Friday, August 14, 2015

You Can't Game an Gamer

In contrast, the men who framed the American Bill of Rights understood history and tradition, and they understood nature in the light of both.-- John Courtney Murray

I am a runner. That title has been a part of me for 15 years now. I am also a marathoner.  I gained that title 12 years ago. I am now after the title of ultra runner. I love the idea of not being able to just "do" an ultra. Coming from someone that has crossed the finish line a few times I know how much commitment it takes in order to actually cross that finish line. To the lay person that doesn't run at all or has topped out at 5k or 10k, a marathon finish is the holy grail.

When I say that you can't just "do" an ultra it sounds as though I minimize the accomplishment that is 26.2 miles. What I mean is there is no quick formula for doing an ultra. I've seen countless books declaring to run marathon in four months. I've even seen some that proclaim something to the effect that one can do a marathon running 3 days a week. I'm sure these things are true or close to true or not true at all. Frankly, I don't know which of those methods work. I haven't seen a book yet with a testimonial alluding to "couch to 100 mile in 90 days".

100 Miles is a massive undertaking. It is a commitment that requires all of your attention at all times of day. You worry about rest, diet, running economy, and countless other things on the "dashboard" of an ultra runner in training. Maybe someone exists that can eat poorly, train sparingly, and isn't focused, and still complete an ultra. I haven't read anything about that person yet. Wait, let me check the Google. Nope, still no one. One can do that and still complete a marathon; I know because I did. My first marathon was a horror show but I finished.

I've always looked to the course of most resistance. If it is difficult and people say I'm crazy, I want to do it more. When I decided to enter the military I wasn't sure which branch. Someone said USMC is the longest boot camp and it's the hardest. Those Marines are crazy they all said. I said, where do I sign. People call me crazy for running marathons. I want marathoners to call me crazy for running ultras.

Truth be told, I have already started training for an ultra. I probably won't until 2017 or later but my running style has already changed. My nutrition is different and I am generally running aerobically to be able to run forever without faltering. There is a certain purity to those that run obscene distances. You are out there for 2, 3, 4 hours on a regular basis. I spend 4 hours on a run maybe twice a year. Just imagine thinking and running all the time with your legs just churning away.

My theory, running is a beautiful thing. How can running more not be more beautiful?

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