Thursday, July 8, 2010

Romanticizing the Run

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm reading Born to Run, which is a fascinating true story of a race organized by a man named Micah True, otherwise known as Caballo Blanco, in the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico.  This is the home to the running people called the Tarahumara.  These are people who run, just for fun, hundreds of miles.  Not only are the Tarahumara involved in this race, but a whole cast of characters of ultramarathoners from the United States that, in my honest opinion, have a screw loose somewhere in their heads (but that's not necessarily a bad thing).  With that being said, I am totally in love with these people.  They are fascinating to me.  I know I could never run a course as treacherous as the Leadville Trail 100 in the Colorado Rockies or the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley... in July, but I am completely enamored by those who do and actually complete them.  

I think why I find the ultramarathoners and Tarahumara so fascinating is the fact that they are so connected to their bodies, but more than that, their mental capacity to keep pushing themselves to the absolute limits is amazing to me.  I feel so wimpy barely running 2.5 miles and whining about the humidity and allergies in Minnesota.  I know a lot of my "stuff" is mental and I'm trying to get beyond that.  I have had great runs where I feel like I could run forever, but lately, something is blocking me.  Excuses: the sun, the humidity, my lung capacity, blah blah blah... they torment me.  I want to be present and in a meditative state when I run and I'm not finding it these days.  Don't get me wrong, I still like being out there, feet to the ground, breath in my lungs, I just wish it would be a bit more magical.  That's where the romance of ultrarunning comes in.  The capacity to even be that present, to have that determination is something I would like to have to even do 5k.

So, runners out there, what are your tricks to get into (and out of) your head when you run?  How do you attain your running nirvana?


  1. It's hard. You have to be in the mood to run, really. I think you should just sign up for a 5K and do it. You never know what you're capable of until try. Personally, I found after I did my first 5K this year, it made me want to run more. And so what if you have to stop and walk a little, keep going!

  2. It won't happen until summer is over. I know I won't be able to run the entire thing in 90-100 degree weather.

    And I'm not sure you have to be in the mood to run, either. Many times I haven't felt like it and it was the best thing that I could have done. I honestly find when I'm not as pumped about running, I will have a better time.