Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's high time I step up.

I've been calling myself an ultra runner ever since I finished the first chapter of Dean Karnazes' book. No, I hadn't actually run further than 26.2; I just felt like I could. By chapter 10, I had a plan to run 50 miles in 12 hours: start at midnight on a paved trail, run some trails in the woods, have time to run beyond 50 miles, and finish gloriously running the last mile around our block with the kids, in full stride, with "chariots of fire" music coming from somewhere.

We did start at midnight, we ran on a paved trail, we ran on wooded trails. But we we rested longer than we should have, we covered distances slower than expected and ended up running/walking for our lives to get 50 miles in just minutes before the clock struck 12.
An ultra runner in reality!

Then, all my running focused on trails. I was not an ultra runner, but an ultra trail runner. Because of this, I dismissed the ubiquitous ultra event called FANS 24 in our own backyard. It seemed like everyone I met who was someone in this new ultra world had done FANS. I dismissed it publicly because it is run not on trails. Privately, I wondered how anyone, let alone myself, could run around a 2.4 mile circle for 24 hours. So, for the past 3 years, I have not even downloaded the FANS application.

I've learned a few things since becoming an ultra runner; and they're not all related to intake and .... "outtake" of food. I'll spend some time in a future blog figuring out what those things might be. But I do know that it's time to do FANS. Kind of like when the boys learned how to ride their bikes. For several days they fell, wobbled, and cried. And then one day, as if they had thought about it all night and decided that they would conquer that bike today because it was high time they did, they got on and rode around the block. This year, for some reason, it is high time I sign up for and attempt FANS.

I'd like to get 100 miles in. I think it would be easier to get 100 on a more "less flat" course. However, I think I will set my sights on 80 miles and be very happy with anything over that.


Matthew Patten said...

I have never done FANS.

One of these years I might, but I don't think it fits me for some of the same reasons you pointed out.

I would rather run Kettle on the same day. (I am).

Good luck with it. Remember, you can't DNF it, so enjoy it.

Steve said...

Way to take a leap of faith, Joel. I will be running Kettle with Matt and Steve Q, so good luck. Some day I will give FANS a go. For now, I'd rather stick to the trails.

Niki said...

I was excited when I ran four miles for the first time a few days ago,and this morning as I ran, I thought about what it would be like to intend 96 more. I'm amazed.

I also thought of you when I bought a copy of some of Nietzsche's writings this afternoon. Hope you're well.