospital floor in the float pool to stay current in practice this past summer and typically work 2-3 shifts per month just as a floor nurse.  On top of that, I do have a third job (it is very seasonal) in that I will occasionally travel and teach NCLEX review courses for Kaplan (the NCLEX is the national registration exam to be a registered nurse).  That is who I am as a working professional.  Even though I have listed my work first—My family is what truly comes first.  I am married to my high school sweetheart (married now for 11 years, together for 19) and we have two children.  My son, Oliver, is 6 and is in kindergarten, and my daughter, Andie, is 4 and is in PreK.  My son does soccer, T-ball, basketball (really anything we can let him try) and my daughter does gymnastics, so many evenings we are going to and from activities for the kids. Also, just to add to our chaos, we also have two dogs that we love dearly but just play also like children and add to the absolute madness of our household, Watson an 80 lb standard Goldendoodle and Nola, and 18lb Mini Aussiedoodle. 

2. What made you decide to pursue ultra running? 

I don’t feel that my story here is all that different from many when it comes to getting into running in general.  I went to a TINY high school (graduated with 14 in my class) and we didn’t have many sports options, and there was no cross country/track or anything of the sort when I was in high school, so running was punishment, or was conditioning for volleyball—but I did not enjoy it at all.  When I went off to college, I knew I should probably exercise but had never really stepped foot in a gym so going to the gym was very intimidating for me, so I figured running is easy right? All you need is shoes and everyone knows how to physically run, so there was little room for embarrassment there.  I didn’t really do anything other than just casually running every now and then and it didn’t become a habit until later in life.  I had a friend that signed me up for my first half marathon and I didn’t really train for it (why I didn’t even google a training plan is beyond me) but I survived it (that would have been 2012) and HATED every second beyond mile 8 or 9; and like many, said I would never do another one.  I did stop running for a good while and did take up just other forms of cardio; but then met a friend and she convinced me to do another half.  It went MUCH better (even on little to no training) than the first one.  I think it was after I finished that race that I felt like my legs had more in them and I found myself wondering about doing other things.  I still didn’t feel I could ever run (or had the desire to run a marathon) so I randomly decided I wanted to get into Triathlons. Going back to my small school/town—I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was a child, and had never had a swimming lesson in my life, so all I knew was the basics on a freestyle swim; but none the less; bought a bike and hired a coach and off I went.  I did Triathlons in 2015 (my years are now becoming blurry?) and in 2016 I worked up to doing a half ironman distance.  In my training for my half ironman, randomly, that’s when I ran my first ultra marathon.  We have a local 12/24 hour 1 mile loop event called the Howard Aslinger Endurance Run and I wanted to sign up for it and really just be out there with the running community. In my couple of years of triathlon training, I had made some great friends along the way and many of them being runners who did ultras and marathons, so I really wanted to go and just be part of what everyone else was doing.  I had a goal to cover 40 miles during the 12 hours and then once I hit 40 miles, I would just walk until time was up.  I had signed up with a friend and we did the 12 hour night and it was cold, rainy, and super windy and just absolutely MISERABLE all night long.  We started at 7pm and around 3:30am we finished up the 40 miles and I took my bib off and went home and went to bed and I swear I still have PTSD from that run. Haha.  I didn’t even consider myself an ultra-runner at this point AT ALL.  It was just a one-off thing I did “for fun” (which maybe now I can look back and see I was an ultra-runner all along if I ran 40 miles for fun).  I was training for my first marathon that fall in 2016 and found out I was pregnant right before I got in the car to take off for my race. We had tried for 2 years and so I was absolutely shocked I was pregnant.  I ended up having a panic attack mid marathon and DNFd my first marathon attempt.  I had my son in July of 2017 and was so adamant to get back into running and triathlons that I did a 5k pushing the stroller at 8 weeks postpartum, half marathon about 18 weeks postpartum, marathon at 8 months post baby, and then a half ironman when my son was just over a year old.  I was breastfeeding the whole time and was just exhausted. I decided once I finished my half ironman, I was done with triathlons until my kids were older because figuring out how to schedule swim workouts and cycling was just eating up so much of my time that I was not enjoying my training anymore.  I then became pregnant with my daughter in fall/winter of 2018 and had her in August 2019.  I had made the decision I was going to be much kinder to myself and not try and force near as much training into my schedule with two tiny humans at home….and then COVID hit and made that an easy decision for me whether I wanted to slow down or not.  2020 only had a couple of small races in there and otherwise I was focused on just trying to survive the crazy world and work and raise little people.  Granted I continued to run consistently and running with others was still my outlet, I just hadn’t quite figured out my niche in running at that time.  


To FINALLY get to answer the question about what got me into ultrarunning.  I would say that one of my best friends I developed through running really started to get into ultra running and she was so inspiring to me.  We are referred to as Dumb and Dumber… and I always said she was the dumber because we would choose races together and when she would do the 12-hour option, I would sign up just to do 6 hours and keep her company and crew.  Or she signed up for a double marathon, and I just signed up for the half marathon and then crewed and supported her when she finished the rest of her race.  So, she was always doing a lot more than me, and I just enjoyed being there supporting and watching her do amazing things I didn’t think I was capable of.  One of those trips she signed up for a 24 hour track race and they had 6 hour options so I signed up for the 6 hour option.  This was the first “ultra” that I wanted to train for an ultra and had a goal in mind.  I hired a coach that was an ultra-runner and away I went in my training.  My A goal was to try and hit 34 miles in 6 hours.  My training went amazing, but race day my stomach revolted, and I struggled (projectile vomited the second I walked off the course, peed blood for several hours post race… just really not a good time) BUT I finished the 34 miles in 5:59:and like 50 seconds—so even though I didn’t have the race I wanted, I still got my distance.  That was fall of 2021.  2022 we started planning our next adventure and she found a 50 miler, I was really thinking I was enjoying the ultra-running community and mindset and training; so we both signed up for the Dam Yeti 50 miler in Virginia.  My training for that also went well, and my goal was to try and finish (I think I set my goal for 9-9.5 hours?) and ended up finishing in 8:10 and other than some lovely GI issues, overall, my running went really well. While running, I honestly had the feeling that my legs still had plenty left when I finished…. Which we know where that leads.  

