When I started thinking about recapping what races I did this year and which ones really left a lasting impression on me, this race was one where I kinda wanted to forget about. Don’t get me wrong, I accomplished an amazing goal- I became an ultramarathoner! But it was so tough. It reminded me of my first (and second) marathon, where I really really wanted to quit (multiple times). It was so tempting to just call it quits after that first 25k (the first of two loops of the course).
It was the slowest I’d traveled anywhere in a really long time (actually even slower than my 175 mile run to Denver in May 2018). It was also my first solo traveled race, so I could just quit whenever I wanted and there would be no one to feel bad about my decision (except myself). So, why would I continue to push along when all the signs were telling me to turn around?
It was honestly the people surrounding me. We were all pretty miserable, but when they took off for that second loop I followed along. Not even sure what I was committing to at that time.
But when you hear the finish line announcer celebrating each runner that crosses that line, you feel a sense of earnest. I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity. After all, the kitties were waiting for me at home- expecting me to come home as an ultramarathoner. I couldn’t let them down.
It’s funny when I look back, I dont’ really remember exactly how miserable I was. I don’t remember convincing myself that at 25k I would just walk off the course. I remember really really wanting to be done, but pushing on anyways. Coming out stronger (mentally) at the 40k mark than I was at 20k.
It’s funny in those moments of doubt, how we somehow find a tougher layer within us. It was slow and absolutely off my time goal, but when you completely doubt yourself and then somehow persevere - it’s the most amazing feeling. So I guess that’s what most people refer to when they say ultras are addicting because I’m already looking forward to pushing my boundaries even further next year.
What race taught you all about perserverence? Why?