Good evening and welcome to my first post.
Kind of odd that the first is after 10 year of running, many races, but I guess it is a good thing in that now I have lots to speak about, and possibly a little wisdom to share 🙂
What to say, well I will give you the cliff notes version first, and then you can read on as your interest suits. This will definitely be a multiple part series, and I will likely be just laying out the ground work today, and hopefully giving you a sense that I am worthy of the title “ultrarunner”, in sentiment like so many of you, and will soon cross an ultr finish line and become an ultrarunner in every sense of the word.
Thus, I do want to be clear I have not completed an ultra to date, but the more I train for ultras, more trail/ultrarunners I meet, the more failures I have, the more I realize that to be an ultrarunner (other than in the strictest technical sense, ie finishing a race longer than 42 km) is of a commitment to one self to be the very best of themselves, and never be willing to accept current success, or failure, as the end, but as the start line to your next adventure to push beyond where you are now emotionally, physically, and intellectually, using ultra distance running as the vehicle to accomplish the next new version for yourself!
In saying this, I want to thank everyone for reading, as it is an honour to write for you, and I am humbled, to know you as a fellow ultra runner. Thank for such a privilege! You Rock!
On with the current post!
Overview of the Badger Mountain Challenge 100 miler (parts of the series):
- Committing to do a 100 miler
- Selection and signing up for the race
- Packing and travel to the race
- Night before…
- Race day
- The physical pains post race
- Acceptance of a dnf, and the emotional pains
- Recovery, and creating a plan to become stronger than ever…this is my new start line.
Outline for this post
- What is commitment to me?
- How to know if truly committed or not?
- 100miler, the ultimate commitment
- Closing remarks
One thing you will find with me, is I speak pationately, completely honest, and from the heart.
What is commitment?:
Commitment for me is that total and complete acceptance of all the responsibility, causes, and effects that come with following through on the actions associated with a decision.
How to know if truly committed or not?:
Thus, real commitment for me is not merely making a promise to do the race, signing up for the race, paying for the race and travel (most can do these things, especially if you are well off financially there is no real challenge), but following through with all that I felt was necessary to toe the line without being injured or ill, being as physically, emotionally, and intellectually ready as I could possibly be. I really did not want to believe for a second there was anything I could have done to be more ready. Overcoming the many many many challenges with grit, perseverance, hard work, and determination, this is where my commitment was tested.
I will show you in this series the list of challenges was long, but I am NOT writing for pity party, but simply so as maybe you can get some value from my experience. I hope you will commitment in each post in this series and posts on this blog as a whole, and even challenge my said commitment, so we can all learn together from my experiences.
100miler, the ultimate commitment:
I saw the 100 mile race as the ultra of ultras, but it is funny thing with commitment, you never just what it means to actually commit until you take the plunge.
For me only having done a few trail racesi including TransRockies 6 day, and Tenderfoot Boogie 50 miler (DNF’D @about 75 km due to time cut off), I think for me I was only really looking at the race itself.
But the thing about committing to my first 100 miler, is there are many, many factors to consider including change to lifestyle, massive buy-in of clothes, laundry gallore, you will likely be tired most days (in more ways than one), and trying to be an ultrarunner training for a 100 miler and work full-time puts a kink in getting in the necessary training, and finding people who support and help you (whom think you are awesome, rather than crazy for what you are trying to accomplish) is imperative, and all of this and more is actually what I was committing to, in committing to a 100 miler.
This is to say that these hurdles/challenges are the day to day, which I had to work my way through, this is the stuff that tested my commitment long before race day, and in some cases brought me to tears it was so much.
All of this said though, I was also committing to becoming a very resourceful person, a mentally/emotionally/intellectually tough person, and someone who knows what it is like to reach their potential, and be capable of busting through it everyday for the love of trail/ultra running, and being able to enjoy the privilege of toeing the line with many other amazing individuals who all had to make similar commitments.
I will admit right now there were times when I wanted to quit, heck there were times when I did quit, but there were great times to. But the more my commitment was tested with challenges, sometimes stacks of them, and continues to be challenged the more I learn just how true the phrase really is “what does not kill you, only makes you stronger”.
Now I needed to take that first step and sign up for the race…