This is part 1 of a series titled: The Journey Back to Ultra. These writings have been kept in their first draft form to enable more authentic conversation.

Although I have wondered through the valley of death also known as an ultramarathon, the journey back is from a much farther location. My first ultra–my only ultra–came off the heels of my starting a new, very physically demanding job. I climbed several stories of staircases, sometimes 50 times or more a night; I opened 50 lb bags of materials and dumped the contents into tall boxes; and I got really fit (relative to my current state) in a short time.

Now, the stairs have drifted away, [and] the heavy bags only happen upon me on rare occasion. After the Georgia Jewel 37.5 mile race in September of 2022, my foot was in ruin. I trained on it for three more months, and finally decided that it had to hang up it’s trail shoes.

(Insert montage of me eating junk; playing too many video games; and slowly expanding like a balloon being blown up by a small child) I gained 15 lbs, which isn’t terrible and talking about weight gain, but right before I stopped training, my legs were jacked. My calves were quite aggressive – – thank goodness they didn’t have middle fingers. Now, they look like newborn babies, soft, discolored, and covered in amniotic fluid.
I don’t know what race I will pursue, it may be in November or December of 2022, but I want so much to find one that will drag me out of this post-ultra funk. I’ll probably go plant-based after the holiday season. I’ll probably puke in a couple of ditches and cry while nobody’s looking. I might say a couple thousand dirty words on the way.

I’ll admit it, 2021 kicked my ass. I can blame it on the foot, but laziness prevailed well over the ouchies. I started a couple of push-up programs and stopped; I did about 40 sit-ups this year; and I did one burpee – – just to see if I had it in me, I didn’t – – and needed help getting out of the floor 😉

I’m writing this on my typewriter too. No edits, no flashing it up, just me, typing how I’m feeling after my workout; listing my emotions when I don’t want to go out for a run; and using my writing hobby as an excuse not to work out in the mornings.

This is going to suck… for a little while… for a long while… the whole time.