It’s said that the hardest thing to say is goodbye. While I’ll admit that’s not easy, I’ve always thought that saying “I love you” is much more difficult. Those words provide an opportunity to inflict emotional pain and suffering on an epic scale. You’re putting yourself out there and can never be 100% sure what kind of response you will get. There exists the potential for wonderful feelings if the sentiment is returned and absolute despair if it’s not.
But I’ve discovered something even more difficult to say than those 3 little words: that you’re crazy. Try telling someone that you’ve lost your mind and there are no positive responses. There are only varying degrees of shock and incomprehension. Imagine going up to one of your coworkers and telling them you like to sniff beetles. There is zero chance in a million you’re going to get positive feedback from a statement like that.
This is what I faced when I decided I wanted to run a 100 mile race. I hadn’t even run a half marathon at this point and now I want to do something 8 times that length. Pure insanity. So I didn’t tell anyone. It took a year before I could even tell my wife that I wanted to run a hundred miler and I could tell she thought I fell off my rocker. As well she should. It’s a difficult thing to try and wrap your mind around. Normal people just don’t do that sort of thing. So I didn’t broadly share my dream with others because. . . well, nobody else likes to sniff beetles.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve gotten more comfortable with running long. Once it seemed likely I could run 100 miles, I started setting my sights a bit higher. If I can run one, I should be able to run 10. If I can run 10, I can surely do more than that. But how much more?
How about 100? 100×100=10,000. I like round numbers and this goal just resonates with me. I wouldn’t be the first person to accomplish this so I’m not shooting for any records. And I’ll definitely never be the fastest. Maybe it’s because running 100 miles has become my new normal and it’s time to ramp the crazy back up. Only I’m not taking it to 11, I’m going way past that. This is hors categorie (beyond categorization) territory. It seems unlikely that I will ever be able to finish 100, but I can’t help but strive to achieve it.
I’m so far into delusional at this point that I can’t even remember how this goal came about. I didn’t read about someone else accomplishing this. Or setting this as a target for themselves. It just seemed to materialize out of thin air. One day I’m a normal ultra runner (i.e. abby normal runner in general) and the next I’m full on barking at the moon insane. But I guess that’s the way it usually happens.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll come to my senses at some point in the future. Until then, I’ll be Chasing 10K.