This post is written by Doug Hay of Rock Creek Runner.
Have you ever had one of those conversations that just sticks with you? Where someone makes a comment you can’t let go?
It happened to me last summer, the day after I ran a 50-mile ultramarathon. I was sitting in my 93-year-old grandmother’s house telling her about the race, and I’ll never forget her reaction.
It wasn’t one of joy or amazement.
It was sadness.
Not sadness about the race itself — I’m sure she was proud of my accomplishment — but sadness about what I was doing.
She looked right at me and said, “I’m just so worried you’re taking it too far and will regret this one day.”
That’s not something you want to hear from your grandmother after a big race. Especially when it was only a training race for the main event: a 100-miler just a month later.
But that’s the way most people look at ultrarunning, or endurance running in general. They respond to your long run miles with:
“Aren’t you taking this a little too far?”
“You know that’s bad for you, right?”
“What’s wrong with you, man?”