It’s hard to “run” 100 miles. I say “run” because most everyone walks more than they run at this distance. I do anyway. I finished one hundo at the 2009 Iron Horse in Florida. I didn’t see that run as being this tough, but I’ve recently been reminded that it really is.
Yep, another DNF (Did not finish) at the Bartram 100 Miler in Milledgeville, GA. I started vomiting and having other stomach issues around mile 27. That quickly lead to the “what am I doing here” thoughts and before I knew it, I was back in the car making the lonely four hour drive back home. Walking / Hobbling another 70 miles just didn’t seem like something I wanted to do.
Could I have stuck around and finished under the 32 hour cutoff? Maybe, who knows? I wasn’t willing to find out and it obviously didn’t mean that much to me. I had never been happier to be leaving a race early.
My previous Pinhoti 100 mile DNF really bothered me, but this one didn’t in the least. As a matter of fact, I felt better than I had in a long time as far as running goes.
I relate to some Poe writings – this one hits home after Bartram…
A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed—
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
I’m burnt out with long ultras. I’ve ran nearly 30 of them in the last 18 months. My body & mind are confused and beat down. I had to get real and face the facts on the drive home over the weekend. I’ve been battling back and forth with this for a few months now, but it came full circle two days ago after the DNF.
I love the people associated with the runs and the energy around the events, but my mind and body have had enough. Am I finished running? Of course not! However, it is time to change gears and do some different stuff.
Another mental aspect of the long ultras is being away from my wife and kids for entire weekends at a time. I feel selfish doing this once every 4-6 weeks and I’m not going to do it anymore.
I can get out and run a 50K or shorter runs in the morning and be home by early afternoon or sooner in most cases. So going into the future I’m sticking to these type of runs for now.
Will I run more 100 milers, 100Ks , 50 milers? Of course! However, they will be special events that I have trained properly for. Physically & Mentally.
With that being said, I’m super excited about running The Seashore 50K in Virginia Beach, VA this Saturday! It will be my brother-in-law’s 1st ultra and I have a feeling that he is going to rip it up! I ran a 6:00:12 last year which was a 50K record for me. I want to beat that on Saturday.
One last note. It’s not all about me! I gotta throw a BIG congratulation out to my running bro. Charles R. for finishing his first 100 miler at Bartram! GREAT RUN! Congrats also to Beth M., Kena, Psyche, Lane, Ashley, and several others. There are lots of incredible folks in this sport including The Georgia Snail himself Thomas who faithfully waited and helped lots of runners finish last weekend.
Hope to see you out there soon……….