Truth In Endurance
This is not a shortcut. Between zero and ultra lies one thousand steps, most of which can only be seen the further you travel down the path. Though each journey will be unique, this space will be an attempt to map the landmarks for those looking to commit to the route.
Ultimately the culmination I’m hoping will grow into an effective, safe and ultimately successful guide. One that can take someone from zero running experience to ultrarunner in under a year.
The three guiding principals of this space are as follows;
- Run Longer
- Run Faster
- Stay Healthy
This space will be dedicated to improving these 3 tenets. This is not a site filled with top 10 lists or endless gear reviews. Other sites do that better than I ever could and can be recommended if interested.
I’m more interested in how we can explore and discuss our capabilities through endurance. I say discuss because I am no expert, far from it in fact. Nothing said here is an absolute truth, only an opening for discussion, questioning and conversation between like-minded individuals with similar destinations. What works for me may not work for you but may be helpful in its illumination of the problem and its solution.
Who I am
My name is Dustin and I’m searching for something. Something I can’t define. I have a sense I need to challenge myself both physically and mentally but through a different means than I have in the past.
Over the past year I have come across books, podcasts and articles all through separate sources but strangely synchronous in their themes. They’ve all discussed using effort as a medium to grow and endurance as a path to understanding, both about oneself and the world around them.
The majority of these people were Ultrarunners. I had heard the term but never looked it up. Usually, if it had the word “run” in it, I would turn away. Growing up as a skinny kid I avoided all endurance pursuits for fear of losing what little weight I had. This later evolved into the main motivating factor in wanting to “bulk up” throughout my twenties, again avoiding endurance at all costs.
But as my early thirties progressed a certain void had developed within myself. Maybe it was where the hollow, aesthetics based goal that had driven me to this point used to reside, finally collapsing in on itself. Or maybe it was the growing sense that after developing a career, purchasing a house and settling down with an amazing woman – I no longer challenged myself.
This was around the time the theme of endurance and the insight of Ultrarunners began to permeate my world.
A quick search of Ultramarathons revealed what had been in my backyard this whole time. An entire world of Ultrarunning crisscrossing through the Rockies and foothills of Alberta.
I clicked on the nearest one; The Iron Legs Ultra. 100 kilometers of trail running throughout and around Kanasakis and up Moose Mountain (very Canadian, I know)
This was another moment of synchronicity.
You see I look at Moose Mountain every day. I’ve hiked it multiple times and it being at the center of this race gave me a feeling of being on the correct path.
From my home, I can see the plains, the foothills, and the mountain. I know the terrain, the path and the effort that is required to get to the top. But when I reach the peak and look beyond, I’m confronted with an entirely different perspective. A terrain that is both unfamiliar and humbling. Mountains, valleys and forests that stretch beyond what I can see. And it’s at that moment I feel a sense of calling and a desire to push further to see what lies beyond.
In a sense that mountain parallels the journey ahead.
I know the terrain in my own life. The path and the effort I’ve taken and used to get to where I am. But when I look at this Ultramarathon I see a challenge that is beyond myself, above my curtain capability. It’s this recognition that creates that same calling and desire because I want to know what lies beyond.
This Ultramarathon is a test to see what I can become, to know who I really am.
All it requires is the first step.