Many people ask, “Why?” or exclaim, “You’re crazy!” when they hear of the distances Scott and I have run. We might be a little bit crazy, but it’s a craziness that is filled with fitness, adventure, and fun. So, if that’s crazy, I’m embracing my inner crazy!
But getting to the ultra-distance doesn’t happen overnight.
Like everyone, Scott and I both started with very short runs that were interrupted by more stopping than actual running at times. We gasped and cramped our way through those early days just like everyone. But then something magical happened and it stopped hurting so much. The cramps in the side or the legs appeared less frequently. The runner’s high we all hear about was happening. To us!
After lots of slow races, paces started to improve and so did our confidence. We each started to feel stronger and with that, started to flirt with longer distances. 10K’s and half marathons became the new google search. I’ll never forget my first half marathon (Covered Bridges – Queeche, VT). I trained so hard for that; so hard in fact that I aggravated my Achilles just a few weeks prior to race day. I was horrified! Doctor visit, shoe inserts, backing off on running…..I got to the start line. No world record, but that distance had me hankering for more. That year, I ran my first marathon (Disney) with Scott by my side!
After many marathons and a couple of years of supporting Scott at StoneCat, I knew I would run this ultra trail race someday. I remember thinking, “I could do this” as I cheered on runners throughout their 26.2 or 50 mile journey. Last November, I did it. I ran the 50 miler with Scott by my side but am hungry once again to challenge myself in a way that only ultras challenge.
A couple weeks ago, we ran Ghost Train trail race (15 mile option). There was an ultra option as well, but given the craziness that comes with a new job, I opted not to overflow my plate this Fall. I did have a plan though; run the 15 miler, check out the course (for how easy to follow, etc), and most importantly, scope out how I think I might like running the 7.5 mile out-and-back a zillion times to complete another ultra distance. Maybe even longer than 50 miles…..
And this is how the journey goes. Take a little nibble of a 5K…..chug it down with a heap of half marathon…..take second helpings in the form of a marathon….then for dessert, indulge in the ultra distance! And within the ultra distance, the sky is the limit!
So I may appear crazy with my marathons and my 50 miler under my belt, but I felt honored and in awe to share the Ghost Train trails with runners who were accomplishing 100 miles within a 30 hour timeframe…Crazy? Committed? Should be committed? Or just doing what they love and celebrating it with each additional mile? I’ll take the latter.
We’ll just have to see how many of those miles I’ll choose to celebrate next year at Ghost Train…J
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