I’m not saying running fast isn’t fun. What I’m talking about is are you a competitive runner or someone who just runs for the joy of running? The idea of getting into ultrarunning to be fast is a little strange to me. I know there are fast runners out there who can finish one hundred miles in eighteen hours and sometimes less. Those runners are incredible and just fun to watch. They make it look so easy. I’ll never be that fast, but that’s okay with me because I didn’t get into ultrarunning to be fast.
Despite these pure reasons to get into the sport, we all want to know finish times and all the split times. How much time did we spend in each aid station? How much did we slow down after mile seventy-five? Were we able to pick it back up? Is there any consistent pattern in our races?
It’s all fine and good to want to track these things and to improve your times and compete with other runners. However, the risk I see if it’s all about the numbers for you, is it’s no longer fun. The joy of being free and tromping through the woods is lost.
Training should be fun too. Of course, you are going to have hard days, but if you have more hard days with no motivation and you are dreading your runs, it’s time to take a long look at why you are running a particular race and if you need to adjust your mindset.
I got into it to be on the trails and to challenge myself. I believe that most ultrarunners get into the sport to explore nature and spent time on the trails. I choose my races because of where they are. I want to see new places and I want to see them in a way that others don’t get to see them. I also go back out to the same races I did the year before to improve my time, but I never lose sight of the freedom and joy trail running brings me.
Never lose the joy of running. If you do, running is just a job, which is just about the saddest thing I have ever heard. Ultrarunning is a horrible paying job anyway.