Monday, October 7, 2013

Lessons from 100 miles

Training for and running my first 100 mile race I learned many life lessons. It is amazing how similar doing a race of 100 miles on foot is to the race of life. Along the way there are choices to be made, mistakes made and many learning opportunities. There is no right or wrong way to do 100 miles or life, we all must choose our own approach. It has been quite awhile since I have posted but I have been reflecting on all the things that I realized along the way.

During a 100 mile race all competitors are on the same set race course but none of us are having the same race. The same in life. We may look like we are on the same path but each of us experiences it differently. In this regard, attitude carries you way further than your feet ever will. Approaching an obstacle or a difficult situation as a learning experience and new adventure makes it a much more pleasant experience.

None of us can go it alone all of the time. There were many times during the race that I relied on my crew and pacers to help me through. Without them I'm sure I'd still be out there. It is not a sign of weakness to accept that at times you might need help. I trusted my guys 100% to get me to the finish line and they put so much energy into helping me reach my goal. I can only hope that in the future I will be able to do the same for them.

Along the way, I would run with some people for a while and then they wouldn't be there anymore and I'd be running with others around me. Often times the same people would come and go at various times throughout the event. The same happens in life, people drift into and out of our lives at various times. Enjoy them while they are there and know all of us are floating on different currents which will at times converge again.

I was lucky in my 100 mile race that I had assembled a fantastic group around me. I had great training mentors, my crew was top notch and I had the best pacers a girl could ask for. It made it so much easier to have so much positive energy and great people on my side. The people we choose to have in our daily lives have the same effect. Surround yourself with loving, positive, and energetic people that you care about and life is good. We all get to choose who is on this voyage with us, choose wisely.

It isn't always easy when you are running 100 miles. There are lots of times when it is downright hard and you feel horrible. Really low crappy parts. Those times can happen in life too, but you know what, they pass in the race and they will pass in life.

Having a plan is a good idea for nutrition and pacing and clothing. Being flexible on your plan is even better. Things come up that we can't anticipate and we need to adapt. Sure you can plan out your life, but what if a great opportunity presents itself that doesn't go with the plan? Are you willing to give it up to stick to the 'plan'? Not all plans work out, sometimes we need to be able to adjust our plan on the fly. If you can do this in a 100 miler you will have a race that you didn't even think was plausible, if you can do it in life you will have a full life.

We have no idea what another persons journey is about. There were people doing the 100 mile race that had to drop at various parts of the event. They were fighting with injury or the inability to train effectively due to time constraints. Whatever reasons that they didn't make it all the way, they all were courageous enough to toe the line. I know a few people who made it to the 50 mile mark and called it a day, they are heroes to me. They knew going in that they were going to have a difficult time of it, but they went out there and they did what most people couldn't do without injury. Everyone out on that course was fighting some demon of their own. We never know by looking at someone what monsters they are battling, show them kindness, life is not easy and getting out there an living it everyday takes bravery.

No matter how much support you have, how many people are around you and how busy the path you are on is, it all comes down to you. You have to make the choices to guide your life in the correct direction, you  are the one steering the ship and if you can enjoy the journey you will arrive at the destination in peace. We all end up at the proverbial finish line, some of us just earlier than others. Let us hope that when we get there we can all celebrate a life well run:)


  1. Perfectly said, my friend. Exactly what I think about when life's a bit tough right now.

    Hope life's treating you well and you're basking in many glorious adventures. Email me anytime; would love to hear from you.