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 :

  • A Heartfelt Letter to My First Child - I Miss Those Times Too

    Heartfelt Letter First Child Miss Those Times

    For those of us who chose to have more than one kid, have you ever thought of how life would be if you had only one? You would have so much more time for... Read more

    14 hours, 42 minutes ago by   A Happy Mum
    FAMILY, SELF EXPRESSION
  • This is How to Put Together a Fabulous Outfit In Minutes

    This Together Fabulous Outfit Minutes

    Putting together a stylish outfit everyday doesn't have to be tricky. In fact I've come up with a simple formula that you can use over and over for all... Read more

    14 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Imogenl
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Cream Scones (Anneka Manning)

    Cream Scones (Anneka Manning)

    version;It was the end of a typical school day as the kids were streaming out from their classes..."Hi Sweetie!""Mum, we baked scones at school today.""Sounds... Read more

    15 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Zoebakeforhappykids
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Blind Fear

    I write a lot about Love, about Justice, about Intuition- about all the essential things that see without seeing. I think a lot about blind spots, about the... Read more

    The 19 July 2017 by   Rarasaur
    CREATIVITY, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 – Daily Updates – Day 31 – Alan Young

    Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 Daily Updates Alan Young

    Latest news, Multiday News, Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2017 - Daily Updates - Day 31 Daily Diary Tuesday 18th July -... Read more

    The 19 July 2017 by   Abichal
    OTHER SPORTS, OUTDOORS
  • Review: Hir (Steppenwolf Theatre)

    Review: (Steppenwolf Theatre)

    In Mac's kitchen-sink drama, the meek shall inherit the earth Review by Catey Sullivan Early on in Taylor Mac's Hir , the playwright offers up a monologue... Read more

    The 19 July 2017 by   Chicagotheaterbeat
    CULTURE, THEATRE & OPERA
  • How to Find a Foundation Repair Company

    Do you own a house? If this is the case, you might eventually encounter some problems with your home’s foundation. These problems can become very serious if the... Read more

    The 19 July 2017 by   Peppertan
    FAMILY, HOME