Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The perils of ultra running....

This made me laugh.

Saturday's run reminded me of some of the things that make ultra running so unique and enjoyable. The joy of stopping for a number 2 in the fresh air, miles from anywhere, and then witnessing the shock on the faces of the two old ramblers who had just come round the corner to find a runner in mid squat. Or stopping for a quick streamie, only for one of the women in the race to choose that very moment to catch up - thanks Aileen. Or the odd sensation of running a bit too soon after eating a pot of Muller rice (with apple), not entirely sure whether it would stay down or not. Or watching my chicken and rice soup blow away towards the Falkirk Wheel. Or finding that both my legs had decided to cramp at the same time, with my arms joining them seconds later in a painful spasm. And finally, the serious embarrassment of trying to spit into the canal but making such a hash of it that most ended up in my hair and on my backpack.

So, dear reader, ultra running is not all glamorous, at least not where I am in the middle of the field. I am sure it is much more attractive at the front end, where Lucy, Jack, Thomas et al run with great style and panache - no jobbies in the trees for them, I suspect: I doubt they could afford to stop for that long and still get as good a time.

I am of course aware that I do all this for fun, and of my own free will, and that no-one forces me to take part.

This guy has just taken part in the annual Glasgow to Edinburgh run - a 52 mile race along the canal


Jessica said...

Well, I admit it...I can relate to the guy! I love ultra-running but I know it's not good for me. I am currently taking a break from all endurance training and actually ENJOYING being physically fit without being tired all the time...imagine that!
I will always love Ironmans and marathons and ultras but they will play a small part in my life as my true goal is health and longevity.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Ultras are definitely not for everyone. But for those of us who love them, they are a very engrossing challenge. There are so many challenges, physical as well as mental ones-- managing the body and its limitations, your equipment, feet, fuel, stomach, temperature, keeping everything in working condition. I also like to supplement with antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage. And staying injury free requires strength training too I'm finding. All the serious ultra runners I know do regular weight training and most do some interval training and hill work as well. It's not only about seeing how much pain and craziness you can endure. And the places it takes you! most of the time, it's well worth it.

Son of Grok said...

Lol. Sounds like such a glamorous sport!

The SoG