This was my 30th marathon or ultra since I started running. I have had one DNF during those 30 races. Each race is always unique in it’s interpersonal experience. Each time I learn something new and useful for my life even if I don’t hit my “number” goal. Which brings me to reason for this post………my most profound lessons of this Across The Years 24 Hour Race.
- I am finding as I get along in my running life, that the “number” (finish time, distance, etc) may not be the most important part of the race at all. Sure it gives me a goal to work and train toward but is the number the thing that brings me the most lasting benefit? For me, I don’t think so. I am working toward a most powerful and awesome paradigm shift where the goal of the race is more for me to get what I needed from the race rather than achieving a certain finish time or distance. I have decided I want running to be a tool FOR my life, not my ENTIRE life. This is cool to me because I can never lose and I can always make sure that I improve MY LIFE instead of just my running.
- After seeing so many people at the race hobbling around at the start of the race as though they had just finished the race (you know what I am talking about if you run these), I have decided I NEVER want that for my life. I like to run and run long but I don’t want to be older walking like I do when I am at 60 miles. I realized that I want a more well rounded fitness and vibrancy and seeking the numbers of the ultra game are not of the most importance for me. I want a vibrant peppy step, a good range of motion, and over all fluidity to my stride and self.
- I also learned that making these ultra’s or marathons a part of an overall family vacation and fun time makes them much more meaningful. It also brings gladness and joy to the family seeing all the awesome runners out there doing their best which inadvertently seeps into the family’s hearts to inspire them. It also brings me closer to them knowing how much they love me and prove it by sitting in the cold night of a 24 hour race not only encouraging me but the other runners as well. How cool is that, that I can do something that mostly brings out the best in all of us DURING a vacation!!!!!!!!
- I realized that this is totally a fringe group of society, which is kinda cool but at the same time it is WAAAAAY smaller than us who do the events think it is. Nobody cares about these races LOL. Not one of the many MANY people I mentioned the race to had ever heard of it and many lived only miles from the world class event. This put it all in perspective for me which really was a catalyst for much of my paradigm shift. These events have to be done for me/you, of course there is praise from family and friends but mostly they think it’s insane. Heck even my running coach thinks its crazy. That is why I want to start focusing on my inner world and personal growth while using these races as a tool as apposed to an end.
Testing myself with these runs is amazing every time, and I think with my new perspective they will only become a more truly useful friend in my life rather than my life itself.
If you want a more “heady” exposition of the personal growth aspects of the race go to my personal growth blog.