Runners dream big. We challenge ourselves daily. We set goals, some are accomplished while others may fall by the wayside. But it’s the challenge of being better today than we were yesterday, that keeps us coming back for more.
How do I find the focus and motivation to clock the mileage daily? How do someone who disliked waking up at 0430 for physical training (PT) in the military end up becoming an ultramarathoner? Well, it all started with a question? “Would anyone like to join me in training for a marathon?” -Lieutenant Jones
I’ll never forget standing in formation at the shock of the question. Then by me raising my hand. What was I thinking? Four months of training leading into the Spirit of Survival Marathon; Lawton, Oklahoma. The course is an out and back on rolling hills, surrounded by natures finest. The race runs through the prairie in the Wichita Mt. Wildlife Refuge of longhorn cattle and buffalos. For 26.2 miles it rained and I was miserable. I swore when I collapsed in my battle buddy arms, never again.
Never Say Never!!
Years later I moved to Fort Bragg, NC. Forgot all about my terrible first marathon experience. I became a member of The Fayetteville Running Club, Team RWB, and Wear Blue Run to Rember. I started with 5k’s, 10k’s, 15k’s onto half and full marathons. Then 12 and 24-hour races. To my amazement, June 2017, I did it.
What you ask??
Before I talk about the glory, let us talk about the before grind.
Months and miles of accomplishments and failures. You never truly know what the body is capable of until you truly begin to test its limits. That’s exactly what I did. Every day I trained. If I wasn’t sweating, I wasn’t training. If I wasn’t exhausted at the end of the day, I wasn’t training. If I wasn’t walking like a ‘robot’, I hadn’t trained hard enough. My race schedule on a month-to-month basis had even scared myself at one point. But if you don’t have goals, then you’ll never challenge yourself. Every day I challenged myself.
My goal, Boogie 50 miler.
Hard work pays off.
The day started with me picking up my friend Lena, who came from out of town to also run her first 50-mile race. The one hour drive to the race, we went down memory lane on how all this came to be. The one constant was our friend, Veronica. A woman that is a friend and mentor to so many in the trail and ultra running community. We’ve both known her since 2011, living in North Carolina. Before I began running trails, I would always hear my friends talking about her accomplishments. Currently, she is training for Vol State 500k road race, July 2018. 314 miles from Missouri to Kentucky and finish atop Sand Mountain in Northeast Georgia.
She has taught me everything I know about trail and ultra running. From how to fuel during a race. That it’s ok to walk the hills. My love for Hoka’s. No matter how tired and sore you are. The day after, recovery run, you will thank yourself later.
June 2017, I ran my first 50-mile race. At the start line, I was nervous and full of butterflies. But I knew I belonged alongside my friends. They cheered me on. They supported me. They motivated me. They pushed me when I wanted to quit. When all said and done, I crossed the finish line in 13:23:14.
Next race, Boogie 50 miler
June 9th, 2018