The 50 mile Question

‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it’

My husband sent me this quote last week. Its apt for this week. As I face my biggest ultra challenge so far over the South Downs.

I have a couple of confessions to make. Firstly I have never actually run 50 miles, 45 a couple of times, 48 in training once, but not 50. The furthest I have ‘raced’ is 43 and a bit. Secondly I am scared. 

I am scared of the pain post 30miles, of the final couple of climbs, of going off too hard and blowing up like an idiot. I am scared of feeling crap at mile 11 and knowing what is ahead. I’m scared of letting people down, of having a bad day, or something just going wrong. I am scared of the not knowing.

Many times this week I will ask myself why am I going to do this and so many times during the race I know I will ask myself why am I doing this? This hurts too much, I could just stop now, I never want to run another step, that’s it I’m quitting. 

This time last year I quit just after Southease. No excuses I was just hating it. I was freezing, knackered and could see no point in taking another step.  I just took my number off and starting walking to meet my husband. I cried all the way home, I cried the next day and I sulked for a long time. I was so annoyed and disappointed in myself. Why had I really stopped? Yes I was super tired, blah blah blah, but I wasn’t about to die or be eaten by wolves or anything nearly that exciting. I just didn’t have a plan. I hadn’t thought it through and had underestimated the challenge. And the quitting hurt a lot more than carrying on for another 17 miles. But perhaps, just perhaps if I hadn’t quit it wouldn’t have ignited the dreams I have now. 

I will stand on that start line for round 2 of SDW50. Its me, myself and I against those 50 miles. I couldn’t care less the time I do it in, to win would be nice, but most of all I want to run strong and well. I want the hard hard training Ive done to reflect my performance and the believe others have put in me. I want to embrace the pain, deal with it and carry on. I want to push my body harder than most ‘normal’ peoples limitations. And why? Because I don’t want to lie on my death bed knowing I  hid from a challenge because I was scared of failure. Life would be so much easier if I just stayed at home looking after the kids, going from soft play to coffee shop to garden centre. But I wouldn’t be me and that is not a quality I want my children to learn. I want them to always push their boundaries and question their limits. And so Im not really scared because there is nothing to be scared of. Believe in yourself, like others do, will be written on my hands. 

So whatever happens on Saturday, I’ve dreamt it, I’ve committed to it and now I just need a little of magic. 


Comments ( 2 )

  • swcastlife says:

    The only real barrier is ourselves…. you and I both know you can `complete` 50 miles… what remains unanswered is can you `compete` over 50 miles… that is where the fun and fear interplay make the journey exciting and worthwhile… tactically the old adage `pace kills` might be worth reflecting on… the Tarahumara are so absorbed in the process of chasing the ball that the pace element is subsumed and they are in a mind space where the running becomes a side issue… if i were taking part the ball would be to finish… whatever ball you select just check that it helps rather than hinders then own it… I will be thinking of you if my cosmic energy can make an impact you cant fail!

  • Debs M-C says:

    Magic? Nah, you just need a little bit of Eddie 🙂 My money's on the yellow jersey lady. x

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