Thursday, January 6, 2011

Am I an ultrarunner or a marathoner or something else?

It was funny, I was asked a question on the Runners Round Table the other night and my answer got me to thinking, yes I know I said I would get to doing in my last post and I will but this one I found intriguing to my inner self.

Joe the host for the show asked me "if I was an ultrarunner?" The show was on recovery, episode 110, give it a listen, the rest of the folks on the show including Joe are some pretty good runners. I am not sure exactly how I answered his question but it wasn't a yes, it was a well, kind of, I think maybe, but not really answer. I have done 8 or 9 short distance ultras (50k to 50 miles) yet I paused and didn't feel comfortable to say yes. I thought about it a little more, what if he had asked me "if I was a marathoner?", again, I think I would have paused and answered the same way. I have done 30+ marathons, why do I think this way?

I think the answer is I get wrapped up on all of those in front of me, when I ran 4 hour marathons it was the 3, sub 3 group that I considered marathoners. Yet I considered everyone slower than me to be marathoners, just not myself. Same thinking works for today except I am at the back of pack of the ultras I do which makes me have even more doubts. I consider everyone else to be an ultrarunner regardless of where they finish, I just pause and have to think am I one? Do I really belong to this group? I haven't done a 100 mile race but even if I do one, my thinking will probably be the same.

I am sure I could probably get analyzed by the folks that do that and I am sure that it will go back to some childhood trauma, a parent or some other personality issue that I have that causes such thinking but I am curious, am I the only one who thinks this way?

The truth is and I think most would agree, I have been a marathoner and am now an ultrarunner.


Chris said...

I to think of this question as well and I have come tothe conclusion that I'm an Ultra Runner who uses Marathons as training.

I've only entered and completed 4 Marathons and toed up and completed a 50k and 50 Miler. I don't feel that this makes me an Ultra Runner in and of itself but rather the long physical training and the mind set to complete distance any given day. Be it a 3 miles or 30.

That said I do feel running and completing a 100 miler would solidify me in this category for many of the local runners I know and respect have that accomplishment.

Wayne said...

you're not the only one that thinks that way. and I'd be curious what you find out if you go and get analyzed (yeah like that's really going to happen, right?) :)

SteveQ said...

People started calling me an ultrarunner and I'd say "No, I'm a speed demon who just happens to run ultras." I've slowed and now the term seems to fit better, but it still sounds weird.

Londell said...

I have the title of "fat man runner", so that leave some other one for you... How about heavy analyst who run longer than the average bear...


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