Ahh… this should be a fun post. Do me a favor and read ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM. Things aren’t always as they seem!….
running Ancient Oaks 2012- photo by Caleb Wilson
So if you aren’t on Twitter, it’s likely you haven’t seen or heard my recent podcasting with Trail Runner Nation. Initially, TRN invited me on to do a podcast on toughness in ultrarunning. You can listen to that here. Afterwards, I continued talking with the hosts, Don and Scott, and they expressed interest in bringing me on for more episodes. Around the same time, Jimmy Dean Freeman, an accomplished “west coast” ultrarunner, contacted me after reading my blog. He wanted me to chime in on a community blogging topic: “Pandora’s Box: 100 milers” in which we would discuss running 100’s. Now this all happened coming off of my…what would you call it..I don’t know...an ultra life awakening of sorts. The one that happened down at Ancient Oaks 100 in early December.
My initial response to Jimmy was something along the lines of….NO. Honestly I had nothing especially great to say about 100 milers at the moment, and I felt like blogging about it at the time would be an [irreversible] emotional online wreckage. However, Jimmy kept encouraging me to reconsider, noting that an opposing viewpoint to the Yes! Go do a 100! mentality would make for a more complete look into our crazy running world. Jimmy is pretty persuasive, and somehow he talked me into it.
Meanwhile, during all of the tweets, Trail Runner Nation got involved. “Hey why don’t we take this topic to podcast,” Don said. I agreed to roll with it, and my second podcast with TRN was born. You can download “Ashley Walsh and Jimmy Dean Open Pandora’s Box” here.
Now in that podcast, Jimmy and I got a little heated debating the pros and cons of signing up for a 100 mile race. Afterwards we took the name calling to twitter, people took sides, and it got kinda crunk. So a follow up podcast with Jimmy- one that was probably a little less about 100’s and a little more about trash talking- took place. Click here to download “Unpacking Pandora’s Box with Ashley Walsh and Jimmy Dean Freeman“.
Surprisingly, and though I hate to admit it to Jimmy or Don, the chatter on podcast and the ensuing conversations stirred more thought in my ever-changing brain about the 100 mile topic. I’ve thought a lot about it since. And seeing as that I never actually wrote a post to go with Jimmy’s synchro blog…crap happens… I feel that it’s time to put my 100 mile thoughts into readable words:
If you’re anything like me, if a thought has entered your brain, nothing will stop you until you execute it. But with 100’s you might want to check yourself and recheck yourself on that way of thinking before you commit. Here’s the thing: you gotta be really freakin’ in touch with yourself and have a solid reason as to WHY you are willing to put your body through Hell. Is it to have fun? To experience trails? To make new friends? To see if you can do it? To run another faster than you did the last time? Therapy? Raising money for dolphins? If you can answer that WHY, then you’re doing good so far. My fear is that people (myself included of course) sign up for these things without realizing the time and commitment it requires from not only the runner, but everyone surrounding the runner. Especially the first one.. that one’s a big freakin’ deal. And you’ll squirrel away all kinds of hours in preparation: running, buying dumb crap, reading forums, stalking people for advice, running, driving to running..talking about running..running! It’s intense.
For me, I’ve discovered that the distance needs to be somewhat of a pilgrimage. Each 100 I have finished, I’ve finished because I had some kind of personal vendetta. I talked a lot about this in my recent Ancient Oaks story. Any other 100 I’ve attempted that I didn’t have a real reason to finish, I didn’t finish.
It’s also very apparent to me that the races have become extremely popular in the last two years. Maybe people are signing up for them left and right due to popularity, peer pressure, or thinking it’s simply the path of natural progression… “Marathon..50k…50..100k.. 100 DONE! More 100’s please!” I feel strongly in that committing to 100 without a real reason to do it other than an ultra version of “Keeping Up With the Jones’s” is dangerous — and I don’t mean that in a cool, risky, kinda dangerous way.
