One of my first trail runs out of college.

A few weeks ago, I got this angst. This itch to do something more with myself. I’m not sure why but I have always felt like my personal self improvements foundation has always been with exercise and physical fitness. When I don’t exercise, I get anxious, depressed and feel like I have no purpose in life.

I got this crazy idea to do a 100 mile ultra marathon. I went to ultrasignup.com and saw there is a 100 mile race in Oregon at the end of April called the Tillamook Burn.

A 100 mile race in Oregon? I’m from Chicago. We have no hills/mountains for training not to mention I’ve never done anything remotely close to this level of difficulty. This race is a 100 miles with about 20,000 feet of climbing. The hardest race I’ve done was 50 miles with about 8,000 feet of climbing. Now I’m going to double that?

I’m a believer that doing something physically challenging is one of the best ways to learn about yourself. When you grind yourself down to a fine powder you start to learn who you really are at the subconscious level. I remember during one of my GoRuck Heavy’s where I was cold/wet and miserable, my subconscious started to think of all sorts of messed up ways to get out of this event without straight up quitting.

“Roll your ankle.”

“You’re too cold. You have hypothermia.”

The brain starts to think of all sorts of ways to survive when it believes you’re in danger. You’re not endanger, you’re just pushing yourself into unknown territory.

The brain hates unknown territory. It will take the devil you know vs the devil you don’t know every day of the week. The only way to know the devil that is unknown is to confront it.

How Am I Going To Train For This

Right now, I’m not in ultra shape by any means. I probably could get through a marathon but I haven’t gone on a run longer than 10 miles in about 5 months. I need to make sure my body is well balanced and trained in every aspect possible.

Stairs

I live in Chicago so I don’t have hills or mountains to train on. However, I do live in a high rise on the 10th floor so I will start taking the stairs up to my apartment instead of the elevator. Supplement that with actually doing stair workouts as well, I will get my legs used to climbing.

Tempo Runs

One of my biggest things I need to focus on is pushing myself on my runs. Sometimes, I just go out for a run and get into a rhythm and just run and slow down when I feel tired. I need to push myself more and get my legs used to running faster.

More Long Distance Runs

As I have tempo runs in here. I also need to run further. When I do run further I need to push myself harder. I’m not going to make the goal to be too ambitious to run 10 miles at my normal 5K pace but I want it to be a little closer.

I Need To Lose About 20 Lbs

I’m sitting right now at about 190 lbs. That’s too heavy for my joints and muscles to carry for 100 miles. Imagine wearing a 20 lb pack when you run? Now imagine taking it off. That’s kind of how I feel about how much I weigh right now. I simply have too much weight on my body. Losing 1 lb a week is a totally realistic goal if I stick to eating a healthy diet and exercise. I don’t doubt I can do this.

Can I Really Do This?

I will be writing more about my journey through this. This journey won’t be easy. Especially considering I work about 50 hours a week with a demanding job but I do like to set my goal high.

Can I really do this? I’m not sure but I won’t know until I try. One of the things I missed most during COVID was all the events that were canceled. This is time for me to get back in it and set the goals high. I’m going to give this a try because nothing is more satisfying than setting a goal for yourself and finishing it.