I keep thinking running hundreds are going to get easy.  That at some point I’ll be able to cruise through a race with no sweat off my brow.  Like rolling out of bed for a Tuesday 5 miler.  After twenty seven hundred mile finishes, I can tell you it hasn’t happened yet.

This isn’t to say these races aren’t easier.  They are orders of magnitude easier than when I first started out eight years ago.  Back then I had a lot of book smarts from voraciously reading as many blog posts as I could unearth. I thought I had a lot of knowledge and was well prepared for running a hundred miles. L O L.  Not so much.

You see the challenge of running for over a day straight isn’t so much knowing what could go wrong. It’s that each of our bodies reacts to those issues differently so we’ll need to adapt and incorporate new strategies.  And those will change with different courses and different weather conditions.  And different fitness levels.  And then randomly because of course they will.

The more races you do, the greater your knowledge of how your body will specifically react to different conditions. You will have created a framework to move as efficiently as possible and mitigate or avoid your biggest problems. Whether that’s nutrition or footcare or pacing or mental hacks or all the little things that come along with the territory. 

These races will also condition your body.  I’m a firm believer that the only way to get good at running long distances is to run long distances. And the best way to get in hundred mile shape is to run hundreds. Training runs on tired legs is just not the same moving with 80+ cumulative miles already under your belt.

So as I continue to get better, the races get easier.  Experience + Conditioning = Easier.  My mind translates this into a linear graph that eventually ends in Easy.  I delude myself into thinking I’m only a race or 2 away from that final destination.  I’ve been a race or two away for several years now, yet my expectations don’t seem to change despite the growing evidence to the contrary.  I’m starting to think I’m never going to get there.

In reality, it’s an unrealistic expectation.  There are so many variables and challenges that moving your body for a hundred miles will never be easy.  Easier, but never easy.  This is probably a good thing as the challenge is partly what draws me to these races. In all honesty, my first easy hundred will probably be my last one.

Thankfully that’s not something I ever need to worry about.