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.
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)?