|Me hamming it up a bit just before crossing the finish line of my first Ultramarathon|
There are a couple of reasons why decided to move on to the ultramarathon distance. The simple and direct reason is that I needed a new challenge. I had tried to improve my marathon PR of 3:14:02 that I set back in 2006 Las Vegas Marathon several times but have always comes up short. The closest I came was 3:17:09 in the 2011 St. George Marathon which is known as a fast course because of its net 2500 ft elevation loss. If running faster wasn't working, why not try running further? The more I thought about it, the more it started to appeal to me. My new mantra became 50 before 50. I wanted to run a 50 mile ultramarathon before I turned 50 years old this year.
As I started training for the event, the new longer distances began to take on a new meaning for me. The longer distances required a different outlook. I was not going to be able to hold the same pace anymore if I want to complete a 30, 35 or 40 mile training run and I was going to be out there for a lot longer time. My longest training run for this event was 34 miles actually which took me 6 hours to complete. My new mantra became "traveling by foot." It seemed a perfectly natural transition as in addition to running longer distances I also started running more trails and into remote places. I ran to the top of Gass peak here in the surrounding mountains of Las Vegas one day. Everyone in Las Vegas has seen Las Vegas, but few people no its name and fewer have been to the top of it. Ultra running has become a vehicle though which I am exploring the exterior limits of my environment and interior limits of who I am and what I can accomplish. Running seems to imply that you are chasing or trying to get away from something. I'm not really doing that anymore. Although it will always be satisfying to cover any certain distance in a smaller amount of time that is not the main goal anymore. Now I am only trying to cover great distances across this wondrous planet with my two God given feet. I am simply traveling by foot.
What will YOU do with your wild, precious life?
Taken from Ted.com
"In the 1970s, Diana Nyad set long-distance swim records that are still unbroken. Thirty years later, at 60, she attempted her longest swim yet, from Cuba to Florida. In this funny, powerful talk at TEDMED, she talks about how to prepare mentally to achieve an extreme dream, and asks: What will YOU do with your wild, precious life? (Recorded at TEDMED 2011, October 2011, in San Diego, California. Duration: 16:58)"
|Gass Peak as seen from North Las Vegas|
|View of Las Vegas from Gass Peak|