Tuesday, April 2, 2013

7 Lessons from Our First Ultra: Lesson 7

by Matt Gray

Mile 50 . . . Training for the Next Ultra: Clouds build over the Continental Divide to the East and South, but a brilliant blue fills the sky above me.  I'm climbing a hill on my first real run since the Beyond Limits Ultra just ten days ago. At 9,000 feet in Winter Park, Colorado I figured my breathing would be tight, my legs sore, and my body would be questioning why I'm already back out on the move. None of this comes true.  Instead, I feel euphoric.

There's a debate about whether or not the infamous runner's high exists. 
Maybe they can't clinically prove a physiological or mind-altered state; I'm not exactly sure where the debate arises. One thing is certain though, there's an emotional and spiritual high that I find often when running.  The crisp air, the freedom of the hills, the beauty of the landscape . . . at this moment, I'm feeling the runner's high, exploring a part of town I've never before seen, moving my body in a primal dance, and being untethered by anything other than having once again tied my shoelaces too tight.

When I return home, there's no doubt in my mind about what I must do.  I log onto the Golden Gate Canyon Dirty Thirty 50K website, sign-up for the June 1st race I've been eying for the past week, and open my running journal to sketch out my training plan.  And I know that Daniel has recently done the same for this Saturday's Oriflamme 50k in Anza Borrego.

Lesson 7:  As the race name made clear again and again . . . at the end of a 50 mile race, during a fun run out your back door, or just in general day-to-day life, you can always go beyond . . . and you should.

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