Going the distance

Life is like a long distance run. Most of the time you're looking forward, but occasionally you look back at what you've covered… You know there will be obstacles throughout the journey - but deep down, you know you can handle anything that comes your way. Most importantly... you keep putting one foot in front of the other and let 'NOTHING' stand in your way!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

100 miles! Why?

Reading a post this morning on

Brought up some question in my own mind on why. I guess I have been trying to express this for a while but this post brought out the feeling and emotions I had in my head.

Zach Adams wrote this in his Epic Ultra blog post:
"I wanted more of that elusive feeling of accomplishment that I got after crossing the finish the first time…I was like a crackhead trying to recapture the feeling of his first high."

He nailed it.

This is my story. My Why?

My first marathon in 2009 I crossed the finish line in 4:20 and change, completely spent. From mile 26 to that .2 seemed longer than the entire race I had just ran. As a 39 year old man I felt myself loosing it in the euphoria of what I had just done. Fighting back tears of joy, pain, hunger, cold, thirst. pushing it into the finish line manning it up holding it in as my daughter jumped out of the side gates and grabbed my hand to pace me through the last 50 yards.

As any first timer knows you want to feel like that forever. At that moment you think when can I do this again?

I will never get that moment back again. Trust me. I've tried.

Now I get my joy from pacing first timers into a 4:30 finish, or pushing myself to cross a mountain range and 32 miles. Or keep on my feet for 24 hours. But I have never gotten that feeling back again. I see it on the faces of first time finishers. I am jealous. Maybe by pacing I can get some of that vicariously.

To me finishing that 26.2 will never be the same again. Maybe if I push myself to a faster finish time. But PR's really don't drive me. I'm a mid packer. I have no desire to do Boston. I enjoy the grass roots aspect of running. That's just me. Probably why the Ultra community has such a draw for me.

I did however discover a new high. Last fall I had been toying in my head signing up for my first 100. I had just completed 82 miles in a 24 hour event. And was disappointed I had quit before the 24 hours ended. I let the "What If?" get me. I needed my whats next?

Umstead 100 was opening up registration. On my Saturday morning group run I discussed it with Vince, who told me he was going to do it. This was all it took for me to push me over the edge. I decided to get to work early that day and log onto the website for the race. It had been known to sell out in under 10 min the past years. At noon the registration opened. At 12:01 I had secured my spot. I had 20 min to complete the entry or it would kick me out and give it to some other runner.


I never even discussed this with my wife $150. was allot of money. As I called her to discuss it I started sweating not only from the fear of spending the money but 100 miles AM I FRICKIN NUTS! Epinephrine was pumping, sweat was dripping, my heart was racing. The clock was ticking. I convinced my wife that this was good and my training wouldn't be much more than it was for the 24 hour event. ( Yeah right) She gave me the timid, "If this is what you want to do?" It was enough for me. Credit card in hand, I finished the entry with time to spare. I walked out of my office with a new swagger. I was soaked from sweat and full of confidence. I had just registered for my first 100.

(I thought to myself.) HELL YEAH! I AM A BAD ASS!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Bryan! Good luck on your 100 mile reckoning! I hope you find that feeling you are looking for. I will be trying for it on March 23 when I take my second shot at 100 long lonely miles. Advice from a guy that tried and failed my first time... when you feel bad and want to quit... get some food. Eat. You will feel better. Just keep moving!!!!!