At work much like the scene out of Forrest Gump I was asked an innocent question.
How long will you run these long distances, these ultra marathon races?
My first response was simple…”As long as I can.” Then I paused to think about my reply. After a few moments of reflection I restated my answer.
I’ll continue to run….
As Long As I Have The Desire and Ability - The desire to run long distance might just be the most important element that keeps me heading out the door. Without desire it’s hard to run any distance, let alone marathon (26.2 miles) or ultra marathon (longer than 26.2 mile) distances. I truly have a desire in my soul to run (pause for effect), run really long distances/races. When the desire departs, I’ll find something else to do.
There will come a day when my old bones, tendons, muscles and cartilage will tell me its time to hang up the running shoes. Right up to that time I’ll keep on running. Say what you will but I have seen no ill effects from the nearly 17 years I’ve been running. Until the body gives out…
It might come down to a scene like the one played out in Dances with Wolves, where Dunbar and Timmons come across an old wagon and a set of bones. The only difference may be in the dialogue.
To quote Timmons’: “Someone back East wonders why don’t he finish this Ultra.”
Until then, until Timmons and I meet up, I’ll keep on running.
As long As I feel Like I’m Adding Value - I understand in the context of the Running World I’m no one. I do average around 2,000 viewers of my blog per day, I’ve been published a few times, I have a small following on the social media platforms and every once in a while I get recognized at a local race. BUT, I’ll keep running as long as I get that one tweet, that one e-mail, that one handshake that tells me I some how helped someone, get off the couch, log that extra mile and reach that goal.
As Long As The Epic is Still Out There - So much of life is normal, easy and safe. Running has added EPIC and as long as it is out there I’ll run to find it.
Until I Think It’s Crazy - This might be the most vain reason. I’ve worked hard to get to this “status,” maybe that is not the right word. I’ve put in a lot of time to get to a point that I can talk with confidence about running 100 mile races, where finishing a marathon is not a question mark. I train to get faster at distances most people think are crazy…and I’m not ready to give that up. I’ll run until I think it’s crazy too.
So how long will you continue to run?