Sunday, February 22, 2015

Because in Texas, Four 100-milers Just isn’t Enough for a Grand Slam (pt 2)

From October 2014 through February 2015 (3 ½ months), I raced 512 miles in just over 100 hours. In addition to that, I ran 670 ‘training’ miles between races. I thought I’d interview myself and let you know a bit about the races, why I did it, how I got ready for it, and how you can do it too. After answering the first question, I decided not to post all of it at once. So I will periodically post new segments. Here is the second question.

2.  Why did you run all those races?

Five years ago (2011), I finished my first 100-miler and it was truly love at first sight. I heard about Cactus Rose and did that one too, telling my wife that “These two races will be more than enough to satisfy me.” Then a few years passed and I heard about the Tejas 300 and just had to add Bandera 100k to the mix. “Now I’ll be just fine.” And I was—for a couple years. Then some new 100-milers started popping up, and I just couldn’t say no to them. Their tractor beams pulled me in like Yogi Bear to a picnic basket. I was mesmerized upon seeing them online and knew that I had to run them all. Not once did I ever think that I couldn’t do it. I was certain from the beginning that I’d be finishing them all. The short recovery time between the races (3-4 weeks max) was also appealing. My freshman year in high school I recall my coach saying to me one day as we were all out running some 7-mile course through town that I was a machine. During a conversation with a great friend from that team I mentioned this, wondering if that coach ever knew what would become of me.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be someone that can win a big race or even run a 14-hour 100-miler, but I do know that I can go out and run like a machine. I’m not gonna ever win the 100m dash or the 10,000m run. I just don’t think I’ll ever put in the time and effort required to be that fast. And I’m ok with that. I like running for enjoyment. I don’t want it to turn into something that hurts me everyday (instead of just during races). What I can do is run long distances with short recovery periods and still run them competitively.

So why did I run them all? Simply because they were there. If more 100-milers popped up and they weren’t an incredible financial burden, I’d do them all. I enjoy them. They make me who I am. I feel like I can accomplish something that most people can’t even fathom of doing themselves (though I think anyone can complete the distance). The races push me to mental and physical limits that I can’t find anywhere else and I feel stronger after completing them. And I’m sure there are tons more reasons why I did this. They’re probably the same reasons you choose to run your 100-mile races.

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