My First Ultra-Marathon (Attempt): The Break-up (I’ll Run When I Want to!)

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Dear Training Schedule,

You suck.

Sincerely,

– Nate

P.S. I hope you end up in a van down by the river.

From now on, I’m going rouge. I’m play my own song, and I’m dance however I want to.

That training plan, I burned it up in the garbage can. And yes, it was a plastic garbage bin. And no, it wasn’t a well thought out plan (pun intended).

Run this; run that! 5 here, 6 there, now go 16, now 10 more! How bout you run them, Plan? Oh wait, I forgot, you ain’t got no legs! Well I do! And your numbers make them feel all weird inside!

I’m limping from one place to the next; what’s your plan say about that! Hey, Mr. Training Schedule! What if I don’t want to run today? Huh? What if I want to rest instead? For the love of God! I did 16 miles yesterday, and I’ll be doing good if I won’t pee myself crawling to the bathroom this morning. 

Ultra-marathons are for people who don’t like being told what to do!

Ultras are for those kids who climbed the tallest tree they could, even when their mother said not to, and even if she was looking! It didn’t matter anyways, because she was too fat to climb up and bring them down! Ultras are for old dudes that skateboard. And girls who date weird boys! And vegans!

You know what training plans are?

Those are just numbers to me, Man! They got no soul! 6 miles? Where? a high school track? up a mountain? You’re so confusing. You’re just like my parents, you don’t understand!!

I’m sorry. I just don’t know how to read you. On one hand, you’re giving me solid advice, but do you think I listen to solid advice. If I did, I wouldn’t be running an ultra-marathon! We’re not made for each other.

I need to rest sometimes. And occasionally, I want to do something crazy much sooner than you scheduled me to. You’re weighing me down. I feel like a slave to The Man. If I wanted that, I wouldn’t be running; I’d just get a second job!

Following a plan makes me lazy. Like today, I really want to do an hour of continuous squats. Why? Because I know I can. And it’ll make my legs super beasty. But, If I do them, what then? Will the almighty training plan gods punish me tomorrow with another obligatory 6 miles? Or will I squat 1600 times today, only to shame myself for skipping your golden instructions tomorrow? I’ve got running friends that will run 6 miles any day of the week, you know how many people I’ve met that will do 1600 squats? Zero. So what do you say about that Mr. Run Calendar? Where do I fit in your plan??

You’re just a calendar. That’s it. A bunch of ink on a page. I bet your creator doesn’t love you anymore. I bet he found some other numbers and started running around with them instead. You’re just a static group of numbers entrapped in an excel prison. You’ve assumed I’m a person of moderation. I’m not. You probably think I spent two years building my foundation; wrong again. I’m just a dude who ran a 5k in December, who switched to a plant-based diet, saw big gains, and pushed myself a little too hard on UltraSignUp

Finishing that 38 mile race will be a freaking miracle (Like Angels in the Outfield but more swearing)!

And you know what? If I do cross the finish line, I’ll sign up for something crazier. Maybe the 100. Maybe more. I might start banging on Laz’s door or just sneak into the Barkleys. Ok?

I’m not stable; training plans are. In this case, opposites don’t attract.

It’s over schedule. I’m taking the hard route. That’s how it should have been, anyway?

-Nate

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