So it has been a month since I completed my first ultra and since then I have moved house and started a new job. As a result I haven’t spent much time on the road but I have had time to consider some of the gaines from the Ultra experience. Namely the greater strength that comes from endurance running.
Now I’m not just talking about the physical strength, though there are serious gaines there to be sure. It is the mental strength and self-awareness that is fostered when you head out on long runs along lonely country roads with only your inner voice and the locomotive staccato of your breath for company. As you find yourself pushing your body further and further, quietening the voice that tells you ‘You’ve gone far enough. You can stop. Why are you still out here?’
What I’ve learned from the experience, other than the levels of physical pain I can endure, is that running, like most things, is an act of will and it can prepare you for whatever life throws your way. Endurance running makes you physically and mentally strong and constant.
So I am once again out on those lonely North Karelian roads in the ever fading light of a Finnish August steeling myself with every step. Preparing. For what? Who knows: maybe another ultra; maybe the long Finnish Winter readying to set in; maybe a challenge yet to come. It doesn’t really matter, so long as i’m running.