An ultra runner's life
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Ultra runners don't just like to run - they need to run. It doesn't matter if they're on vacation, recovering from a race, or juggling a hectic life schedule. They run. I've heard from Shan that if he goes more than 2 days without running he will suffer flu-like symptoms, like withdrawal, a physical illness. When I'm feeling under the weather, the most popular advice is to get outside and get moving. In our house, running is a cure-all - it's the easiest, most obvious treatment for most ailments. Running gets us outside, it gets us moving, it gives us sunlight and fresh air. Running helps us feel better. Whether we're sad, happy, exhausted, anxious, excited, or low on energy, running fixes things. Running is a healthy addiction.
Running is so ingrained in our life that it's become a means to an end. If we need to get a part for the RV or pick up a prescription, there's no need to look for car keys. All we need is running shoes (and sometimes a backpack). More often than not, whether it's a packy run or a grocery-getter, Shan is on it. I do join him on errands sometimes, and absolutely love that three-birds-one-stone feeling: we check off something from our to-do list, we spend time together, and we get to run while doing it. We even ran down to Town Hall to get our marriage license, which was fitting, of course, since Shan proposed to me at mile 2960 of his run on the East Coast Greenway. Can it get any better than that?
We do straight-up training runs too. Sometimes we run close to home on a tour of cul-de-sacs which optimizes our mileage while keeping us off busy roads. Other times we venture onto trails at the nearby state parks which bring rocky terrain (my favorite) and scenic overlooks of Lake Zoar. Our house sits at the top of a very hilly neighborhood so we are guaranteed a good workout since anytime we go out for a run there is only one way home - up.
It's a good thing we've got this running thing worked out because we have some big goals for 2023. I'm shooting for my first 50-mile race, and Shan is aiming for a last-man-standing title at a Backyard Ultra. Even though I will be spending a lot of time in running shoes, the bike and trailer will be on call for our next big adventure.