Ultramarathon Man

I think a bit of post-marathon funk has set in. The glory has mostly faded, save for the smile that I can’t help whenever I think of crossing the finish line. I don’t have a big goal outside of work to focus on right now. I’m not trying to lose weight or train for a big race.

So I’m trying to stick to my marathon workout schedule, since it worked out well for me: running Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and possibly Thursday, cross-training Monday and Wednesday and yoga on Fridays. 

I really didn’t feel like going to the gym tonight, but I did. I did an easy half hour on the elliptical, but the entire time, I was bored and was just thinking about getting home and sitting on the couch. I didn’t feel like cooking, but I threw together some whole wheat spaghetti with steamed broccoli and a crumbled chicken pattie. (Is there a LadyScouts badge for working out and cooking when you don’t want to because you know you should??)

After I ate, I took a nice long bubble bath so I could finish my book. I was reading Ultramarathon Man, which the very sweet Emily sent me after my marathon. Emily has been so incredibly supportive my entire journey, and her e-mails and comments always put a smile on my face. After the marathon, she said she had something to send me, and sent me this book, saying that she’d heard the author talk and thought I might enjoy it.

I couldn’t put this book down! The book is by Dean Karnazes, an ultramarathoner. An ultramarathoner is someone who’s run more than a marathon distance. (Technically, if you go by my Garmin, I ran more than a marathon in Chicago ;)) An ultramarathon ranges anywhere from 50K (31ish miles) to more than 200 miles, and Karnazes has run all of these distance. He’s even run a marathon in Antartica. He runs marathons as training runs. 

The book was as compelling as it was motivating. (Also, Karnazes is pretty hot.) Karnazes has a full-time job, a wife and kids and still finds time to train and run these crazy events. He frequently talks about how running is half mental and half physical, and it’s so true. At some point in a long run, when you’re pushing yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself before, things will start to hurt. It’s when you make that calculated decision that you can get through it—that the finish is more important than the pain—when your heart and your mind take over.

I went to look at Karnazes’ Facebook page, and I found that a girl I’d went to college with liked his page, too. I did a little clicking around, and I found that she runs ultramarathons, too!

My good friend and former coworker Tim used to run the Goofy Challenge (the Disney Marathon and half-marathon in one weekend), and I thought he was crazy. I may never run an ultra-mrathon, but I wouldn’t rule out the Goofy Challenge. I’m definitely already wishing I were running the NYC Marathon or another marathon this fall…

But I signed up today for the last two races I need to get into the NYC Marathon through the 9+1 program next year. I’ll be running:

  • the NYRR 5
  • Race to Deliver (e-mail me if you’re running this one! I’d love to set up a meetup afterwards.)

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