Now what? I don’t know. Run some more I guess.
I started running at the end of summer 2016. I always have been running since a boy, but it was all for fun. I had no real training. I just put on the pair of shoes and ran around my neighborhood. I had couple friends who were runners but we never ran together.
I remembered I could run ‘forever’ exploring my neighborhood. I didn’t do it consistently but I know I run maybe once or twice a week. For half hour to an hour. At that time there was no internet, so I was not smart enough to look up a running plan or join races/clubs.
Oh, during my freshman year in college I did join a running club, but we were really informal thinking back. I don’t remember we ever organized any races or doing a race together. I only showed up to the club whenever I can and run. Usually the distance of 2-3 miles.
It was not until 2016, I started to be ‘serious’ on my running. Serious means I was consistently running. Pretty soon, I started signing up for local races because it was the most fun thing to be together with other runners. You feel the hypes and energy. We run and be timed. There is usually a race once a month.
I had a goal to run a marathon by the following year. Now with the internet, it was no problem to pull a plan and started following.
The race was not hard. Though I remember the first few marathons, I couldn’t walk afterward. Sometimes I would be cramping.
Years flew by. I had a goal to do all fifty states because that what I read other people did. I got into more clubs like the MarathonManiacs!
Two years ago, while running the Roanoke Marathon – I met a few people who ran it back to back (doing two marathons in a day). At that time, it was unimagineable for me to do something like that.
Never say never, somehow a spark started in me. A marathon distance was not enough. I wanted more. That year I did some 50k and a 50 miler. That year, 2019, I was really popping off. Yes, it was more from a spark a runner, Jen, in my local club set in me.
Last year, during the pandemic, almost all social gatherings were grounded to a halt. No more races and no more social runs. I then signed up for a 635 mile virtual run across the Tennessee over a four month time.
It gave me the confident to attempt running a 100 mile. I have no idea what let me to do that, but it was almost a natural progression. Real ultras are measured by the 100 mile as a standard (at least that what I believe). I believe all ultra people I came across talk about running the hundred. It is another bar higher than the 50k and 50 miler people.
I attempted it twice last summer, one in July and one in August, both ended in failure, which made me even more to want to run it until I did it.
Rocky Raccoon was not my first choice. My first choice was Umstead 100 since I read about this as being a beginner ultra. However, I was not able to get a spot. A lady on my running team said she is doing the Rocky Raccoon. After some researching, it was a good fit.
Here I am six months later. I did it.
So now what? One and done is not my thing. I love the Ultra distance and definitely will seek out other 100 milers to run. Now there is no longer the psychological barrier that a 100 miler can’t be done.
For the rest of this year, I have a few races I signed up. There is the Grayson Highlands 50 in May, then the Laurel Highlands 70 in June. I might be trying to get a spot in the Devil’s Dog 100 in December.
As for marathons, I am tempted to go to Eau Claire, WI in September or Lake Front at Milwaukee in October. Hopefully Richmond Marathon will be in-person this November.
Edit to add: I just rechecked my calendar, apparently I signed up another 100, Rim to River 100, before going to the Rocky Raccoon, I totally don’t remember doing so. Something to train for till the end of the year. Now I remember why I signed up – I told myself at that time, better sign up or once I’ve done with Rocky Raccoon, I would be too scared to do another 100 so soon. Indeed, that was a great foresight!