Tag Archives: ultra marathon

Things to Keep in Mind When Dating/Married to/Friend of/Parent to an Ultra & Trail Runner

  1. When we say we “need” to go for a run, we mean it. Whether it’s for sanity’s or training’s sake, we literally need to go run. After we get that run in, we’ll stop talking about it . . . until the next day. In that same vein, we may sometimes complain about HAVING to go for a run. Yes, we know we could technically “not go” . . . wait, actually no, we have to go. If we don’t, it’ll pick at us all day, everything will remind us of the fact we didn’t go, and we’ll be cranky and miserable because of it.
  2. However long we say we’ll be gone on a run, it’s safe to add AT LEAST an hour or two. Sometimes, we fail to take into consideration travel time, bonk time, refueling time, or “we felt good so we just kept going” time.
  3. Grocery bills will increase along with our training. And yes, we are eating AGAIN.
  4. Friday nights are usually more tame than any other night of the week BECAUSE Saturday morning alarms for long runs are usually much earlier than week day alarms for work.
  5. Vacation time is still running time.
  6. We may accidentally leave wet shoes, dirty clothes,  or sweaty hydration packs in our car from time to time which means it may smell like a dead body in there from time to time. We’ll also come home smelling like ass, covered in sweat, mud, and God knows what else. We promise we’ll take a shower and get back to our normal, sexy selves as soon as we peel ourselves up off the floor.
  7. We think about running . . . a lot. We follow obscure races and geek out over runners you’ve never heard of before. This only intensifies when we get around our ultra/trail running friends. Eventually, we will talk about other things; be patient with us.
  8. Ultrasignup can be a more dangerous website than Ashley Madison. If you see us on there, rein us in. We could easily sign up for 10 races in 10 different states at any given time if left to our own devices.
  9. We, at some point, will likely (literally) fall victim to our sport. We may twist an ankle, bruise/skin knees, pass out, need IVs, or piss blood. Yes, we know we brought this on ourselves. Still, listen to us talk about it again and again, tell us what bad asses we are, and try to spare us a lecture (until at least maybe the wounds and urethras are healed). We also realize you’re only concerned about us and appreciate and love you for it.
  10. We love our sport, and we love you. We also understand that you, more than likely, are not obsessed with what we do (or at least to the degree we are). And that’s ok. However, nothing makes us happier than when you show an interest (even if feigned) or want to crew/support/spectate/talk running. That being said, it’s not always expected. We know we’re weirdos and are thankful you love us in spite of it.
Gratuitous Jenn and Tony pic

Gratuitous Jenn and Tony pic-photo cred: luis escobar

Ultra Marathon of Life

Being stuck in life is a terrible feeling. To feel like you’re going nowhere, whether it’s in a relationship, a career, lost out on a run, etc. is incredibly difficult and can be hard to overcome. Sometimes though you don’t even know you’re stuck until you find something that makes you feel so happy and so alive, and you don’t know how you’ve lived without all of these years.

Last summer, I fell into this latter category.  I joined a trail training program hosted by a local running store.   I didn’t know I was stuck until I set foot on the trails for my first ever trail run.  From that moment, I was OBSESSED.  I everything I said and did centered around trail running.  Since then, I have logged hundreds (maybe a thousand) miles on the trails, run at least 7 trail races, and loved every minute of it.  In a couple of weeks, I’m running a stage race in Chattanooga. What’s a stage race you ask? 3 days. 60 miles. 3 mountains.  My legs hurt just thinking about it, and I CANNOT wait.  After the race is over (and after a few rest days, a couple of beers, and lots of food), I will begin training for my first ULTRA marathon, StumpJump  50K.  That’s the primary focus of this blog– documenting the thrills and horrors that will certainly accompany training for this endeavor.  I’m not sure if anyone will read this or if anyone will get anything out of it.  I just want to document it, if nothing for posterity’s sake, because I owe so much to trail running which has “unstuck” me and enabled me to tackle the greatest, and hardest, ultra marathon of them all– LIFE.