After having an absolute blast with that race, I really knew that I wanted to tackle a 100 miler.  I asked a lot of people for advice and looked up several races and landed on the Hennepin 100 in Sterling/Colona, IL.  I really had to consider my work schedule, kids schedule, etc and it was close enough to home I wouldn’t have to miss much work.  So, I spent basically the 10 months leading up to Hennepin training for my A race for the year.  I had never had so much fun before during a race in my life and the experience truly was one that helped me realize, “I am an ultrarunner deep down in my heart” and this is what I want to focus on.  

 3. What drives you to keep doing ultras?

I think there are a few things.  I LOVE the mental piece of ultrarunning.  I feel like our bodies and minds are capable of so much more than we even realize, and I think Ultrarunning is a superpower to unlock areas in our brain that most people don’t believe exist because they tell themselves “I can’t” and that prevents them from ever being able to push themselves to their full potential. Second, and honestly probably the biggest driver, is the community that comes with it and the ability to cheer others on to reach their personal goals and for everyone to really want to watch everyone be successful.  I feel like you just don’t get that with 5k, 10k, Halfs, etc where everyone is so competitive and in it for themselves that it just doesn’t have the same fun atmosphere as ultras do.

4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in ultra running?

Finding time 100%. When you work more than one job, have two small kids, a home, pets, and a spouse (who also works a full-time job and a part time job); most of the time it means going super early in the morning to do my workouts.  But when you can’t get to bed until late; then you are sacrificing sleep; and I don’t do well without sleep—so then my training suffers so it feels like a vicious cycle at times where I am trying to decide on which I need more of, miles or sleep to be able to recover enough for my long run on the weekends.  Or if I try to squeeze in my run in the evening; then I feel guilty because I am taking that time away from my kids, or my husband, who he likes to work out more in the evenings versus the mornings, so then if I ask to do an evening run, then that means he has to let me prioritize my training over his workout, which then I also feel guilty about.  


The other thing has been trying to figure out the nutrition aspect.  I STRUGGLE and typically cannot bring myself to chew food when running (the act of chewing a lot of times just makes me want to vomit, so I spit out the food even though I tried)—but I am getting better and finding solutions to my nutrition, so I am still learning on this one, but getting there.

5. What is the most important lesson you have learned from ultra running? 

This feels like maybe the hardest question to answer. I think maybe the most important thing I have learned has been prioritizing my time/commitments in my everyday life and something that really applies to life in general is to keep pushing during times that feel most difficult because as long as you keep moving forward, the lows do level out and then you can have moments of highs again.  I think that with the marathon, which honestly, I hate that distance, we all know about “hitting the wall” and it usually comes right there between miles 18-23 or so…. What we don’t get to really experience in a marathon is when you completely break through the wall and feel good again.  I feel like, at least for me, when I finish a marathon, it is always when I am deep in pushing through the wall, so it feels so difficult.  It’s crazy that if you keep going and manage to be smart when you hit the wall, it’s like you find a hidden door and then have a new path of little resistance that can last for a while which is so cool—until you hit the next wall, break through, wall, break through…. And you continue in ultras experiencing those highs and lows.  Feeling those highs after those lows is such a cool experience and testament to our abilities as humans.  

6. What is something you with you had known when you first started ultra running?

I wish I would have known how addicting it was because I feel like now that I am hooked it is hard to NOT be training for an ultra because training for something less just doesn’t seem near as fun anymore.  

7. What is your top piece of advice for someone who wants to run their first ultra?

I think my top advice is to surround yourself with likeminded people that are there to support and encourage you and offer advice.  I think with that it is also crucial that you bring self-awareness to the table and recognize what works for someone, might not work for you, and that’s okay. Figure out your own method. I also think my other piece of advice is to have confidence in your abilities.  You can’t go into a race saying, “I think I can do it.” You must fully commit to the idea that “I CAN and WILL do this.”  Doubt in our abilities is one of the biggest reasons (I believe) people either quit or never sign up to begin with.  I think ANYONE who can run a 5k can run an ultra.  That being said, you have to recognize that it is okay to not compare yourself to others in the journey.  Some people can run a 100 miler in 13 hours…. Others it might take 35 hours…. But at the end of the day, it is the same distance regardless of pace and accepting that you are who you are and being okay that you might not, and lets be honest, have very little chance of winning the race shouldn’t stop you from doing it.  

My final advice is something I find absolutely crucial in running ultras is the training is the hard part.  The training is the part where I feel like I am breaking mentally a lot of the times.  The training is the hard work that leads up to the race… but race day…. That is your victory lap.  Run with gratitude.  Thank the volunteers, smile, HAVE FUN, make the most of the experience.  When you are in a low point, thank someone for helping you, thank God you still have the ability to put one foot in front of the other, thank your significant other for making sacrifices in their schedules to allow you to train, thank your crew and/or pacers, thank your coach for all the guidance along the way, celebrate another runner if they pass you… or if you pass them, be encouraging to them.  I feel like if we continue to try and find the joy and gratitude in the situation, the lows pass more quickly and we can find our highs again. 


Contact Angela:

Instagram: @acmoses

Antelope Coaching: 

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