I feel that what many fail to see, is there are plenty of other distances to specialize in. Just because you decide to run a little farther than a marathon doesn’t mean you have to lose your 100 mile virginity. Just find what distance makes you happy. If spending an entire day running doesn’t appeal to you or fit into your life, then screw it. Do something else. Find you. Which leads me to my next point…
ELITE INSPIRATIONAL ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Sorry. I hate to say it, but the truth is, for most of us, this isn’t some elite sport. Running [errr hiking usually] 100 miles doesn’t make me or you or anybody better than any other runner out there. Sure we can move far…but it isn’t elite as many have made it out to be. I took a lot of flak for my stance on this in the second podcast, but I’ve felt this way for a long time. And seeing as that I do run these things competitively, I feel I have the right to voice my opinion here. The way I see it, we don’t always have to do things to get pats on the back for being the best or the most inspirational..
You know, I haven’t been on Facebook in a long time–a couple years actually–but I remember the constant display of insane butt kissing in running. Any time someone would do something even a tiny bit challenging, the comments would just pour in with “Ohhhh my gossh!!! Sooo inspirational! You’re incredible!!!!” and it would go on… and on.. and on…and on… and oh my friggin gosh… it’s like each person has their own individual fan club! People will say just about anything while jumping on that “motivational bandwagon”. Why, though? Does everything deserve a huge congratulations? It’s like ‘Wow. That’s incredible!’ has lost its merit. …Annnd…..Enter some really friggin inspirational running…..
Nevertheless, I do believe that everyone deserves to be praised for their efforts. I really do. Because it feels good to build others up. But it seems like in this semi twisted age of social media, there is nothing genuine left. Things get done for the facebook likes alone… I’m guilty of it, trust me…and it kind of blows to accept that reality. Because when it’s all said and done-even after all of the loads of praise- without that face to face interaction, I suppose it feels like more of an emptiness. …Which reiterates the need to have a serious “WHY AM I DOING THIS?” in place before you run 100.
IS IT FITNESS?
So I had originally planned to write this post several weeks ago, and voiced all of my points over twitter to Jen. But that was lame of me, seeing as some dude jacked my quotes and turned them into his own blog post. So you may have already seen a lot of this elsewhere, but here are some of my original thoughts on 100’s as fitness:
To me, 100 is a mental accomplishment more than a physical triumph. There are exceptions to that, such as drastic weightloss and people with one leg running to name a few– which are all incredible. But for the average runner, getting to the end of the line doesn’t require as much fitness as it does mental grit. I know from experience that your body starts to break down miles away from that 100 mile mark. So is it a strong body that keeps you moving or a strong mind?
I fully believe that in training [as I’ve said plenty of times on twitter] you’re really going farther than you need to once you hit that 20 mile mark of all out running. And in ultrarunning prep, I feel like it caps at 50. I don’t believe that there is much fitness to be attained after that point. I’m just a trainer, and not some doctor that’s studied this crap all of my life, but that’s just my observation.
100 is a lot to put your body through. The breakdown of the body that occurs is intense. I definitely believe it goes well beyond what is considered healthy and normal. I’m okay with that, ..but are YOU? In my 3rd 100, Fort Clinch, I was taken to the ICU by ambulance due to severe rhabdomyolysis. My body literally began to eat my heart for fuel….not one of my finer moments… Of course that’s not likely to happen to most runners, but it’s just an example of how quickly extreme running can break down your body. On the flip side, I have also finished a 100 and walked right off the course with nothing but painful blisters and sore legs, and resumed running again a couple days later. Either way, you have to accept the reality that these things can and will mess with your body in a major way. SO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, DANGITT!! …Hey, you had to hear it from somebody.
IT’S MENTAL. I brought up another point on podcast about 100’s not really being that big of an athletic accomplishment and more of a mental one… and as usual… took a verbal beat down for it. But again, I remind you that my blog is called AshRuns100s, so I must find some value in it, right?….Hang on I’ll get to that!… Certainly it sounds incredible to say “I ran 100 miles!”. I mean, as ultrarunners, we know what that entails: It’s a lot of running, but it’s also a lot of walking, eating, talking, sitting, moaning and groaning. I believe that the outside non-ultra world imagines us running nonstop Kilian Jornet style across the mountains, and they’re thinking…Holy friggin’ crap. You gotta be kidding me?!… And the truth is, that’s not an accurate portrayal for most of us. And there is nothing wrong with that!!!! I just feel that our society has become so used to doing NOTHING (i.e. “The Comfort Society of America) that we celebrate anytime someone does SOMETHING. When in reality, we were built to do this kind of stuff. Like migration (that was for you, Jen).
