Why am I running Western States 100 mile endurance run? The short answer? I've been brainwashed by the ultra running gods. The long answer? It’s a new challenge for me…and I need a challenge to stay focused…to stay motivated. I’ve run several marathons, including Boston, London, Sacramento, San Antonio, Napa, even St. George as a bandit/pacer. But the marathon experience – for me anyway – has gotten a little stale.
I run to gain fitness, to push my body, and also to gain peace in an otherwise chaotic world. Marathons certainly do this, but to keep it real, I needed something different. In 2006 me and an ultra running friend trained for and ran the Helen Klein 50 miler, a relatively flat race along the American River in the Sacramento area. We had a great experience in what was my first official “ultra”. I liked the 50 mile race so much I did it again in 2007. This was a big motivator for me to run something longer, and Western States was waiting.
What I’m learning about running ultra’s is that eating, hydrating, taking electrolytes, and running within yourself is critical to getting to the finish line. When you are on your feet for 7 to 30 hours, you simply have to keep your body fed. And you have to train it to be fed, in not so ideal conditions. I’ve never run 100 miles before, but I’m looking forward to the challenge – both physical and mental.