Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ultra Fever... if you can Run 50, you can Run 100??

Why Ultra?... Why Not?
It's been all of 3 days since the 50-miler and thoughts of further distances are dancing in my mind. I've always told half-marathoners "oh if you can do 13, you can totally do 26! It's all the same hurt after the first 10 or so." So does this apply to ultras? "If you can do 50, you can do 100?" Well I found after the first 35 it pretty much WAS all the same hurt. When I got to the mid 40-miles I was shocked that my legs were not only moving, but I was still running! And no, not a little jog-- when I was actually running, I was going at a decent clip! The only issues I ran into were heat, lack of salt, and a little lack of energy-- all of which can be fixed with a little more ultra experience and finding what supplements/aid/food works best for me. So, reason #1 to try for a 100-miler...

1) I can handle the pain. I've felt the hurt and... I've run through it!

I'm under the strange belief that I can be half dead on the side of the road and somehow the mind is strong enough to will the body to keep moving. Maybe I SHOULD try out a 100-miler to prove to myself that I'm NOT super woman or a robot like mel says. Orrrr... maybe I'm proving to myself that nothing is impossible.

2) To do the "impossible"

Running is an automatic topic of conversation for people once they find out exactly how much I do. I'm a little hesitant to tell new people about it because, well... they tend to judge! MOST people are very nice about it but some like to lecture me on how "bad is must be" for me... Really?? And your sitting on the couch in front of the tv every night is some sort of health conscious activity? Some even tell me it's stupid. Some say it is BOUND to take years off my life. Well at least I did something with the years I had... what did you do?

3) Because other people CAN'T! Being stubborn enough to push through pain and finish is something not a lot of people can do. I happen to have a talent for stubborn!

As Phil pointed out in my comments, I've qualified for Western States- 100 lottery with my time. The time requirement isn't anything crazy, but it definitely caught my eye. If you don't know, Western States is one of the oldest and most well known trail ultras in the world. The race is in June, which would work well into my schedule, 3 months following my (knock on wood) hopeful completion of the 50-states. 

4) Because I've qualified!

If you haven't heard of Badwater, it's been called THE most challenging endurance race in the world and the 2010 running is going on RIGHT NOW! 135 miles in the desert heat of Death Valley and up Mt. Whitney. This race isn't a lottery, but a selection process for only 90 people-- and it also happens to be one of my lifetime goals! Nobody knows EXACTLY what you need to be selected, but running Western States (above) is something almost all the accepted runners have done...

5) To be able to Run on the Sun!

So am I thinking about running a 100 miler?... what do you think?? I'll throw my name in for WS next year and hopefully *fingers crossed* get in. If you get rejected twice, however, you automatically get into the 3rd or 4th year of applying. Until then, 1 goal at a time... 50 states! Currently I'm at 35 states completed and this weekends 50-miler brought me up to 38 marathons/ultras completed to date. What's next? Well as soon as my legs start functioning properly, I'm doing the University of Okoboji Marathon this weekend! No, it's not a real University... but I'll give you more details later this week. Until then, lots of icing and leg roller for me!

Happy Running!


  1. WS is tough to get in to, although I have a friend who got in 1st try this year (and finished in under 24 hours!). The training is what stopped me from going from 50 to 100-miles. I don't think I could do 80 to 100 mile weeks (with hills!) for a few months. Badwater is just crazy - it seems very dangerous.

    I would suggest that you sign up for a 100K or a 12-hour race and see how you like it. (The timed races are fun, not nearly as monotonous as you would guess.)

  2. Wow!!! I think it's great that you have the goals, and I think there is nothing wrong with pushing to the limit. Best of luck to you!

  3. So proud of you Steph! I really am inspired! I could tell you were not feeling well half way through the night on Sat, but you were a trooper!

  4. I'm hoping to get into WS next year too. Fingers crossed.

  5. Wow, you are amazing! Such an inspiration. You can totally do anything you set your mind to.

    I remember my first time running 13 miles, I'm pretty sure you commented on my blog saying if I could do 13, I could do 26. And I did! You rock.

  6. I think you are amazing!! So inspiring and while I have no aspirations to ever do an ultra, seeing you do SO many marathons and adding an ultra into the mix at the same time, tells me that I can absolutely do a marathon!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, your race rundowns and your humor too :)

  7. I'm so with you. I'd LOVE TO DO THIS!!!!!

  8. Love your attitude! I say go for it.

  9. Given that you wouldn't be doing it until next year you would have plenty of time to prepare and focus on such a big challenge.

    I agree that there is a kind of person (you and I seem to be amoung them) who simply almost enjoy pushing through pain/difficulty. That is why I always offer help to "downed" runners 3x before running on - I know that drive sometimes out weighs logic. All that being said, you know what you are capable of. It is a big jump for 50 to 100 maybe you could do some more 50s and some 70s as you prepare? Whatever path you take to get there I know you will do it!

  10. Wow! What a challenge! You sound determined--keep it up!

  11. I think if anyone can do a 100 miler, it's you! You certainly have the determination and drive!

  12. You should do it....why not? Go get that 100 miler in....take pride in being stubborn...go do it!!!

  13. I LOVE all your new dreams and goals!!! I have no doubt you will KILL them all.

  14. Congrats on the 50.
    You should definitely make the jump to 100.
    You can do it for sure
    It really is a very different animal from the 50. WS is a really tough race so if you are thinking of doing it awesome but try to get a fall or spring 100 first so you can get any training/racing adjustments figured out.