My “Why” Behind Ultrarunning.

So I was watching this awesome Billy Yang documentary about THE WHY…why many runners venture off into the amazing sport of ultrarunning. It’s actually a great video and I am posting it here so you should take some time out of your day and watch it if you have not seen it.

I thought today I’d provide you with a few reasons why I personally love BEYOND the 26.2 distance. As I embark on my 2nd 100 mile race this winter I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my experiences thus far with ultras (50 mile race recap is here if you need to catch up!) and why I love them so. So, here are a few reasons in random order.

I think you have to have to TICK a certain way to really enjoy running ultras. You have to kind of enjoy being in your own head for hours at a time. I don’t think everybody is good at that. I am really good at just entertaining myself for hours. And not only that, I really like breaking the run up in my head. To me, 50 miles is usually not 50 miles. It’s either 10 miles 5 times, 2 – 25 mile runs, or a 50k with a few more miles tacked on there. You feel me. All of it tends to add up really quick.

I have an introverted side. A private side, if you will. I really like to be alone a lot of times. Don’t get me wrong I do love the company of others. But I grew up as an only child and grew up playing with my barbies alone and creating scenarios in my head. Running ultras really puts you in this place…this zone…and makes you think about a LOT of stuff. I love that part. It is a self discovery if you will.

Pushing the limit is where it’s at. To me, running 26.2 miles used to be pushing the limit. It still is, if you run it fast enough. But I really enjoy breaking my body down and running until I don’t think I can run anymore. You can always do more than you think. I think this translates to life as well.

I have an addictive personality. This is something that is genetic for me. I am thankful I can channel that addictive, adrenaline type of energy into running. It is a healthy addiction for me. It gives my life a routine, a structure I can stick with. And one that makes me a happier and healthier person.

I love the euphoria of it all. That RUNNER’S high. That feeling after a 20+ mile run. I even like the feeling after running 100 miles. And just feeling totally drained and knowing you completed this incredible feat. All of it is amazing to me. I get excited just thinking about it.

So there…now you have some of my whys. And…perhaps you can understand my crazy just a little bit more.

What are some of your WHYs behind ultrarunning? Or, just running in general?

17 thoughts on “My “Why” Behind Ultrarunning.

  1. All of the above! Plus , as a SAHM of six, I really love the sense of accomplishment I get from completing races. I’m much younger than you, 53, so I’m already in the slowing down stage of running, but I still enjoy being out there for long periods of time on the trail and in my head. People are amazed that I can run 50 miles without music! I think it’s awesome that you found ultras at a young age and I hope you enjoy a long ultra career. There are so many great races and people out there to discover! 🙂

  2. Well said! The biggest one for me is pushing your body to what you think your limit might be, and then the runner’s high you get when you keep going past that point. I use to have thoughts of going beyond 50 miles but I don’t know if that’s for me anymore. Time will tell! I wish that I had an addictive personality when it came to running but I am the WORST trainer in the whole world. I’ve never been able to see a training plan through 100%.

  3. I’ve never done an ultra and I really enjoyed that film about why people run ultras. It is really inspiring, even if I never run a 100 mile race it gets the motivation to keep running because of all the great things that grow from challenging yourself with running.

    Maybe one day.

  4. I can’t wait until I can do these super long races! I am similar: an introvert and love being alone (even though I grew up with 3 younger sisters, lol). I’m also always amazed when people say running is “boring,” because how could being with your thoughts be boring? I love being alone and just being able to… think.

    • Love that!! I thought all people with siblings were just super outgoing all the time LOL but I could see how being the oldest would be different. I like to think of myself as a ambivert mostly but I need time alone to recharge.

  5. I found so much strength in other aspects of my life because I have tested my mental and physical strength in running. One learns a lot about themselves when they feel broken but still manage to get through it.

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