The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why run 100 miles? Or getting psyched for Burning River

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have spent quite a bit of time in the past few days reflecting on why I like running 100 mile ultramarathons. I really have wanted this to be a good post on the eve of Burning River as, after nearly 200 blog posts and raising nearly $12,000, I've decided to take a break from fundraising. While it has been an integral part of my ultrarunning and it is both an important and personal cause, I have only barely had sufficient time to keep the group operating as it warrants. At the same time, I'm still receiving emails and comments from interested runners and getting an average of two-dozen hits per day so I've been hesitant to just let the group disappear and the hard work that we have together put into this fade away. That is why I am happy to announce that Cruz Pitre has agreed to take over management of the Lupus Runners website to keep the movement going and growing. We need to talk about the details still, but some time after Burning River I will redirect the www.lupusrunner.org to a new site. Cruz is adamant runner and been a dedicated member of Lupus Runners this year and I know that he will do a great job as I take a break to focus on other things.

You will, of course, still be able to see what I am up to at my various other websites such as www.brianthesociologist.com and, now that I finally have my hands on a Blackberry, I'm increasingly addicted to Twitter so look for me at www.twitter.com/thomasb7. Also, rest assured, that I will keep running. Which takes me back to the point of this post--why run 100 miles? Since I haven't been able to come up with an eloquent and thoughtful diatribe, I'm resorting to a bulleted list. Here goes.

Why run 100 miles?
  • It's a great way to get people to donate money to an important cause
  • The food at aid stations tastes really good after 50 miles
  • You meet some really great people
  • Because no matter how hard you train you never know what's going to happen
  • A central precept of Buddhism is that life is suffering and the key to happiness is letting that go. Running 100 miles involves suffering, then letting that go, the suffering some more, then letting that go, then you finish.
  • You get to know people really well when you run with them for 12 hours.
  • You get a cool belt-buckle at the end.
  • You get to know yourself really well when you run for 24+ hours.
  • Marathons are way too crowded
  • It requires more patience that any other sport I've participated in
  • I was a really bad wrestler in high school
  • No one ever asks you your time afterward, they just ask "At one time?"
  • It's a great way to spend time hanging out in the woods
  • Training with a jogging stroller is a great way to get a toddler to nap
  • The week before or after a race you don't have to feel guilty about going to a buffet
  • There is definitely an ego driven cool factor
  • Did I mention how good certain food tastes after 50 miles?
  • No one looks at you funny if you walk
  • It's a great time to listen to audio books (entire novels at a time)
  • Dawn looks great after 75 miles
  • Night time is magical when you are in the middle of the woods with nothing but a headlamp
  • Other things in your life feel more possible, and less stressful, afterward
After my first 50k, I almost cried because I was so glad that I actually did it. After my first 50 miles, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction. After my first, and only so far, 100 miler I was so tired I didn't particularly feel anything other than some mild confusion that I did not need to keep running. In fact, rather oddly, after 50 miles I was glad to be done. After 100 miles I was somewhat disappointed that it was over.

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