Many of the women in my book club are runners, and several are marathoners. They gave me great advice and encouragement as I started distance running. The only thing surprising about the fact that we just read Born to Run together is that we didn’t do it sooner.
I loved that even the non-runners enjoyed the book and abstracted principles for their own lives. Like them, I found that the book inspired me beyond just running…I’ve actually made some lifestyle changes as a result, especially in eating, which deserves its own post.
If you’d asked me two and a half years ago if I thought I’d ever run a marathon (26.2 miles), I would have said, “No way. I hate running.” Then I started training for a half marathon in 2009. After my first, I trained for a second. THEN I knew I wanted to run a full marathon. Somewhere in the middle of my marathon training last summer, I began to fancy the idea of someday running an ultramarathon. Finishing the Newport Marathon last October cemented my desire to someday run an ultra.
(I thought it would have to be later in life when my children are older, and I can devote proper time to training, but reading about Emily Baer, who finished Hardrock 8th overall WHILE NURSING HER SON AT THE AID STATIONS, has caused me to challenge that notion.)
Anyway, the idea of running an ultra is out of the ordinary and more than a little daunting. But a paragraph in Born to Run convinced me that I have what it takes to finish an ultra:
(Takes place at mile 60 of the Leadville 100) …as Ken watched Juan and Martimano exit the firehouse, he was struck by something else: when they hit the dirt ramp, they hit it laughing. “Everybody else walks that hill,” Chlouber thought, as Juan and Martimano churned up the slope like kids playing… page 90
And a spark of joy and excitement ignited in my chest as I remembered my Newport race pictures, because I’m smiling in almost every single one.
I heard one of the race photographers, well after the halfway point, remark to her coworker, “There’s one of those smilers again.” And I grinned and gave the camera a thumbs up.
That’s how I know I’ll run an ultramarathon. Because it will be fun.
What “hard” thing do you do, just for the love of it?
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