To ultra or not to ultra??? That is NOT a question anymore…

7 Mar

A couple of years ago, while riding a post-half-marathon runner’s high, I casually mentioned to Eric that I thought that maybe I was almost ready to start looking at marathons.  A couple of days later, I came home from work to a very proud-of-himself husband, who informed me that he’d registered me for Corning and I should start figuring out a training plan.  I ran it, had no idea what I was doing for the final 3 miles or so, but rode a major runner’s high for almost a year after that.  I finally began to embrace my runner identity (because apparently I had to run 26.2 before I could say I was a runner?).

happy finishers eating pizza in a parking garage because it poured the whole time--not the best race conditions, but still a great time.

happy finishers eating pizza in a parking garage because it poured the whole time–not the best race conditions, but still a great time.

A little over a year after that, I decided, for various reasons, that I was ready for another marathon.  I talked with Eric about running Buffalo in the future (it was close and relatively cheap), and a day later I got an email telling me that I was registered.  My husband knows me well enough to know that I struggle to make big decisions.  I think about them from all angles, but I will sit on a choice I have to make for a long time unless someone forces my hand.

This race did not go according to plan, but ended up being the best thanks to eric having plenty of on-course support for me.  I've never almost cried more times than this!

This race did not go according to plan, but ended up being the best thanks to eric having plenty of on-course support for me. I’ve never almost cried more times than this!

Monday night we met Liz and Kevin at Beale Street for some live music.  Maybe it was the terrible ukelele playing, maybe it was the guy SCREAM-singing over it, maybe it was the blue light, maybe it was just being around friends who are like-minded.  Liz mentioned she’d found a cool 50k–the Dirty German–in Philadelphia in May.  We should register, she said.

And thus began 3 days of me obsessing over it.  I made a training plan (it’s tight–11 weeks is not really enough time to train well for sure), I made lists of pros (i’d be a badass) and cons (11 weeks is not really enough time to train well), I thought about why I wanted to do it and if I really thought I could do it.

Yesterday, I sent Eric an email talking about how I wasn’t sure we should do it.  I have not been running much this winter–biking and strength training more than ever before, but there’s not much I hate more than winter trail running.  We have a lot going on in our lives right now, and our next few weekends are INCREDIBLY busy between #TrailsRoc events and Buffalo visits.  On the flip side, though, all I really care about is finishing this race.  There’s a 12 hour cut-off (or something like that), and it sounds as though it’s a mostly flat course.

He responded that we should register because then we will make the time.  And we will finish, even if it’s not fast, even if it’s not pretty.

And then he got very quiet this morning (we talk via email and text a bunch normally)…and I got suspicious…and then 2 hours later, I get this:

run

Oh snap.  It just got real!

Shortly thereafter, Liz registered as well, saying “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”  Truth.  Huge truth.  Our conversation online looked something like this:

hmmmm planning...

hmmmm planning…

There are a lot of reasons that we should probably not have registered for this race.  There’s a part of me that’s terrified for what’s ahead.  But there’s a bigger part of me that’s excited.  I try to plan everything out in my life, usually months in advance.  That hasn’t really been working for me recently.  So it’s kind of liberating to just make a huge decision like this (OK so I didn’t actually make the decision, but still…) with little planning (where are we staying? for example) and to make a choice that goes AGAINST what I might logically think I should or shouldn’t do.  I’ve been seriously lacking focus in my fitness and nutrition the past few months.  This is going to be my springboard to refocus myself and recommit to being good to my body.

 

Also, among my reasons to want to run an ultra:

Oreos and M and Ms???? Yes please!

Oreos and M and Ms???? Yes please!

 

So thank you, Eric, for registering us (and forcing Liz’s hand, too) for this new running adventure.  Let the training begin!!

He is crazy...he brings out the crazy in me...<3

He is crazy…he brings out the crazy in me…<3

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