Friday, March 7, 2008

Running Through The Wall, six years later

Neal Jamison has a new ultrarunning and training blog which is really cool. Neal is also the author of Running Through The Wall:Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon. He asked me to submit an essay to this book back in 2002, and recently he interviewed me for his blog on the lessons I have learned during the past six years of training and racing ultras.

I enjoyed the chance to reflect back on the past six years of my ultra life, and I hope that some of what I shared in the interview will be helpful to others. Thanks, Neal, for including me on your ultra journey!

Speaking of journeys...Neal and I will be joining some of our good VHTRC friends tomorrow at the Catawba Runaround, which Neal profiles on his blog. I decided to bag the long road trip to the Land Between The Lakes 60K because my traveling companion, Heidi Johnson, is battling piriformis issues, and a 9-hour drive would be torture. Plus, the weather forecast is calling for a major snow storm out there. I do love to run in fresh snow, though! One of the great things about this popular event is the RD, Steve Durbin. When I emailed him to tell him we wouldn't be making the trip, he offered to credit our entry towards next years race! How cool is that? Hopefully someone will take be able to take our spots---all four of the races (23K, marathon, 60K, and 50M) were full.

Spring is almost here, despite the winter weather elsewhere. Catawba was my ultra rite of passage in 2004, and is now a rite of spring for me...it truly defines the spirit of ultrarunning. Happy Spring!

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Hi Sophie,
Cincinnati was dealing with 10-15" of snow on Saturday morning...

Sophie Speidel said...

Yikes, Andy...turns out my friend Michelle (who we were going to stay with in TN) ran the race with her husband and BROKE her ankle at mile 6 coming off a snowbank. Poor girl!

Perhaps you will try this race next year, bro?

annette bednosky said...

Hi Sophie!
Great to read your blog! I need your positive energy this week! (A student at our school suicided this past weekend so life has been a bit of a wreck coping for the entire school community)
Sounds like life is good for you! I see you have Cheat Mtn 50M on your schedule..I am considering it too-George and I will be at Snowshoe week after Easter for a few days snowboarding on what's left of the snow and adventuring. I plan on running what I can of the course. Please remind me of your email. Though my email address is the same, our server changed programs and I lost my address book! Stay well and strong!

Neal Jamison said...

Sophie! I see you signed up for Grindstone. Great job! I am going to also. I'm going to work up a training schedule and post it on my blog, along with updates to the training as I go. This is going to be the biggest thing I've ever run!

Good luck to us all...

Neal
http://ultratraining101.blogspot.com/

Andrew Speidel said...

Hi Sophie,
The Highland Sky 40 looks like a great race, and I see it's just over a month after the Flying Pig Marathon (training is going well). Do you think I could pull it off, given my limited trail experience?
Thanks in advance for the advice.

Sophie Speidel said...

Andy,

Highland Sky is a toughie---usually takes me about 8:15ish to finish, depending on the weather. It has some technical, rocky sections, a 7-mile dirt road section, great singletrack and some pavement. If you could get a 25-30 miler on trails in on Mem Weekend, after recovering from Flying Pig, you should be fine. In fact, I am planning to run it and Rusty will be with me, mountain biking the trails around Canaan. We are staying over Friday and Saturday...no kids! It would be great to see you out there. The race is awesome.

Andrew Speidel said...

Thanks Sophie...by the way, both you and Annette are mentioned in April's issue of Train Runner, page 14! Congratulations!

Sophie Speidel said...

Thanks! And nice blog, Bro. I will link it from my blog. :-)