Can we not accept that it’s a maybe more of a major MENTAL achievement? I can! In my own experience, I have seen exactly how ultrarunning made me look LESS fit. Here’s my proof: the picture on the left is me before I started ultrarunning. I was only doing low mileage marathon training and high intensity cross training at the time. The picture on the right is when I started running well over 100 miles a week and no longer had time or energy to dedicate to serious cross training.
OBVIOUSLY I lost overall fitness even though I amped up my training hardcore for ultrarunning. I was putting in 30 hour weeks of running during that picture on the right. Strange, huh?
BUT WHY, DESPITE EVERYTHING I JUST SAID, WILL I TELL YOU TO GO FOR IT?
Because it’s life changing. 100 miles is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And I can give you my favorite reasons why:
Though I don’t believe these things are a good choice for me fitness wise, I do believe that they have made me a stronger woman. Stronger mentally, because I feel that I can conquer any situation that is thrown at me. Stronger physically, because I believe that I can endure far more pain than most people I encounter. I believe that they helped me to develop toughness, and a thick skin in life in general. Trust me, submit yourself to running for hours alone in terrible conditions and you’ll feel the same!
I have a cool story. Jimmy touched on this a little in our first podcast. Telling your friends, kids or grandkids stories of your 100 mile glory days is nothing but cool. Seriously. There’s no denying that. My little boy is always asking me if I think I could run to ____ [some far away place thousands of miles away]. I love being able to respond with, “I bet I could if I had enough time!”… See, I know that his brain is filled with thoughts and dreams of his own. If he sees me chasing down these things that most people think are ridiculous, then maybe he’ll do the same. And since I literally have a scientific whiz kid genius of a son, who know’s where that could lead?? Your life deserves a cool story…so make one.
It’s good free therapy and stress relief. So far, I have lived one beautifully [really] screwed up life. Browse this blog for evidence if you don’t know my back story. I have battled addictions of many sorts, but one of the biggest for me was an addiction to Chrystal Meth when I was a teen. Running for hours alone daily in the woods became my permanent way to deal with my past mistakes and to hash out things in my brain. I’m convinced I’ve settled a lot more in my life than I would have if I paid for 100 dollar counselling sessions! It works for me and it feels good for me to let everything go — out of my brain, through my own two feet, and I leave it all out on the trails. And that right there is good enough reason as any.
And most importantly, all of my friends, even my best friends, I met through ultrarunning. These connections are not just superficial “Hey how’s the weather?” kinda nonsense. No, I mean these people are here to stay! We talk about anything and everything, and we get each other. You know, most of us would agree that we didn’t find this sport, rather this sport found us.. and that’s indicative of the type of personalities we have. The connection that we share over the unique accomplishment of finishing a 100 mile race.. even sans racing, like I do with Amber….it’s special. And more importantly, it’s worthwhile. ALL of the pics below are with my ultrarunning buds outside of running, because we all hangout and talk in day to day life!
Jen and I road tripping out to Death Valley for Badwater 135.
Amber and I having a celebratory dinner after a dangerous solo 73 mile mountain run through the Smokies.
Beth and I flying out to Ohio for her 24 hour race.
Run Bum Sean and I grabbing lunch out at Lemonade in LA before road tripping to Santa Barbara with Dan.
Bruce and I partying out on the town in Gatlinburg spending the weekend at my parents cabin before a marathon.
With Caleb, Jen, and Michelle after my 100 mile induced near death trip to the ICU. Our paths have been forever intertwined since.
The memories I’ve made with these people, and many many more, are an incredible part of my life that I cherish.
