This year has been full of fulfilled dreams, many of which would have never even crossed my mind as dreams only a few years ago. Five years ago, I never would have dreamed that I'd run a marathon, much less an ultramarathon. Those just weren't things that even crossed my mind as possible. As I sit here today, both of these things have both become dreams and been fulfilled.
I've got three running dreams, the first being one that never ever crossed my mind until after the 48 Miles in 48 Hours weekend-long run.
My first 100-mile run
I never grow tired of reading and hearing stories about ultramarathoners. In fact, I read an entire book dedicated to it, Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon, and I read Dean Karnazes's book, The Ultramarathon Man. These stories never cease to impress me. There's a drive in ultramarathoners that I someday want to have.
I did an ultra earlier this year, but now I want to set my dreams (though not yet my training) on a 100-mile ultramarathon. Humans aren't supposed to be able to do these sorts of things. The fact that we can and do these types of endurance events is simply a testament to our drive to get through anything if we set our mind to it.
A 100-mile ultramarathon is very much still in dream stage and I don't see it happening anytime soon, but I'm not going to rule it out like I had in the past. I can visualize myself running and finishing it and that's a very important first step. It's out there, but it may be a distance away for me.
Run a race with my dad
Since I really started to run a couple of years ago, my dad has been my biggest fan. (He's the good looking guy on the right in the picture.) He ran his first and only marathon in under 3:15 after he had trained like crazy for it (50/60 miles a week near the end). Running was a huge part of his life, but he has had back problems that running tends to aggravate. But he's trying to get back on the road. He's continuing to work out to try to hit the roads again. I secretly think it's because he wants to run with me again.
I only ran one race "with" my dad, though we were in different heats. It was the one-mile run I did almost 15 years ago in Harrisburg. We both ran that evening, but not together. My dream is to run a race by his side. It doesn't have to be a marathon or even a half. I'd just love to finish a race with him by my side. It's possible, but it's more important that he doesn't aggravate any back problems he already has.
Everyone feels comfortable running
My last wish is that everyone who wants to run can run. I hear too often about people who don't feel comfortable running because they aren't "in good enough shape" or run too slow. I don't think we, as a running community, promote these bad thoughts, but I think society does.
The gym can be a crazy thing. A lot of people don't want to go to the gym until they can look good at the gym. I guess I can understand that, but it keeps a lot of people who want to be healthy away because they're concerned about what others will think.
So my last wish (since genies only grant three wishes) is that people who want to run will look past how fast or slow or fit or not they are. Give running a try. Not only will we not laugh at you. We'll embrace you and help you out when you fall. We are here for everyone in this sport, no matter whether you're healthy or can run a marathon or not.
Those are my wishes.
This was written as part of the Runner's Lounge: Take It and Run Thursday. This week's topic was "Make a wish: share your dream".