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!