…..And that, my friends, is why you should run 100 miles….even though you shouldn’t. 🙂
So there you have it, the good the bad and the ugly from my perspective. If you made it this far, leave your thoughts below! Thanks for reading:) ~Ash
73 Replies to “Okay Let’s Talk: Pandora’s 100 Mile Box”
Great post, and it’s nice to see the “other” side of things. Thanks.
thank you for reading Dani!
Awesome post, Baby! Glad you tell it like is.
I just can’t help myself.
This was really helpful….the dang 100 keeps rolling around in my brain…..gotta think more about my why for sure! You handed me a rainjacket back at the Northcoast 24 when you were crewing. Been following you since…..I only ran 12 hours that day and have been pondering doing a true 100……..
Hey Lecia, I remember the rain jacket moment! You guys were troopers out there- really. Thanks for following my blog!
Great write up, Ashley! We all do things without really thinking about the why. Spurred on to a crazier and crazier life that can easily lose focus of what’s important to us. Appreciated your reasons for why, it’s got to be gratifying to look back on the accomplishments, to become a stronger person, to tell stories, and to come out with true friends. I’ve never done a 100 as I’ve been pretty happy just hiking at my own pace or running when I feel like it. I have a lot of respect for those that have and a lot of curiosity about the longer term effects as one good friend can no longer run after the toll running long distances took on his knees.
Thanks, Nathan. You know I really am interested about the long term effects too. I’ve talked in depth with my fellow ultrarunners, some of whom have been in the sport since the 70’s, and they’re still going strong- like 100s every freakin’ weekend strong. It’s pretty cool to see. That being said, I really don’t know what happens. My theory is that when you quit- youre done. But if you keep going you just..I dunno..keep going until its your time to go?
“Your life deserves a cool story…so make one.” Nods, thank you for this.
It’s true. Thanks for reading Timothy:)
Good stuff, as always Ash! I am still recovering from the countless “2012 summary” blogs that have been flooding the internet, so this was a refreshing change.
haha thanks Gene. Yeah I read a few of those too!!!
“Your life deserves a cool story…so make one.” Very nice…
I’ve only been running for about a year and have about 4 trail 50Ks under my belt. I love being out there and I love the people.
I’m a little older and not very fast but I enjoy doing this so much that I know I don’t want to rush it. I’ll do more 50ks because I don’t feel I’ve really managed my best effort at that distance. I may move to 50 milers but I can’t really say. Without having done 100s I can already guess the amount of commitment it requires and I don’t think I’m ready. I think you are right on the money when you said that people need to make sure they have thought about their reasons for doing whatever distance they decide to do (mainly 100s actually since that’s the reason for your post). I know that I love being out on the trails whatever the distance and I want to be able to benefit and enjoy being out there for as long as I can.
Thanks Raul- yea you are smart for taking your time. Seriously. I don’t regret any decisions I’ve made in running, but I do think approaching the distances with care is a smarter approach. Thanks for reading! Enjoy those trails;)
You inspire me! I feel the same way about facebook too. It’s like HS all over again…I only keep it on because I have so many long lost friends from college on there. One day mayyybe I will do an ultra run! The experience just sounds awesome!
Thanks! Girl I know you’ll try it one day.. I think you have the bug!
The best quote you gave “Your life deserves a cool story…so make one.”
thanks tabaitha! several others have said that too- so funny bc I just wrote it without even thinking.
Ashley, I love that “your life deserves a cool story…” I also find myself chasing my crazy dreams so my daughter one day has the courage and determination to chase hers! It’s a powerful thing we can pass to our children.
I agree! They’re our biggest fans & they watch our every moves! I hope mine can take a little bit of this from me & use it in their own lives somehow.
Very inspiring. It’s the first blog of yours I’ve read, but certainly not the last. Great job!
Why thank you, Jeff! ‘preciate that!:-):-)
Good stuff. A really honest look that only experience can relate. It sounds like you ruffled a few people’s feathers in a pride sense. That’s not a bad thing. People need to have a clear look at what they’re doing, what makes it special, and even what might *not* be special.
As my distances grow, all this is stuff I’ll keep in mind. I have a crazy, out-there dream I’m pondering, but it’s so far off that it’s not something I voice often. But this piece gives me more to think about in that regard. Great job, amiga.
