Ultrarunning is as much about mental endurance and toughness as it is physical, if not more.
Saturday was one of those days where you have a great long run scheduled but nothing goes according to plan. Had to go into work for a few hours in the morning, and late-evening obligations became afternoon obligations due to weather. I had barely enough time to squeeze in a medium-length run.
Physically I felt like crap and mentally I felt worse. The past week at work had drained me and an irregular diet during the week had me feeling bloated and gross.
As many excuses as I could make not to run I forced myself out onto the trail. The bad day continued about 1. 5 miles into the run when mother nature called for number 2. I thought I could make it to the restroom at the local running store which was a mile up ahead but I was wrong. I had to bail into the trees for a bathroom emergency. As runners, we all know how awful it is to have this happen on trail, especially without toilet paper. I wanted to turn around and go back home but I will myself onward.
Eventually I got into a rhythm and was able to maintain that pace for the next 8 miles. As I got closer to the finish the more and more I wanted to quit. I read somewhere on Instagram this week “The will to quit is never greater than just before the finish.” I’m ashamed to admit it, but if my car was near me I would have quit.
With no choice but to continue, I persevered to a 12-mile finish at 8:30 pace, and I felt lucky to make that. It’s days like these that really test the dedication of a runner. I wanted a rest day but didn’t deserve one.
I wanted to walk but didn’t give up.
I didn’t run far, I didn’t run fast, and it wasn’t fun but I got it done.
And now I’m even more motivated to crush Sunday’s run. I want to wake up early I want to get a good long run in and feel accomplished afterwards.
So here’s to everyone that’s ever felt like I did today, and here’s to hoping you crush your tomorrow.