Fitness Magazine

Running Through the Mind of an Ultrarunner

By Ajwbowen
I was chatting with a neighbour discussing the troubles we’ve both had with Telstra, our phone company, and that I had managed to last 14 hours on the phone to them before I lost my calm (the issue has now almost been resolved after 20 hours).  He said that it’s because of my running that I kept my cool for as long as I did. He used to run himself and since he hung up his trainers he’s noticed his patience and tolerance had really dropped off.
I hadn’t really noticed any major change in my personality since I started running ultramarathons, but as with most gradual things you don’t really notice the changes while you’re living through them. His comments were running through my head as I was running through the bush the other day and I reflected on the changes in my life since I started running long.  It was then that I realised that my family and I have been, and to some degree are still, going through a really stressful patch. I shan’t bore you with the details, but if you look at a list of the top 10 most stressful things to do, we’ve ticked a lot of boxes!
Running through the mind of an UltrarunnerPersonally my approach to these has been very much one of acceptance, and moving on, rather than too much dwelling on the past and regrets. I believe that going out running for 2-3 hours has given me a perspective on things without an emotional fog to get in the way. Don’t get me wrong I’m no saint and not everything rolls off my back, but the small stuff is just that and the big stuff is there to be dealt with.  Without the regular endorphin hit and the mental release of my training I could easily see myself suffering with a dose of depression. It’s well known that exercise is a prescribed treatment for depression and something you can get for free and it’s legal! The beauty is that it is as effective, if not more so, than prescribed drugs as a treatment.
I then thought about all the well known ultra runners, and interviews I have seen of them to see if there were any common personality traits. There isn’t a single one I could think of that you would describe as depressive or at the other end of the scale being hyperactive – simply put from an emotional perspective they are all (and excuse the pun) middle of the road with a positive outlook. I’m not saying they weren’t like this before they started running, but there certainly seems to be a pattern.

Running through the mind of an Ultrarunner

Middle of the road!


Maybe it is this balanced viewpoint that makes an ultrarunner understand that we are not running against each other, but instead against ourselves. We are trying to find our own boundaries so that we can then to stretch them a little further.  And because ultras are such a personal challenge with no fixed performance rules from one person to the next, that as ultrarunners we are almost unique in the competitive sporting world that we gladly share all our knowledge, experience and tips. In fact we are usually eager to tell anyone who’ll listen anything that we find helps improve our performance so that we can stretch those boundaries a little further. The thing is these ideas may not work for everyone, but that doesn’t matter because we are all on the same team trying to beat our (often self imposed) limits. 
At the end of the day we are all winners in our own ways, even if you DNF, just toeing the start line to an ultra is one heck of an achievement.
Congratulations to all of you who have!
Run Happy (endorphins included!)


Andy
***Please support my 33 Marathons Challenge***
“You only ever grow as a human being if you are outside your comfort zone” – Percy Ceruttywww.ultrarunning.com.au

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread

    Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread

    Who doesn't love cinnamon rolls? Not many people I would assert. I saw this recipe for a Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread on Pinch of Yum a while back and had... Read more

    14 hours, 38 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • $500 Weekend Blowout

    Well a month ago our $1,000 post was very successful, a number of sales took place and it brought about members engaging with one another to get some deals... Read more

    16 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Worldwide
    BUSINESS, TECH
  • Proliferation of Hate and Intolerance

    Proliferation Hate Intolerance

    Paul Brass provides a wealth of ethnographic and historical evidence on the causes of Hindu-Muslim violence in India in The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence... Read more

    17 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Dlittle30
    SOCIETY
  • Unpacked Book Trailer

    Unpacked Book Trailer

    Introducing…The Unpacked Book Trailer!!Back in December, my friend and filmmaker Andrew MacCormack and I got to together for a chat at my cottage in Stanley... Read more

    17 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Moduffycobb
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Currently....

    Currently....

    Happy Friday folks bitches! Time and Place: 4:24 p.m. At my computer in my home office looking at my dog and counting down 36 minutes until happy hour. Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Brisdon
    ATHLETICS, FITNESS
  • ETSY MIX of the Week

    ETSY Week

    1 | Hoop earrings are making a comeback. These solid ones with the v shaped cutout are very pretty (umya, $56.89) 2 | A gorgeous birch wood plate to serve and... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2017 – Day Five – The Finish Line

    Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2017 Five Finish Line

    MARCUS SCOTNEY AND CAROL MORGAN WIN THE BERGHAUS DRAGON'S BACK RACE 2017 Marcus Scotney put aside injury concerns to lead from the front on the final day and wi... Read more

    The 26 May 2017 by   Abichal
    OTHER SPORTS, OUTDOORS