Bob, thanks, I always appreciate your feedback. Yeah I agree, I think I definitely pricked some egos but I am okay with that. My ego needed to be pricked several times at one point- and probably will again in the future.
Word. People tend to lionize their own accomplishments, identities, etc. Always, always healthy to take stock. In the long run, those who took offense are going to realize you’re right. Had to learn that lesson a few times myself!
Ashley!!! I can not thank you enough for this post! Wow!!!
🙂 glad you liked it!! thanks
Your life deserves a cool story, so make one. <—–all over twitter.
Haha I’m seeing that. No idea why? I typed this out in one sitting this am. I didn’t realize I said anything worth quoting.
Really nice post. On target!!!!
Thank you, Ed
And you just keep inspiring!
“Your life deserves a cool story….” with a blade.
Live it Baby!
Hahahah HAZEL YOU LOVE MY BLADES! One day I’m gonna hunt you down and send you an expensive 10″ fixy that says “THANK YOU” … no signature needed hahahaha
Awesome post! So much to dwell on that I’m quite certain I’ll read it more then once. I know I’ve mentioned previously that I took up running 2 1/2 years ago at 56. It was beyond words, the feeling of accomplishment I got when I finished my first 5k. I never thought I could do even that (at any speed!). I’ve since finished 2 half marathons and am coming back from an injury last summer as a result of training for a fall marathon like I was 38 instead of 58 – Duh! Anyway, I desperately want to finish a marathon and keep running them (their my 100 miler right now) which is why I so appreciated this post. I run so darn slow that is it often the mental aspect that keeps me going, which of course ties right in to what you said about having a reason to put your body through something difficult (its all relative). Thanks Ash!
Kent I totally appreciate this from you– bc I know you mean it! You’ve always provided me with honest feedback & criticism at times. Thanks for that! Keep doing what you’re doing.. it’s workin for ya!
Hi Ash! I saw this on Facebook, and started to respond over there. Then I suddenly remembered you writing that you are not on there, and would not be able to read it or respond. Thank you very much for writing this. I agree with many of the things you said.
Aww thank you I really appreciate that! Yeahhh I don’t read it firsthand, but a lot of my friends will screenshot things written about me or in response to me from Facebook, so I’m usually covered. Haha! Thanks for reading!
I like the last thing you said, “…..And that, my friends, is why you should run 100 miles….even though you shouldn’t.”
To me, this is what it’s all about. We all have reasons for doing what we do in this life, running 100 miles or otherwise. Sometimes things that we do don’t make sense, but we have to do them anyway. Reading this post reminded me of something I read from the awesome philosopher and all-around badass, Daniele Bolelli…
“And so here we are, stuck with the inevitable dichotomy that’s bound to happen wherever paradox is not welcome. Some of the nicest and most sensitive people around are too soft to manage our collective reality, too lost in their own inner world to have any meaningful impact whereas typically the most effective and driven have the discipline and the lucidity to get things done, but little empathy or vision. What we need instead is a paradoxical recipe mixing heart and muscles, sweetness and toughness, flexibility and strong values. Paradox is the magic potion necessary to heal ourselves and the world around us.”
Thanks for this, Ash.
Wow & thanks for your comment, Andy. That’s some really good stuff right there.
Thanks for your well written post Ashley. I’ve been following the West Coast / East Coast saga with Jimmy since it started. I think you speak a lot of truth. I’ll remember to come back to this post after my first ultra (50k) this year and evaluate what I want and if I have a “why” to seek greater distances.
You rock by the way!!
haha aw thanks!!! So does this mean you heard me refer to myself as a female douche and talk sweetness to my children?? LOL! thanks for following along. Get back on here & let me know how that 50k went! have fun
Yes that means I heard your super sugary sweetness talking to your kids. That was cruel of Jimmy and Don to put that right in the middle of the podcast. I thought there was no editing right? WTF??
hahahah yeah i totally got the shaft on that non editing bull lol but i love them they can do no wrong.. its all fair game lol
Great post. I couldn’t agree with you more about the mental aspect. When I crossed the finish line of my first 100 miler, I was more proud of the mental accomplishment than the physical. I’m getting ready to tackle my second 100 in a few weeks, and then I’m hanging up the (ultra) shoes for awhile.
good luck in your next race- which one ya doing??
