4 years ago, I discovered that some people did something called “ultra marathons”. I remember not believing that people could actually run 30+ miles at a time. I watched countless videos on youtube and tried to wrap my head around the idea of running for so long.
“How far can I go?” was always a question in my mind. I was very fearful and doubtful that I had the ability to run long. Sure, I could run 3-6 miles 7 days a week, but could I run further than 13 miles?
I signed up for a 30k without telling anyone in May 2012. I had never ran more than 13 miles. I wanted to do this 30k because I wanted to see what would happen to my body when I ran for 19 miles. I ran a 2:32 (8:10 pace), and I was immediately hooked on it.
I know I did too much too fast because Summer and Fall of 2012, I was out for months with an injury. I was very sad and frustrated. In spring 2013, I finally decided to try my first marathon. This time, the experience was far different.
My first marathon left me in tear and HATING distance running because I was so set on a pace goal. I “needed” to break 4 hours. It was so arbitrary, but my value as a runner depended 100% on my tine. I never thought about throwing in the towel on running.
After a bad race, I never think about giving up. I love running. Everything about running is great. The one thing I don’t like about running is the stress. I hate following a plan. I hate having time goals. Why? Because when things don’t go “your way”, you start to question why you run. I know why I run. I run because I feel free. I run because I love how you can push past the pain and quite your mind for hours. I can run 4x a day and not get sick of it.
It’s been 3 years since my first marathon. In that time, I have ran 12 marathon and 1 ultra marathon. I have struggled a lot between wanting to run fast 5ks and wanting to run ultra marathons. 2 years ago, I ran my first ultra marathon. I loved the experience. I was second overall. It was a rugged crazy course not like the road races I was used to. I immediately signed up for another one. However, I never trained or stated that ultra. I was very torn between training for a fast 5k/10k/half vs. training for an ultra. I ultimately decided to focus on the fast road races.
I put the whole “ultra marathon” thing on the back burner. I actually almost completely forgot about it until this past weekend. I had a fire light under my add again. I realized that I was now ready. I could really careless about running a fast 5k/10k/half/full. I’m very content with my PRs and sick of following the same ol’ training. I want to be challenged in other ways. I want to try something I’ve never done. I know this is the right time after 13 marathons/ultras. Ultimately, I just wanna run as much as I can (forest gump style)!