After months of winter, this past weekend Mother Nature rewarded Toronto with ideal running conditions. Excited and eager, I ran 32.5km Sunday morning, followed by 10km that afternoon. Add them together and what do you get . . . a pile of sweaty laundry and 42.5 kilometres—the equivalent of a marathon. The fact that I had no trouble bending over to put on panty hose or issues lifting my legs onto the streetcar this morning proves that I can handle both the training and the recovery.
This was the first time I ran twice in one day, and what I’ve been learning is that double-day running is essential for ultra-training. Simulating in training what one will experience on race day is crucial, as it provides a context for one to both physically and mentally prepare. During the race, my legs will get tired; therefore, having experience running with tired legs is essential. Double-day runs are basically a dress-rehearsal for the show!
My video blog below details more about the experience.
Now, I suppose you’re wondering how I managed to do this. Seeing as I’m not Wonder Woman, I’ve come to ask myself the same thing. I am taking on this 50km challenge without a coach, trail or ultra-experience, yet somehow extraordinary results are being produced. The simple answer is that I’ve turned pro.
What’s this you ask?
Steven Pressfield, author of Turning Pro, explains that ‘turning pro’ means a person gives up a life that they are comfortable with in exchange for power. Put simply: Stop acting like an amateur and start acting like a professional. Pressfield highlights that the key to being successful requires one to act like the professional they want to be. This means dressing like them, organizing your schedule accordingly and copying everything a professional in that field would do. Is the experience messy and scary? “Of course” says Pressfield, but the payoffs include obtaining your voice, the will and achieving a new level of respect for yourself.
Last summer I found myself at Uhuru peak; 5,895m higher than I ever thought I would be. In reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, I realized one does not have to be “the expert” in order to accomplish something great. Rather, one needs to be determined, committed and passionate. I turned pro and took on the role of a trekker having no trekking experience. I worked hard, respected the learning process, did the necessary research and after months of stair climbing, I completed a tremendous feat.
The first step to success was convincing myself that I could be and do anything. And that’s what I’m doing with ultra running. Taking the step to be an ultra runner means doing the research, planning the training and putting in the time just as the elites do.
If you want to be a professional then start acting like one!