8 Ultras, 819.518K was the tally last year!
That is 509 miles and 396 yards in 8 races last year! That is an average of 100k (62 miles) each race! To think, the year before this I struggled to finish a 1/2 marathon and a 25k trail race!
It all started with my wife’s insistence I join her good friend and cycling instructor Tripp Doherty for a 5 mile trail run every Tuesday morning. I always loved running trails and had no idea such good running trails were so close to my doorstep. The rest was actually the easy part!
After an Ultra trail race here and there as well as a few timed events, (which were a 12hr race and then 3-24hr races with an average 105 miles in each 24 hour race) I realized that timed events are what I do best. It is here I believe one truly has to have great mental strength. Which in turn makes my competing in these events so much fun.
Most timed events are done on short loops of 1/2 mile to 1 mile for each loop. How does one handle the mental stress of each loop.. where each completed loop is another opportunity to quit??? To mention nothing about what the body may be screaming at you.
I do not know about others but for me each loop gives me more and more strength. Each loop is another mile or lap.. and it encourages me to do another, then another.. it rapidly becomes fun as each lap begins to pile up. With each lap the “short time” is forgotten and before long you have many. many miles put into your race and now it’s the “long time.” Each lap becomes a metronome and you enter a state of comforting repetition zen. One more lap is always an option and never so difficult that you don’t want to complete the next one. or the next one!
I do not do as much trail or road races anymore. To me those kind of race are when you run to experience your environment and escape the mind.. that so want to quit when it begins to be tough. The roads and trail races also offer the accomplishment of getting from A to B and the satisfaction we get from such an accomplishment.
For me, the timed event is when I want to run entirely within, as I do not need nor want the external to distract nor motivate me. Pure and simple.. I have no where to go, no where to get to.. pure and simple.. I want to see how many miles I can rack up in my allowed time.
Where does this leave me for this new year with this new profound attitude of extending your mind/body beyond all previous conceived notions??
Multi-Day racing!! In just 2 short weeks I will be running a 6 Day Race in Queens named appropriately enough the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 6 Day Race. where I will have to do multiple ultras each day on an 1 mile course! I want to take that running entirely within and carry it on for days to see how I can do it!
Since so much time and effort would go into all this running I thought I would find a charity to run for! As an Art Therapist and Instructor for Autistic and Developmental Disabilities students (children and adults) I will be dedicating my 6 Day Race to: “Racing for Autism Art Awareness!” I will have a dedicated webpage on my website.. just for selling great art work for support of these artist and charity that benefit these fields!
With these new races and charity it is just another way to expand the mental toughness, not only within me.. but anyone and everyone around me.
Michael Korol just finished a 6 day race on Tuesday in the 6 Day Transcendence race in Queens, that he dedicated to Autism Awareness month and the Arts… with 337 miles, 8th place! Way to go Michael!