Walking back into work after a break I was stopped by one of my coworkers. He asked me in a hushed voice “You like to run?” Yeah, I love to run. “How far do you run?” Really far, sometimes. “Like how far?” I don’t know, usually about five to ten miles, with a longer run on Thursdays. “I heard you ran 100 miles.” I laugh and shake my head. No, I haven’t. He takes a half step back. I finish my thought:
I only signed up to run 100 miles. I’m doing it in June.
“100 miles? That’s like four marathons. All at once?”
It doesn’t matter if you’re training for a 100 miler or a 5k, you get incredulous looks. Like you’re doing something crazy and remarkable and super human. Like we, as runners, do anything more than keep putting one foot in front of the other for a long, long time while occasionally peeing in the woods. Like it’s some scary thing to run.
But it is, isn’t it? When I signed up for my first Ultra in 2015 it was almost a year away. The Des Plaines River Trail Races 50 miler might as well have been a race to the moon. At that point I couldn’t run a mile without stopping. What was I thinking? I was thinking that the idea excited me, and, more importantly, it scared the hell out of me. Because sometimes the things that are most worthwhile terrify us. I finished that 50 miler with the help of my beautiful girlfriend and wonderful parents crewing for me. And then…
100k seemed to be the answer I most commonly heard. But I know I can run 100 kilometers. 100 miles? Maybe not. So on January 1st at 11AM I signed up for the Kettle 100. I was the seventh person to register. On June 3rd I will start running and hopefully I won’t stop moving forward until I hit 100 miles. The idea scares the hell out of me. And excites me.
Here’s to running 100 miles. That’s like four marathons.