Rocky Raccoon will be my next. My first one was the Lost Soul Ultra (in Alberta, Canada), and the terrain totally kicked my ass. I grew up in that area, and had I remembered what it was really like, there’s no way I would have picked that for my first 100. It seems like Rocky is many people’s first 100, so I’m doing things a little backwards.
good lord. thats intense man!! have fun
Thanks for the prod to read your post — I wouldn’t want to miss it! You are right on target about many things — running 100 is not elite. Running 100 incredibly fast IS! My belief is that anyone who wants to run a 100 mile event, can. You have to really want it; something has to drive you. I did my first 100 to prepare for Badwater, because I had to do it. Can’t explain. It sounded crazy and I wanted to see if I could — who knows? Then I got addicted, have started about 48 hundreds, finished about 37 of 100 miles or more. Why? Because looking forward to running long, to time on the trails, to the roads, point-to-point, loop courses, to adventures, to time spent with friends who understand me, challenging myself, feeling that pure joy which is only possible because of the pure misery at times… I do other distances, even 5Ks, but there is nothing like the long, long distance to me, with people, alone, road journeys — I love it. Everyone has their reasons for running 100 — it’s their reason and they will find out if it is really for them or not. I would encourage anyone to try — if they really want it 🙂 Thanks Ashley! I enjoyed the great discussion around your post as much as your post.
I had a whole section about you in here but I took it out before publishing bc I forgot to ask you if it was okay!!!! BUT what I had written was that you (and Ray K) are two examples of people that I look up to who have found a way to incorporate 100s into regular life, and I’ve always admired that. I AGREE! anyone can do it! I actually have a semi bet going with Don that I can take anyone to 100 from a 5k who genuinely WANTS to do it. anyway this comment is getting long-thx for reading it!!!!:) I’ll call you tmrw!!!
Really great post! My farthest distance is a half marathon and at one time I thought that was ridiculous. My 40th birthday was what pushed me to do it. I need to get another chip on my shoulder and get back out there. Thanks for the for the good read and your support!
I remember you telling me about your half. We need to get out there on those Utah trails & log some miles sole spikes style!!!
One word. Two syllables. Blogasm. BIG ONE. 😉 😉 Confession: I have felt so much peer pressure from reading your sizzling skiddledeedoo post-r-oos that I myself wanted to do the ultras and run 100 milers like you 🙂 We could have raced together. But it looks like you ruined it 😦 😦 God love ya. I still do. I always will! 😉 ;-P 😛
Yes!! I was waiting for you to comment. You’re about to meet your match stalker… wait for itttttt
OH….. MY…….. GAWD!!!! ME TOO!!!! 🙂
This must be “Run Fan’s Biggest Fan”!!!??!?
Great blog! One day, I am going to jump into the the world of ultra-running, but for now I am just going to stay happily addicted to reading about and following other people in their ultra-running adventures. I have plenty of my own “stuff” to take care of at 26.2!
I think I’ll always have stuff to deal with no matter what the distance! running is as hard as ya make it, ya know?
I’d settle with being able to walk that far.
lol yeah i suppose its all relative. thx for reading!
I like your take Ashley on the 100 aka 50 or any activity that challenges you mentally or physically. For that matter it could be collecting matchbooks, writing a book or any activity that requires patience, determination and completion.
Running a hundred doesn’t make you a better person. Running a hundred can help you realize your true personality.
Do what’s the benefit on repeat. 100 s ? Some folks are one and out. My position has been the human being is wired to thrive with adversity. People will find ways to create challenge. Ask anyone you pass and they can tell you about some stress they are negotiating. Survival is so important to our survival that our stress negotiation system is wired in the ON position. It’s no wonder the 100 is popular. We can sign up for 100 mile race and juggle that stress for months.
Friends: turning on a light in the night will attract moths. Registering for a 100 will attract like minded people.
