My friend Crystal, over at Muscles and Miles, posted the question “How you do it IT…!? How do you run the crazy long miles..!?”
It wasn’t an easy question to answer because sometimes I wonder myself, “how do I do it.”
Before I can answer the how, I guess I should answer the why! Why do I run crazy long distances. I should also clarify that currently for me, crazy long distances equals 50k. I won’t be breaking into anything longer until next year when I am signed up for my first 100 miler. Yes, you read that right, I am signed up for Infinitus, put on my the Endurance Society, which if you remember, I ran last year, racking up 34 miles.
Back to my why. It’s so simple and yet so complex.
A. Why not?
A. Because I can.
A. Because to pick a goal, a thing beyond my current reach, to work towards that goal, to get stronger, to get healthier, to see what I am capable of, to know what I am capable of, to have to dig deep when I reach the darkest parts of my mind, to have to remember to slow down to navigate and continue and to speed up when the opportunity arises, to be in surroundings that take my breath away, to push when my mind when it wants me to quit, reminds me who I am.
So how do I do it?
Left foot, right food, repeat to the fiinish. One foot in front of the other until I reach the goal in front of me. This often gets broken down into making it to the end of the lap, to the next water station, to the top of the hill, to the next tree, just 5 steps, in whatever increments I need.
I check in with my body and evaluate the pain and hurt. Am I pushing injury? No? Keep going. Are things starting to look fuzzy and wobbly? Time to eat sugar and drink water.
When my mind is telling me no more, I tell myself, yes more.
In the end, if the training is there, and I can keep my mind right, I can do anything. Sometimes I want it more than others. Sometimes I have to think of others who can no longer do what I am doing and would give anything to do it, sometimes I have to think of others who can no longer do it because they are no longer here in the physical sense and I am doing it in their memory and honor. Sometimes I just have to pull on pure stubborness. If you know me, you know just how stubborn I can be!
I also rely on friends to support me! I am not in this sport alone. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of this crazy and amazing community.