Monday, October 17, 2011

Marking Time

Twelve days till Cactus Rose.

So many details remain to be worked out.  So many thoughts to be reconciled before the signal to start is given.

I feel silly some days for how I go on and on about this event.  I know quite a few people who run ultras and barely make a peep about it.  Like Barry Sanders scoring touchdowns - act like you've been there before, and expect to get back.

However, I don't know that that feels like.

I know what it feels like to run a marathon.  I've had only two official finishes, but it seems as though I run them for breakfast.  I recall that within the first three miles of Lumberjack I was enamored with the idea of an ultra.  Until that moment I had hardcore, awake-at-night dreams of running the New York City Marathon.  Cruising into Central Park on a Sunday in November seems like the pinnacle of what I hoped to achieve in running, especially since I hoped to qualify for the even.  I don't believe in lotteries and wanted to make my own luck.

Then I set foot on the trail.  I tasted the wildness of nature; being alone with nothing but my thoughts for hours on end as if I were the only man on earth.  Then I gulped hard on the pain of stopping short.

I DNF'd my first marathon.  I had to stop due to unbearable physical pain.  I was angry at myself and angry at anyone and everything on the planet for several days though pictures from the time may show differently.  Lumberjack ended on a sour note, but it was noticeably free of anger.  There was plenty of emotion, but anger was not one of them.  I knew this was were I wanted to be.

For me the marathon was about speed and the medal.  The ultra marathon is about something different.  I know I can run a marathon with short notice.  It may take 3:30 or maybe 4:30, but I can give you the miles if I get twelve hours to be ready.  One hundred miles is different.  There is no guarantee I will finish.  Hell, with the course topography in the Texas hill country there is no guarantee I'll finish the first loop.  However, if I finish the fourth loop I may learn a few things I would never know after twenty six point two.

I may talk a lot and say some thoroughly stupid shit at time, but I'd rather let it out than keep it bottled up.

In twelve days I plan to let my legs, lungs and heart do the talking.

#DoEpicShit - Whatever you do, make your effort EPIC.


  1. There is no doubt in my mind, that your effort will, indeed, be EPIC!

  2. This is exactly what intrigues me about ultrarunning. I should probably finish my first marathon before I get too intrigued, though.

  3. I agree with Nora. You've got more endurance, ability, and drive in you than you realize. Ultras are all about heart and mind over matter type nonsense. Your body will do what your mind wills it to. Enjoy the experience! Brenna, many (including myself) skipped the marathon distance and jumped straight from the 1/2 marrys to 50k's and more. 26.2 has now become a good training run. Go for it!