“The only limits are those we place on ourselves; and it is possible to overcome those limits to achieve more than we ever thought possible.”
– Chrissy Wellington
Okay. I’m gonna do it.
Me. The girl who almost died doing my first marathon back in November? Remember her?
Well, that dummy just signed up for Another Dam 50K.
No, really, that’s the name of it. Another Dam 50K. See?
Save yourselves the trouble of asking because, trust me – I beat you to to it. I’ve asked myself the very same thing. Many times. And you know what? I have the answer to it too. I finally figured it out.
The answer is this:
I have no idea.
Yep. That’s it. That’s the answer. No idea.
Why do I run? I don’t know. Why did I start running? I don’t know. Why is each added distance just not quite enough to make me happy? Eh.
I don’t know.
I really don’t. Am I crazy? Maybe. Well….probably. [But I’m not sure that has anything to do with running…] Am I a sucker for punishment? For pain? Well, no. I don’t think so anyway. So, what the heck am I doing?
Maybe that’s just it. Maybe there is no rational answer at all.
There’s nothing rational about pushing your body to the limit. Am I ever going to have to run 26.2 miles or more in my life? Ever? I think I can safely say that the answer to that is no. So, physically and rationally, there is no reason for me to learn to go that distance.
Oh man. Emotionally…there’s every reason in the world for me to learn to go the distance, so to speak. As a military brat, I am the Queen of Temporary. Nothing ever lasts. Homes, relationships, friendships, etc… it all used to be temporary to me. New starts? Now, I was always good at those. But finishes? Ha! Let’s just say that going the distance wasn’t one of my strong suits. In a life where all was temporary, why learn permanence? Why stick with anything?
Running is something that I’ve found that I don’t want to quit. I don’t. Sure, I get frustrated now and then. I get injured temporarily. I get tired. But each and every single time, I get right back up and start moving again. I found something that I just can’t stop doing. No matter how much life tries to throw at me to keep me from it, I always manage to find my way back.
“I ran, and kept running, because I had learned that once you started something you didn’t quit, because in life, much like in an ultramarathon, you have to keep pressing forward… I ran because overcoming the difficulties of an ultramarathon reminded me that I could overcome the difficulties of life, that overcoming difficulties was life.”
– Scott Jurek, ultramarathoner
Distance running has made me a better person. It has taught me how to make up my mind about something, and stick with it. It has taught me that sometimes working through the pain is worth it because of what lies on the other side. It has taught me that I’m tough. That I’m strong.
That I’m a finisher.
So, why do I want to run a 50K now? Well, how about that? Maybe I do know after all.
Because I can.
50K. 31.07 miles. June 6, 2015. Let’s do this.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
-T. S. Eliot