I am now just a few short weeks away from the Rock and Roll half marathon and my training has taken on a new type of focus, a drive from my inner being to accomplish the unthinkable. I have crazy ideas in my head. Ideas that were planted by the book “Ultra Marathon Man”. I want to run 30 miles on my birthday, January 13, 2008. This is the day that I will turn 30 years old and I cannot think of a better way to deal with this milestone age than this. I do not like the idea of turning 30, in fact I hate it, but as occupants of this earth we can do nothing to stop aging and eventually death. These things only answer to God. Hopefully we can just slow it down and believe in the idea that you are only as old as you feel.
The crazy ideas do not stop at running 30 miles on my birthday, but that is just the beginning. Some people aspire to run the Boston Marathon, and I too would love the experience, but my heart yearns for adventure and a pure test of the human spirit. I believe that this lies in the Ultra Marathon. An Ultra is defined as any distance over 26.2 miles. This distance not achievable without precise training and planning. This is the ultimate test of the human spirit and will.
I have a goal to complete the Laurel Highlands ultra marathon. This even occurs on June 14, 2008 and is held on the Laurel Highlands Hiking trial. The trail is 70 miles long and has many harsh ascents and descents. As a youth in Boy Scouts I hiked almost all the trail in pieces, and last year I completed all but a 3 mile section, so I am familiar with the trail and terrain. With 11 months to train I believe that I can accomplish my goal in a timely manner. Where there is a will there is a way.
My number one challenge will be staying motivated, motivated to rise before the sun to train, to push on when it hurts, and to make time for all this running. I cannot lose track of my roots and strength train and lift, as it is very important to me to not lose muscle mass in the process. I think I have finally found something athletic that I may be able to accelerate in. Only time will tell. I take much comfort in knowing that most elite ultra endurance athletes are in there 30’s and 40’s. Some have not even started training until there 30’s. I know that I still have time to do it.