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Everyone has reasons why they run, some run for fun, some for weight loss, others run for competition and the list goes on and on; ultra-running is no It will Hurtdifferent. I always liked to run but not for any real distance, so to speak. I would go out and run 1-3 miles and felt that this was a pretty good distance. I used to be in to bodybuilding and I would use running as a way to slim down for the summer. One year I decided to do an adventure race with some friends thinking that it would be fun to train for something like this and use the running as a weight loss tactic. The adventure race at that time was made up of four people, coed. We had three guys and one lady on our team. One of the guys was a triathlon competitor and had done this particular race before; he served as our coach. We would go on training runs with him. He explained that we needed to be able to run a minimum of 10 miles for this race. The race was broke up into four sections over a day long period, (run/ride/canoe/orienteering). You never knew how long or in what order you would do each of these events, not until you showed up the day of the race; basically you had to be ready for anything. I trained both on my mountain bike and ran on trails since this race was held in the Mark Twain National Forest. Our coach/teammate pushed us to run as much as possible. I really did not know how to train honestly I just ran as much as I thought was necessary. My longest run before the race was 8 miles; I thought to myself that if I could run 8 miles by myself I could run an additional 2 miles if needed, with my team.

Everyone has reasons why they run, some run for fun, some for weight loss, others run for competition and the list goes on and on; ultra-running is It will Hurtno different. I always liked to run but not for any real distance, so to speak. I would go out and run 1-3 miles and felt that this was a pretty good distance. I used to be in to bodybuilding and I would use running as a way to slim down for the summer. One year I decided to do an adventure race with some friends thinking that it would be fun to train for something like this and use the running as a weight loss tactic. The adventure race at that time was made up of four people, coed. We had three guys and one lady on our team. One of the guys was a triathlon competitor and had done this particular race before; he served as our coach. We would go on training runs with him. He explained that we needed to be able to run a minimum of 10 miles for this race. The race was broke up into four sections over a day long period, (run/ride/canoe/orienteering). You never knew how long or in what order you would do each of these events, not until you showed up the day of the race; basically you had to be ready for anything. I trained both on my mountain bike and ran on trails since this race was held in the Mark Twain National Forest. Our coach/teammate pushed us to run as much as possible. I really did not know how to train honestly I just ran as much as I thought was necessary. My longest run before the race was 8 miles; I thought to myself that if I could run 8 miles by myself I could run an additional 2 miles if needed, with my team.


We showed up for the race and looked at what the day had in store for us; sure enough we had a 10 mile trail run right off the bat. The run came and I completed it with not too much difficulty. It was at this time I wondered if I could go further. That year I started running on more of a regular basis and signed up for a half marathon in March of the next year. I ran the half and didn’t think that was that hard so I decided to run a full marathon that October (2005).
At that time I thought that a marathon was an insane distance to cover on your own two feet but I thought why not, all it can do is cripple me or make me stronger. I tackle training like everything else in my life, 100% full speed ahead. I got books to learn how to train and read as much as time allowed me. This is when I stumbled onto a book wrote by an ultra-runner Dean Karnazes. The book was Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner. I began to read his book and thought; no way someone can run 100 miles....no way. However as time passed I started to think, I may not be able to go that far BUT I might just have to try. I suppressed this thought and decided what I needed was to complete a marathon first then worry about going further, if it was even possible. As I trained for this race I noticed that I really enjoyed my long runs even though I did actually “bonk” for the first time doing a 15 mile run. If you have never bonked you need to know that it feels like you have the flu instantly. At the time it happened I was in St. Louis at my sister’s house visiting. The route was very hilly and I did not have a cell phone on me, so I did what I had to, I walked home, which took me an extra hour to do. After I got over that and figured out that I needed to eat during my long runs things got much better.
October finally rolled around and I felt like I was ready for this super long run. The weather was around 45 degrees, perfect for a long run. I was well rested and the course was flat as a pancake. I had been training on hills, not just because I love hill work but because I live in the Ozarks, all you have are hills. This marathon if you have never ran it is one of the, if not the largest in the US; at that time there were around 40,000 runners. The race gun shot and off we went. The energy was amazing, there wasn’t one spot were there wasn’t a spectator standing there cheering you on, this sort of thing can pick you up and keep you moving. Because of that I pushed myself really hard. I completed this race and thought, “I will never run another marathon again”. My lungs and legs hurt. But as we all know time heals all wounds and just a month after the race I decided to try my hand at a 50 miler in Texas.

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