Keep posting AshRuns. We hope you continuing doing podcasts with Trail Runner Nation
I feel like if I respond exactly how I want to respond, I’ll get a text that says “LET’S PODCAST THIS”… but in response to “stress being important to survival” I feel like it’s like that because of how society has defined American “living”. You know I love TRN, and attracting AshleyHaters for you guys. bahahhaha
Sorry but I am going to express myself in French because my English is too bad…
J’ai découvert ton blog via Instagram et même si j’ai des difficultés à saisir toutes les subtilités de tes écrits, je trouve ton blog très intéressant, principalement cet article.
Même si l’approche de l’ultra en Europe est sensiblement différente que celle pratiquée aux USA, la passion est la même et reste tout aussi dévorante.
Tous mes vœux de réussite dans tes projets sportifs et longue vie à ton blog.
It’s cool I put you through the translator! Thanks for following. Yes, I’m aware that it’s different in Europe, and as I’ve been told far more athletic due to terrain, etc. I want to get over there for some running this year! Thanks for your comment:)
I have been mulling over 100s (heck, 50s) since I found your blog and Jen’s. I think it “blogasm” was already used so I have to resort to: this post made me feel really good all over. Thanks for being 100% 24/7 and offering up truths for people like me to digest. To be honest with you, since following you and others on twitter, I have always struggled with “are my reasons for wanting to run 50s/100s even legitimate?” I think I am beginning to realize that other people can not legitimize my reasons, my WHYs, for doing this. Only I can. I want to see how good I can get. I am thrilled by the mystery of it all. I am not in this necessarily to do personal “self-work,” though that may be an added benefit of the prep/training/racing-process. I love being in the “I’m figuring it out” phase. This post helped me with that a lot. There is a lot inside me right now that I can’t begin (and won’t for sake of brevity) to express. Just wanted to finally introduce myself and say HAY to you.
I LOVE THIS COMMENT! You’re being you. That’s real and it’s awesome. Thanks for reading my blog.
“Though I don’t believe these things are a good choice for me fitness wise, I do believe that they have made me a stronger woman. Stronger mentally, because I feel that I can conquer any situation that is thrown at me. Stronger physically, because I believe that I can endure far more pain than most people I encounter. I believe that they helped me to develop toughness, and a thick skin in life in general. Trust me, submit yourself to running for hours alone in terrible conditions and you’ll feel the same!”
Ashley, although we have different stories, race different distances, we share the same belief as to why we do what we do!! I love how you summarized it above – wish we lived closer (although I live south of Atl, we are not quite as far south as you are heading). I am sure we would share many stories and philosophical discussions over the miles! Keep writing your story, girl! I love to read your thoughts!
Deanna I LOVE when you write me. I feel like we share common ground on so many levels! Thought that the first time I talked to you! We need to catch up via email or maybe I’ll make my way to your area for a run soon:):)
Thanks again Ashley! I just listened to the TRN Podcast during my run this morning and I took a walk at lunch to finish it up. Don and Scott are the best and Faith has rounded that team out well. Anyway, your rock and I like the thought process you’ve been through. I’ve been running for 8 years and I’m starting out on a journey for my first 50K and 50M this year. I think I want to do 100′s but I will know more by midsummer. I have kids and a great wife and my life is pretty cool too and i want to keep things balanced. I’m with you. I don’t need the race. I love running until I want to stop and check a place out and then I run back. I’ll let you know where I end up at with this thought. Til then, ya’ll take care and be true.
Run Strong & Run Long,
Hey Sean! Thanks for listening and leaving feedback! I’m sure you will love ultras, they are really fun. Going into it with a plan to keep everything in balance really helps! After this post, I wrote a few more about the similar topic. I have since done two other 100s and balanced my training and life with no problem. So I know it’s possible:) Have a great week!!!!
Greetings! Very helpful advikce within this post!
It is the little changes that make the greatest changes.
Many thanks for sharing!
I recently found your blog and LOVE it!! It’s so real, and not the typical online stuff seen too often where people love running and pretend that everything about running is always perfect. Thanks for the posts! I’m obsessively reading all the blogs so I’m sure you’ll hear more from me…