Avoid the Drama, Finish the Race
Things People Say
A couple of years ago I ran the Cloudsplitter 100-mile race in the forested, eastern mountains of Kentucky coal country.
I was miles into the race, past the first two or three aid stations, running with five guys in a loose group on a dirt logging road when we ran down a short hill and one by one, came to a halt together at the bottom.
Wish You Were An Elite Runner?
That morning, I lay on my yoga mat and cried.
I felt defeated by the constant pain, by it not improving no matter what I did, by the way it dulled every waking moment, and by it taking away the race I'd set my heart on.
I'd barely made it one lap around the circle before my hip pain made even shuffling impossible.
Perfectionism is a Dream-Killer
We fell into the same pace.
He was new to our Tuesday night trail running group and we were getting acquainted as runners do by sharing resumes, when he asked the oddest question.
“Are you elite?”
My Biggest Ultrarunning Regret
For the past ten years, I’ve run an average of eight 100-mile races per year.
People look at that and the fact that I have a life outside running, and ask:
“How do you do that?”
Don't Let Criticism Stop You
Back in 1988, three years after I first read about ultramarathons, I started training for one.
I was 25.
Then, a month and a half before the race, my appendix burst and required major, emergency surgery.
Do you go for it?
Something interesting happened when I started owning my badass-ness.
I got more suggestions that I should do less.
I got more criticism about my lifestyle.
I got more judgment about how big I was allowed to be in the world.
Let Them Roar!
It’s mile 78 of the War Hammer 100-mile race in Kentucky.
I’ve been running for over 24 hours with wet feet, through unbearable heat and humidity with no air movement, over miles of painful, unforgiving pavement, under full sun, through miles of briars, mud, muddy puddles, and creek beds, past loose dogs and flying traffic, covered head to toe (and more, thanks to falls) in poison ivy, mud, sand, and most likely a horde of ticks.
As I head down another gravel road, a convoy of vehicles approaches.
They reach me, and the woman driving the first vehicle gets out.
It’s early morning, in the dark, and you’re standing at the bustling, noisy starting line of a race.
What are you thinking about?
"I'm Not Fast Enough"
What do you need to forgive yourself for?
Q&A - What To Do When The Race Stops Being Fun
“I’m not fast enough or strong enough to get through those miles.”
All of us running marathons or ultramarathons have had some version of this thought.
Two "What You Can Do" Stories
Starting today, I'm going to take one blog post a month to answer a question.
Today I'm sharing two strategies for dealing with this race-ending thought, "what can I do when the race stops being fun?"
When someone tells me they want to run an marathon or ultramarathon but don’t have the time to train for it, I think of people like my neighbor Jill and friend Jameelah.
Jill has three young kids and needs to be home with them in the afternoons and on weekends. But she loves to run and still manages to put in a decent weekly mileage.