Pre-Ultra Marathon Musings

It’s less than two days until my next running adventure begins—a 12-hour trail run in a national park. In all honesty, I don’t even know how to feel right now about this upcoming venture. Before big races I usually have a mixture of excitement and nervousness. But this one I’m unsure what to think! Friends keep asking me what my mileage goal will be, but since I’ve never run an ultra in my life I’m not racing for a personal best.  The race itself is a 6.5 mile figure-8 (sort of) loop, so if we were to do the math (and if I was running at a 4-hour marathon pace) I’d be on target to do 78 miles which we know would be absolutely insane AND unattainable!  The top male winner last year didn’t even reach that distance.  So no…I am not setting a goal.  What will be will be…

trailOthers (most) just think I’m plain crazy. Maybe true!  My mom told me the other day, “Honey, just remember you have nothing to prove to anyone!” Believe me, I know all these things, but there is clearly something in my genetic makeup that has always pushed me to my outer limits.  And while I’m not a big risk taker—never sky dived or bungee jumped—I do find myself from time to time jumping head-first into an adventure without fully thinking through all the details first.

So case in point, I’m on the verge of pushing my body further than it’s ever been pushed. If nothing else, I’m telling myself that Saturday is just another day at the park—a really long day at that! As long as I can stay upright for 12 hours I will be happy.  No problem, right?  I’m simply going to be out there to take it all—to experience a day in the ultra-runners’ world, to enjoy God’s gift of nature, to be quiet in my thoughts and to encourage the other runners around me. Piece of cake…I’ve got this! national-park-photonps-boundary

As I anticipate the day ahead, some of my goals are to a.) stay injury-free, b.) have fun and c.) forge new connections with others who are just as crazy. I’m sure when all is said and done it will be so much more than that!


Here are some shots from a few training mornings at the park as I celebrated the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary this summer.

Happy Trails!


About mileoneandcounting

I'm a young professional living in the Washington, DC area. Since moving here in 2007 I have honed a passion for running and fitness. Growing up I played soccer and softball (and tested track & field for one year). After college I ran a few 5K races, but running was really only a means to staying in shape for me. Never in my wildest imagination had I thought I'd ever run a marathon, let alone three. Nor did I think I'd get the running bug after doing so, but I'll admit I'm hooked! Over the years my blog has grown into so much more than a running blog though. Sometimes I have deep thoughts. Other times I'm simply sharing a training story or a review of a product. Here's the place where you'll learn about me through my many adventures--even I enjoy going back to re-read some posts from time to time. I've also been able to hone my love for health and wellness through my business called IDLife which stands for Individually Designed Life. I'd love to help inspire you to live your best life yet so please don't hesitate to reach out to me and may my words resonate with you. See you on the trails...
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