This the question I have been asking myself since the NDW50 in August. My feelings immediately after the 50 miles was “no way”, with me instead wanting to get some more 50 mile Ultra’s under my belt before tackling double that distance.
Sitting here now, 2 months on my feelings have changed. I have been thinking about why I wanted to do a 50 mile run in the first place, I have a desire to reach the limit of what I am capable of, to get to the point of failure. Now most people would be expecting for me to say “and push through it” but if I am honest that is not why I am doing it, don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t go into it hoping to fail, or to fail because I didn’t but the effort in training. In some ways to reach the limit of my capabilities is to potentially not be able to continue, be it 40 miles in, 60, 70 or even 99.
With the registration for the North Downs Way 100 fast approaching I have little time to make a decision, one which I will make together with my wife (as she is the one who suffers the absentee husband, out on his 4+ hour training runs). With the NDW50 now on a different date it is easier to build in that run as part of the training for a 100 mile attempt.
It is quite a difficult thing to explain, this type of rational behind why I want to do this. Most runners wouldn’t contemplate this, going on the assumption that the goal is to finish. This maybe what separates individuals who compete in Ultra distance vs. other running events. The challenge is not always to succeed, but to know yourself and you limits.