I want to run an ultra

Hi I’m Rae, I’m in my mid 30’s (how did that happen!) and I want to run an ultra.

I had a false start with running in 2015 when I wanted to try and help lose some weight. Unfortunately I suffered two separate Grade 2 tears in my lower leg which put me on crutches, in physio and then out of the game for several months. The injuries were due to a combination of too much speed and hill work at the same time, poor technique and never stretching after a run – lessons all now learnt. Due to the injuries I lost confidence in running and basically kept putting it off.

In the late summer of 2016 after a fairly sustained period of life being crappy I was looking for something to help my mental health, plus I needed to get cardio fit for an ice climbing trip we had booked in January 2017. I teetered towards running again, but had a whole host of reason to not start – we live in a bad area and it’s not safe, I commute for 4 hours a day so don’t have time, I am not a runner, I have tight leg muscles, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s too hot yadder yadder yadder.

My husband suggested that we try running together and we got in to the habit. Bar a few weeks of here and there we have maintained this new habit.

I then saw an article on ultra running which stated that unlike any other sport men and women compete as equals, but more importantly women win as equals. For perspective: I have worked in a male dominated sports based industry for many years which is full of misogynists and have spent the best part of 6 years of my life being patronised, offered less training, offered less opportunities, ignored and treated as an object for simply owning boobs. The article stirred something in me and I kept coming back to it.

I mentioned the article to a work colleague and stated that the idea of an ultra appealed to me as a goal for 2017. He told me I couldn’t go from 5k to an ultra in a year. I had a very similar conversation with a male friend a few weeks later and it became like a bug that gnawed the back of my head. I revisited the conversations and they made it clear that it wasn’t the technical skill of being able to train that they thought was impossible they thought that me as a female wouldn’t be able to cope with the training and physical endurance needed for an ultra.

Well, that was it. It was doing an ultra.

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