Why Ultra?

During today’s easy 50 minute recovery run, while listening to the waves and being blown around by wind, I reflected over the question why I feel such an attraction towards running an ultra.

In the end I came to the conclusion that it’s not so much about the event itself. In contrast to other runners, I don’t have a specific dream race or event I want to be doing. Surely there are some stunning events out there, but that isn’t what attracts me to the idea of running for hours on end. For me it is about problem solving. To reach a state where I can be at the start line of an event that covers more than 50k and honestly think I’m capable of finishing so I am proud of myself, that is my dream. I’m fascinated by all the challenges (aka problems) I have encountered and solved so far and I am looking forward to many more challenges.

It’s simple things really … but it seems like a never ending pool of possible challenges. Taking care of my feet for example. Until one year ago, I would have never thought about topics like “pedicure” or thoughts about the right type of socks. Or take today’s run. During those 50 minutes, I had wind blown at me from the weirdest angles and there was rain. I had to stay dry, manage heat and heart rate. All those little things keep me in the moment during my run. There is constantly something I can work on and improve – which is what I love. I can work on increasing my stride rate aka cadence, my breathing, my stride length, relaxing my arms.

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To get me to the point where I am now, running 6-7 hours per week, has taught me so much about myself. Even if I never get to the start line, I am sure there are loads of amazing challenges awaiting me on the way there and loads of puzzles to solve.

What attracts you to running for long (no matter what long is)?

 

23 Comments

    1. It’s really surprising how far one gets with little steps each day and consistency. I really want to see how I can incorporate that into the rest of my life. Took me long enough to figure out!

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  1. I like the idea of a long run for the absolute ‘zone out’ I get… but saying that, the Madeira aisland Ulta is what inspired me to start running… so it will always be in my heart even if I have to walk it one day x
    You keep going poppie… admirable inspiring journey!
    😘

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      1. Oh pops you SO have a deal!!!!
        No ways I’m not!!!! Lol! Have you seen how fast Annie FLIES… I mean walks…. 5km/38mins…. Phwoarrrrr!!!! *bows to Anniebabes*
        I don’t think I walk fast yet… getting better but hopefully I will be running soon again and then back to MAF runs… LOVE them!
        So miss my running :(…

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      2. *lol* well, i just walked to the physio with the intention of running back… but OMG the roads are so slippery i just walked back…
        Yeh i think we should call her SuperAnnie! *winks* at Anniebabes!

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  2. You’ve come so far, indeed. It’s almost spiritual, isn’t it.

    Did you get rid of your like button? I saw your retweet this morning re: Dublin. Do you think you’ll ever attempt it? Like, if I attempt it, are you going to attempt it with me? πŸ˜€ (kind of gives you butterflies just thinking about it, doesn’t it… it does me, lol)

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    1. I would do it if you come over. It’s a huge mass of people, but with you it would be so much fun. I re-tweeted it for you 😊
      I should be able to run a marathon at some point … it comes before the ultra.

      I don’t think I got rid of my like button! Oh what did my website do to me this time …

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  3. If I’m outside I like scenery. Last winter, running the lamp lit streets after dark I enjoyed looking at things like the raindrops or leaves fluttering in the light. Sometimes just the challenge of ‘just accepting’ the lashing wind or rain was enough to add a sense of challenge/achievement! Now I’m indoors I’m enjoying music😊

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  4. Running is a huge stress reliever for me. I love it. Now that the days are shorter, I’m running in the dark quite often. I’m working on my cadence right now, and I’m finding that it’s a lot easier to concentrate on things in the dark. I would love to get a team together and do a Ragnar one day. It looks like a lot of fun.

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  5. Ive been asking myself this question since I saw the post and still don’t have an answer other than “to see if I can” not sure thats a reason to run over 30 miles but at least I’ll answer it. Perhaps I dont want to one day say “I wish” or “what if” so do it now while I can. Great post =)

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