It all started with an orange, drooling cat…
I happened to be meditating one day following a grueling run. Back to that soon. I was training for my first marathon, if you could call that training. Basically, I started running in late September, 2009, while in Miami on a contract job at a free health clinic. I wasn’t free but that is besides the point. I started to run just for fun and as a meditation in itself. I ran on a track that surrounded a park, it being about 1k long, and flat as a wall. I figured it was perfect for the meditation thing, eliminating the distraction of new terrain and surroundings. I would use that running time to try and focus on what I was doing at hand in each moment, be it breathing, sounds, focused ideas, you name it.
Enter the Voice
I would typically run for about 20 minutes, or around 2 miles. That increased to around 30-40 minutes soon after. But one day I decided to go further. I thought to myself “What would happen if I ran for a couple hours”? As I continued past that hour, what then happened was the voice in my head became loud in the midst of my meditation. The further I would go, the more convincing the voice was in getting me to stop. “You are too tired. You will be sore. This is absurd, what are you trying to prove? Your legs are chaffing. You need to go back and eat. You are losing valuable time to get some work done at the house. Your shoes don’t feel right. You are gonna injure yourself going this far”. And it never ceased! But I would continue and listen only, not allowing it to control me. That is, of course, until I actually did injure myself. Over and over again.
The first injury came in the form of Plantar Fasciitis the Great. I find a new fun hobby that challenges my ego and I get this. At first I didn’t know what it was even though the doctors I worked with were willing to suggest. I changed shoes to some very comfy New Balances and after a week it went away. Back on the track, I continued my running, slowly increasing the distance.
To Run With People Or Not To Run With People
One day, as I ran by a couple, I thought that it might be fun to run with alot of people at once. The next thought lead to a marathon. Surely one of those would have alot of people to run with? But a whole marathon? Doesn’t that take all day? Being an ULTRA noob at the running AND race thing, I somehow only thought there were sprint type races and marathons. A marathon? Sounded crazy to me. But then again I was going further every week so maybe it wasn’t so crazy. 26 miles is about 4 times the amount I had ran at that point. I looked up Miami marathons and the ING Miami Marathon came up to be on January 31st, 2010. It was the end of October at that time. I had 3 months. I figured each month I could add 5 miles to my bi-daily routine, and that would be my training. If you call that training. I signed up and paid for the full marathon, not really thinking the half was fine, as well as the 5k. See, the way I saw it then, with little research I figured those were for kids or something. I seriously had no idea there were shorter long distance races.
To my surprise, one of the few people I told my plan to suggested that I run the Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving morning and explained it was for everyone, “not just kids”, with a giggle. So I signed up, ran and had a blast. I went too fast for me at the time, finishing in at 52:06, an 8:26 pace per mile. Still, I made it fine, running with alot of people and learning alot for future races. Although, at the time, I felt as though I had been cheated by paying for the full marathon! I wasn’t one to waste money, and all I wanted to do was run with alot of people. So now that I had done that, I guess doing four times that distance should be easy enough, right? What followed was a series of injuries and difficulties.
From Never Running To An Ultramarathon In A Year
Part 1: It All Started…
Part 2: Injuries!
Part 3: The Wall.
Part 4: The Marathon
Part 5: Putting On My New Feet
Part 6: The Alligator That Smiled At Me
Part 7: The Book That Plants
Part 8: First Barefoot Race
Part 9: Running Forever in the Park
Part 10: The Short Race Report
Part 11: Kansas City, Gonna Get My Baby Back Home
Part 12: The Return of the Long Lost Runs (no toilet humor please)
Part 13: Dorothy, We Are In Kansas Anymore
Part 14: Worn
Part 15: Valet = Achilles Tendinitis = No more running this year, well…
Part 16: Marathon Decisions: Screw It
Part 17: 9.5 Months After Losing Da Shoes: The Kansas City Marathon
Part 18: ULTRANESSSAUCISM: