Why Do I Run Ultras?

It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday. The sun is shining and a majority of the population is poolside or at the beach sipping on a cocktail. I am 2 hours into my run, drenched in sweat, sipping on my Camelback hose. Why am I out here, in the middle of the woods, training for another crazy race? Here’s why:  I HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK AT A DAY AT THE BEACH AND GOTTEN CHILLS AND LET OUT A SOB THINKING ABOUT IT!!!!!


However, 15 miles into our trail run on Tuesday I couldn’t stop myself from crying while explaining to Matt (my brother) the feeling I had when I rounded the corner to the Finish of my first 50 miler.  How I saw my husband, who had been there with me every step of the way leading up to the race, and at EVERY AID STATION along the race, and what that image does to me to this day.  As I type this I am crying.  It is a feeling I will NEVER forget.  It had very little to do with finishing that actual race.  It had to do with those days that lead me to that Finish.  The 10 hours of running every weekend while my friends were poolside.  Those moments on the trail when all I wanted to do was quit.  On those days I gave myself every excuse in the world why I could just cancel this race.  Why it was stupid and not even healthy to run that distance.

But guess what?? That would be taking the easy way out.  And if I did stop when it hurt and got uncomfortable I would have lost out on so much growth.  It is in those moments, when everything in us tells us we are done and we continue, that a whole new world opens up.  On the other side of that wall is a life worth pushing for.  On the other side of that wall we are stripped of all of the barriers we have put up and are completely vulnerable.  We find out who we really are, and more importantly what we are capable of.


I am not interested in an average life.  I’m not interested in running a race that is comfortable for me at a comfortable pace.  Because COMFORTABLE will NEVER give me chills.  Comfortable will never bring tears to my eyes at just the thought of it.  And for many, it doesn’t even need to be an ultra marathon.  What it needs to be is pushing yourself past uncomfortable.  When what you have done even inspires you looking back at it.  Sometimes it may not even be sports.  However, for me…it is in those woods that I find myself.  I don’t say that nonchalantly.  I literally find out what I am made of on those trails, and with that it carries over into every aspect of my life.  Lately, I have had many people comment on how I just fall into great things in my life.  Trust me, if I chose to settle for average in my training and in my racing I can GUARANTEE you my life would be average.  But I was not put on this earth to be average.


The first step to making this change is to surround yourself with like minded people. It will be very hard to make the leap without the support of extraordinary people.  I was lucky enough (well, it isn’t luck) to spend my day poolside yesterday.  Except, instead of drinking cocktails, I was with my childhood best friend who is a Sports Psychologist/Mindset Performance Coach.  And around me were 3 others who are some of the most successful people I know.   Forward thinkers.  Elite Minds.  Endurance Athletes. The hardest workers I know.  We spent almost two hours working with her on strengthening or mental game.  These 4 people support my dreams and believe in them, as I support their dreams.  And for that I am one happy girl.


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