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The road to ULTRA begins with 42

"The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."

- Dale Carnegie

At the time of me writing this, I’m sitting on a public commute to work and still nursing a dreaded tendonitis injury in my left knee, something that has plagued me since my youth.

In slightly over a month, I would reassume the challenge of an overnight marathon, one that I struggled with last year due to gastroenteritis, causing me to complete the race without any nutrition after the first rest point at the 3rd kilometre. Not really something I want to live with again.

In my transition to chasing my ultraman dream, my nutrition plan has changed, training mode has changed and lifestyle has become more efficient than ever. But the one thing I can never overcome this far is the thought of simply running 42km, which always feels very different from the running leg of the full distance triathlon.

I’ve never been a good runner and to be honest, I had to learn all three disciplines without a swim or cycling background either. But in posts you’ve read before, I find myself powered by belief and by dreams, a powerful thought aphrodisiac that wakes me up each morning, raring to go. But sometimes this over-zealousness does put me in a bit of a pickle and my latest injury is a good example.

Mid way through a prolonged race period where I was taking on 6 – 8 races back to back, I decided somewhere during the 4th and 5th race to break out of my training routine. Instead of managing these races as part of my training, I took them as A races and while I did well, started to feel the ill effects of wear and tear on my already fatigued body. Many would have advised me going up against a 8 week race period (essentially, one race every week for 8 weeks) but I’ve grown accustomed to the process of pushing myself close to the limit because in some masochistic way, it gives me a true sense of achievement and excitement. But the line between limit and crossing it as I have found out, is a very thin one indeed.

"We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken."

- John Green

So here I am reflecting on what has almost been a flawless first quarter of a year of preparation (in my books anyway) with the exception of this niggling knee flare-up. But I’ve come to understand myself better now and while it all seems crazy, I’d strive to do it all over again, without getting injured. There’s no better way to test our mettle than to have a bad patch and to work towards moving out of it. There is also no better way in overcoming adversity than to face off with our worst enemy.

Who knows what the overnight marathon will bring, new lessons, revelations and all of the joy exercise and fitness and brought to my life will all culminate into what is becoming a significant race in my calendar each year.

Let the fun begin.



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