I just completed my 16th full marathon, the Pony Express Marathon in Sacramento, California. I thoroughly enjoyed this race, especially because I had taken all the time and pace pressure off of myself, and just ran it and
tried to enjoy it. It was pretty warm that day, but I’ve always handled heat pretty well (growing up in Arizona and doing Bikram Yoga regularly probably help). I kept waiting for the miles to come when the normal ache in my quads (around mile 20-22) starts, when I have to focus on putting one foot in front of the other to finish. Although it was hard (marathons always are), I crossed the finish line feeling great and have recovered very quickly. So, this got me thinking….maybe I could do an ultra race?
I have had several friends over the years tell me I’d be great at ultras, and that I should do one, but I never wanted to try. I had just finished this last marathon without specifically training for it, I have been running 60-75 mile weeks, several double days a week, and my big plan for staying in marathon shape was to help pace a friend for Western States 100 in June. So, I decided to just quit being afraid of it, and go for an ultra! I will be running the Santa Barbara Endurance Event 100k with a friend/training client. After I checked with her and she agreed that she’d love to have me run with her, I felt better about doing something so scary with someone else.
In December I will turn 40, and I plan to make it memorable – if all goes as planned, I can say I ran 100k, got my 3:25 marathon in December, then Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll in January, and then I’ll run Boston 2017 and Big Sur right after, which will be my 20th marathon! What better way to remember the year I turned 40, right? Dream big and work hard! As Deena Kastor wrote on my poster she autographed for my son and I a few weeks ago when we met her, "Melissa and Jack - together anything is possible!" I love that I have so many people that support my crazy running!