I Believe I Said, "Never Again," But Here I Go......

A year ago, I ran 31.86 miles (just over 50K) at the Run Under the Stars 10-hour endurance event as my first and only ultramarathon.   It did not go well, as documented in my blog post written after I got home.  Here is an excerpt written as "a reminder to FUTURE ME": 

I don't think ultramarathoning is for me.    It is too punishing on the body.   I ran/walked almost 32 miles, but got nowhere.   What is the point of that?   What did it prove?   I suffered.  I wrecked my feet.  I am sore and I will have to take time off for recovery.  I can't say I had a lot of fun.

There is a running quote I was reminded of as I watched people limping and hurting toward the end:  Running Never Takes More than It Gives Back.   Believe in the Run.  I'm honestly not so sure about this one.   Senseless suffering.  Did it make me somehow "more" of a runner?  I don't think so.   Of course, I've only had 1.5 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours, so maybe it will look different tomorrow?  

 I have an ultramarathoner sticker for my car, but I don't think I'm going to put it on.  "Ultramarathoner" implies that it is who you are, and it isn't me.   

"Future Me" is apparently hard-headed or a masochist, because in about 58 hours, I'm running the same race again.   Practically the day registration opened, I whipped out my credit card and paid money.... to suffer.... once again.   Redemption = money well spent.

Maybe I'm broken somehow to even want to do this again, I don't know.  I'm not any better trained than last year, but I do know more than I did then.  I have bigger shoes to allow for my feet swelling.  I have a better plan for locating my stuff closer to the track (instead of having to walk 25-30 extra steps into the infield).  I plan to walk more often in the early miles.   Last year, it wasn't that my fitness or my endurance or even my legs betrayed me--- it was my feet and my spirit!   Covered in blisters and rubbed raw by 10 miles in from too-tight shoes and swollen feet, every step was painful.   Bored after six laps and not really talking to anyone, I just circled and circled alone and wondered when it would start being fun (as promised).   This time, I know about 35 or 40 people (a few for real, many just from FB conversations), so finding someone to pass the miles with should not be a problem.

The goal is to just come out of this better in three ways:

1.  Go further than 31.86 miles, achieving a new PL (personal long).  60K might be nice.
2.  Have a positive attitude the majority of the race---just a spirit of thankfulness for being able to run and spend time with new (and old) friends, determination to meet my goal of improving over last year, and to simply EMBRACE the inevitable suffering that comes with an ultramarathon.

3.  To take care of my body throughout--my feet, hydration, nutrition.  If something feels injured, I hope I will have the courage to STOP and not make it any worse. 

I don't want this race to take more than it gives back this year

We'll see......


I hope this year's experience is better than last years. I have a feeling it will be much better thanks to all you learned the first time around. Run strong.