They say you are a runner if you get outside and run. Speed and distance don’t matter. How many times have you uttered the words, “I’m not a runner.” It took me three years before I finally admitted belonging to the running world. I should have claimed the honor before that.
Ultrarunning is a lot different. They don’t call you an ultrarunner just because you like run in the hills.
It isn’t until you run at least a 50k you enter the ultra-status. A 50k is five miles more than a marathon or 31 miles. I decided two years ago I wanted to run a 50k. Not to be called an ultrarunner, but because I wanted to see if I could do it.
If you have followed my ultrarunning journey, you know I have signed up for three 50k races and didn’t see the start line on any of them. The first two were due to surgery, and then injury for starting training where I left off before surgery. The last one was canceled due to Covid-19.
While I was depressed and sick (Don’t think it was coronavirus. But, how would I know, they don’t test unless you have severe symptoms) I saw Aravaipa Running created a virtual race to help support their company and employees, as well as donate money to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. I signed up without really thinking. I wanted to get my 50k in, and that was my pure stubbornness talking!
I worked hard for training and I was bummed when I wasn’t going to get my chance to test my determination. And, even though I barely trained the month before my virtual race, I set out to get it done.
Last Saturday, I ran my 50k. It was self-supported, meaning there were no aid stations along the way. I parked in the middle of my course and was able to stop at my vehicle at 17.3 miles for a good stretch and to restock my hydration pack. My performance left a lot to be desired, but…I ran 31.1 miles. You can call me an ultrarunner now!
I learned so much from this day about running, racing, fueling, and myself. The next few weeks I will be sharing what I learned, what I used on my run, and what I plan to do next.
If you consider picking up running or ultra-running, I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to network and become a part of your support team.
Let’s get running….6’ apart of course!