As a runner, especially one in the honeymoon period, the first year or so. One of the things that keeps you going is your friends & family telling you that you’re mad. I guess you either listen to them and stop, or take pride and continue, often doing an even crazier route or in more treacherous weather. I certainly adhered to the latter, I’d run in the snow, -5, -8 – Do your worst God because nothing is going to beat me! I was a crazy runner, but I loved it.
Yesterday I ran 10k with the Nike team. I fooled myself into thinking that I was the runner I once was, joining the 5min/km’ers. Needless to say, I limped round the course in a performance that would make my old self die of embarrassment. During my lonely run, spent listening to the faster members of the group chatting away at 4:30min/km pace, I began to ponder how anyone could ever run an Ultra Marathon.
An Ultra is basically anything over 26.2 miles, though it often constitutes a figure far in excess of this. A few of the guys from my old running club have run Ultra’s in the past and a couple are set to complete one in the near future. How could these people attempt this feat? I asked myself as my legs began to tire around 7km. Ok, I’m a long way off of fitness, but anything over 26.2 miles seemed so far away.
Any how, I digress. Running at times can be a solitary experience, even when running as a group. I know that sounds crazy, but anyone who is a runner will know what I mean. There’s lots of time to think and that’s the beauty of it.
I continued to ponder my thoughts about Ultra runners and came to the conclusion that they must be mad. And that’s when it hit me. I have run a marathon before and people thought I was mad – but it was all part of the training & my body was up to the challenge. I figure Ultra runners are simply a different breed of runner, I’ve no doubt a few have a screw loose, but we all run for different reasons. Whether it’s charity, fitness or simply to challenge one’s self, we shouldn’t be asking why, but rather congratulating eachother on our desire to reach our goals and fulfil ourselves.
Have you ran an Ultra before? What was your motivation – or are you simply mad? 🙂