Ultra – /ˈəltrə/ – (noun) – Any footrace greater than 26.2 miles.
Insanity – /inˈsanədē/ – (noun) – Having the desire to do an ultra after the age of 50.
In 2008, I became a runner. I gutted it out, day to day, while still maintaining a solid drinking regime. I was 38 at the time. In retrospect I have no idea how it was possible to drink 8-12 beers in an evening, then get up at 5am and knock out 5-10 miles. Nor do I understand why anybody would want to do that. I spent the better part of 6 years ( less some time for knee surgery ) doing this routine. In 2014 I started a new business and it became my all consuming activity. I haven’t run consistently since then.
My motivation in 2008 was Dean Karnazes book, Ultramarathon Man From the beginning I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I made it as far as several half-marathons with my horrible booze laden routine. I knew if I wanted to be better, something had to give, but I just wasn’t ready to give up my beer. Through the years I’ve listened to Rich Roll, David Clark, Mishka Shubaly and a host of others who have put aside their issues with substances and become the runners that I wanted to be, for some reason it just didn’t sink in. A couple of weeks ago Daivd Clark died, and for whatever reason, it put everything back into motion for me.
In April I turned 50, I think that coupled with the passing of David has made me realize that my window may be closing to become the runner that I’ve always wanted to be. What happened to David made it clear that it can all go away in the blink of an eye. That guy really was superman and all it took was a somewhat routine surgery to put out his light. I currently can barely run to the end of the street without stopping, but I’ve been here before. I’m not sure how long it will take me to run that first ultra but I intend to live as if I’ve already done it, meaning, I’m going to believe each day that I’m already an ultra runner and live the way I would if that were true. I hope that doesn’t annoy any real runners that may happen upon this site 🙂