I am back, in an ultra way

Hey. Hello. Hi.

Remember me and this blog? Remember how I posted that I was going to run this awesome marathon, posted six times and abandoned it for two years? That was fun.

Well, I am back and have renewed to efforts of maintaining this blog and writing about running. There is a special reason why, but let me catch you up on my life.

Spring 2009: I register for the Twin Cities Marathon. I reach a long distance of nine miles. Then I start to plan an online newspaper. My knee feels weird.

Fall and Winter 2009 – 2010: I am immersed in this newspaper thingy and have absolutely no time for anything that is not working on it or at my other job or commuting between the two. I do manage to drink many bottles of wine but, hey, we all have priorities.

Spring, Summer and Fall 2010: Receive invitation to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger in West Africa. I go there, love it and spend many early mornings running with the Sahara sunrise.

Winter 2011: Al Qaeda got crabby at westerners and I return back to SD.

Spring and 2011: Run my first half marathon and declare that I will run a marathon, even picked an all-female race set in the Black Hills. Get an in-between job at the local newspaper just before a massive flood threatens to destroy the community. When I am not working, I am with a colleague drinking beer and trying to forget about the heartbreak.

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer 2011 – 2012: I re-enroll in the Peace Corps in the southern African nation of Lesotho. I run on a dirt road towards mountains and begin my plot to finally run a marathon.

OK, now that our stroll down Memory Lane has caught us up to today, time to explain why the return. You missed me.

In September I registered for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in Cape Town. Several volunteers have ran it and the half, so that meant I had to too. It is the Saturday before Easter, six months from now, and I get to run by both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Wait, did I say “Ultra Marathon?” Sure did. Two Oceans only has a half and an ultra. The half is the normal 13.1 miles, or 21.1 kilometers, but the ultra is 56 K. Before you go throw that number into the magical Google to get a figure we Americans can understand, I will tell you. That is 35 miles. More than halfway to Brookings up I-29. To Oneida from Pierre. To Maseru and a bit back from my site. And to whatever seemingly long away place from where you are now. It is far.

As my mother, lovingly, of course, put it, “That is ambitious.” It sure is, but I am chock full of motivation and revenge for anyone whoever doubted me. I have a long climb to 56 K (my longest run in Lesotho is 19 K), but I am going to do it. I need to do it.

For the first time in my life, my life is not dictated by deadlines, interviews and all-night production sessions. I actually have free time, and it is weird. This is not an ideal setting for training. Almost all of my runs beyond 6K have massive hills, I don’t have access to the same foods I do in America, there are no regards for pedestrians, I have one running outfit, I do not have a fancy Garmin or internet to plug in my route to calculate my distances and pro things like ice baths, foam rollers and compression socks are not gonna happen in my rural village. All I have is my shoes, a $10 watch, a sometimes-charged iPod and a goal. Also, a rekindled love affair with running.

I have five months till Two Oceans and I am ready to push myself harder than ever. This blog will be my account of the triumphs and hurdles of training for an ultra, not to mention I am doing it in Africa. But, it’s great. I am ready to go through the ups and downs of training. I am ready to be close to quitting. I am also ready to fall in love with running and myself through this challenge. There is a lot of doubt on my shoulders, but when you run that many Ks it just kind of falls off.

Let’s do this.

3 thoughts on “I am back, in an ultra way

  1. Good Luck Heather! I have no doubt that you can do it, after all look at what you have already done! Follow your dreams!

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