Yes, I Almost Quit Ultramarathons

Susan Donnelly at Zumbro 100 the year she took coach training.

In my first ultra, a 50k, I felt like I’d opened the door to a secret world - I wanted more.

In my first 100-miler - limping, dirty, exhausted, yet exhilarated - I fell in love before I even crossed the finish line.

I’d found my home.No wonder I wasn’t great at shorter distances. This is where I belonged!

But as with many love stories, the initial infatuation wore off. The more ultras I ran, especially 100s, the more time I spent battling negative thoughts of one kind or another. 

The longer the distance, the more my mind mattered.

So I DNF’d a lot in the beginning and even after I’d gotten a handle on that, the stew of negative self talk eroded good from the experience.

Everyone assured me it was normal, probably because nobody else had the solution either. 

Runner after runner came, did big things, struggled with self-sabotage and burnout, then disappeared before they’d touched what they could really do. I knew I’d be in the same boat if I didn’t find a solution.

I was down, out of ideas, and considering dropping out of the running I loved when a chain of events led me to take a wild chance on life coaching. I used every technique and tool I learned on myself and it literally transformed my running. And my life. 

Re-programming what I believed about myself - training my mind like I did my body - gave me the strength, resilience, positivity, and self-confidence I needed. I ran faster, more consistently, and enjoyed it more than I ever thought possible.

Nobody told me how to run ultras happily ever after, so I’m passing this on to you.

The best thing you can do is clean up your negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself  - that critical voice in your head - as thoroughly as you train your body.

You can shove that stuff out of your mind but only for so long. It’ll pop back up when you’re at your weakest.

Hoping and avoiding isn’t a long term solution. Training and preparation is.

If you’re caught up in comparison, drowning in fears, worrying about the future, or doubting yourself because of the past, change that voice in your head to one that supports you instead.

Get a friend or a coach to help you do it easier, faster.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. 

I went further than I ever imagined - I know you can too!

Susan Donnelly’s signature

P.S. - If you’re ready to get past the self doubt and negative self-talk, email me here to set up a free 30-minute consult call to talk about how training the 80% that is the mental part of your running can uplevel your happy and results!