Being around too many great runners by day and watching ultra documentaries by night has lead me to start investigating things I never would have imagined I would be a couple years ago, running beyond 26.2 aka Ultra Marathons.
Over the past few months I have been a “Digital Champion” for Canadian Running Series for their Toronto Yonge St 10k (#TYS10K) and now this falls Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (#STWM).
This has been an amazing experience to date going to tune up group runs, meeting lots of interesting people on and offline with varied backgrounds and stories that have all lead them to running via one turn of fate or another.
There is however a number of nefarious side effects to this newly invigorated activity in the running community when combined with my own love of reading and watching the stories of other runners as my hobby as well.
These side effects collide together in inspiration that is overwhelming and all consuming. A perfect storm of encouragement and drive to test my own limits while doing something that I already love. To see how far I can take myself before my legs or my mind give out and tell me to stop and tend to my blisters.
Think this is crazy then I dare you to try road racing. I dare you to run a 10k without wondering about if you can do a half marathon. Then wondering about if you can do a full marathon after that. Then while crossing the finish of that full marathon and reflecting on the days achievement, wondering just how much further you could have gone, if even for only a moment.
You will never know unless you try. So try you must right? This means for me headed in to this training season I am adjusting my runs, upping my mileage and testing my fitness, aiming to be capable of running 26.2 and then a few more miles on my shoes. I do this in an effort to see what I am capable and to taste the sweet tang of adrenaline and sweat that I get from pushing myself beyond my comfort zones.
Paul is right and it’s already too late I think
Still think that this is crazy? Then you may just need the same influences I did to really start dreaming about the thrill of running, running far and giving yourself the challenges you need to know your limits. Then to tese those limits, exceed them and create new ones regardless of it being going for your first run, your first marathon or beyond!
As for me, now I will train, test myself and hopefully sooner than later run my first Ultra.
GET INSPIRED THROUGH GREAT SOURCES:
I have to say that these two and this amazing show have been a real push for me to run a little further and as little faster as of late as they document their jounery pushing through all kinds of ultra endurance events around the globe.
Running The Sahara (Movie)
I used to absolutely dread training in even the most moderate of heat until I got an entire new perspective on what heat is watching Charlie Engle (USA), Ray Zahab @RayZahab (Canada), and Kevin Lin (Taiwan) run the entire Sahara desert to the red sea over the course of 111 or 4,300 miles.
Spirit of the Marathon (Movie)
An amazing, moving and inspiring movie showing the varied stories of the marathon and the people that run it.
Born To Run (Book)
This book has changed the perspective of runners and non runners alike, I strongly recommend it as a great read and introduction to the amazing things humans are actually designed to do but have lost touch with over the years.
Amazing Runners Online
The latest round of Canadian Running Series Digital Champions has been feeding the “You Can Do It” side of things for me over the past few months. Even as one of them it is inspiring to see other vocal runners stories of training, challenges and triumphs drive them forward to push themselves to a first marathon, 21st marathon or marathoning in addition to triathlons and ultras this is a great and friendly group of runners to follow!
More Great Runners
Some I know, some I just stalk from the shadows of the internet!