Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"One step beyond...."

This morning I headed to the gym to turn an easy 3 miler on the treadmill as part of my split day - tonight I meet with my track group. Running an easy 3 miler doesn't require me to fully wake up before starting, so I'm not the most cognitive or aware of my surroundings that early - especially when it's snowy outside. I tend to move in a little bubble of haze.

So I hop on the treadmill and start getting ready to run when a voice calls, "Hey Kevin!" - it was Katie, a friend of mine and Paige's who was near the end of a similar type workout (she has track tonight too - with a different group). We just chatted for a bit while she finished her 5 miler. I don't run very often with other people, so it's a nice change and it made my first mile go by quickly.

Katie is an ultra-marathoner. For those of you that don't know what that is - it's someone that runs races that are longer than a marathon. Like 2x, 3x, 4x (you get the picture) longer. She's run the Leadville 100 and just finished a very fast Rocky Raccoon 100. She routinely runs 100+ mile weeks which include 'back-to-back' long runs - for example she just ran two 20 mile runs this past weekend.

How do I know all these specifics? Because I follow her blog (and you can too). She's at:
                                             http://runlongkatie.wordpress.com/

You should check out her blog. I always like following folks that are 'ultra' at anything. Whether it's running long distances, competing at a professional level, or adventure racing. It's amazing to me what the human body is capable of. Paige and I have talked that it must be built into your DNA to be an 'ultra' - but while I suspect that might help, I've surmised from reading Katie's blog that it's 90%+ hard work and dedication. In short - she's been running a long time and runs a lot - and I'm sure there are times when the last thing she wants to do is run. But she does.

She's pointed out what an inspiration it's been for her kids, and I think to have a parent like that has to drive home the point in a teenager of what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it, and how important hard work and commitment are in reaching your goals in life. IMHO - There are few life lessons as important.

I have no intention of ever becoming an 'ultra' marathoner. But I really enjoy following her training and reading about what it's like to run the Leadville 100. Paige and I like huddling around in the kitchen, drinking our morning coffee and and following her daughter's postings on her mom's progress in the Rocky Raccoon. I think you would too!


Oh yeah - the reason for the title of this post. So I was thinking on the way to work what that must be like to pass that 75 mile mark on a lonely trail and still have another 'marathon' to run to finish. I imagine it's like the very early hours of the morning, and your mind is playing all sorts of tricks on you. Synapses are cross-firing creating all sorts of associative 'chatter' where one thought bleeds into another and another... Do you remember that 'Madness' video of the song 'One Step Beyond' that features that goofy guy just bellowing the phrase in some ominous, reverb induced hallucinatory setting? Yeah - that's what I think I'd see floating over the trail... that scene from the video.. over, and over, and over again......

Anyway - shout-out to Katie and her blog. Definitely check it out. And good luck to her in her next ultra - the Collegiate Peaks 50 miler on May 7th!

1 comment:

runlongkatie said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. Going to track tonight?