It's official. I've signed up for the Night Train 50K Trail Ultramarathon in Farmville on June 25th. The race starts at 6:00 pm. You run 31 miles, many of them in the dark.
I am humbled to have run this distance twice before.
The greatest lesson to glean from running is to never limit where your running can take you. Racing is very special. It allows you to dream, to challenge yourself to take risks and live boldly, to realize the results of hard work and discipline. Running has been both a crazy adventure for me as well as a source of stability and normalcy in my life. As you know, I crave being in nature -- the kind you can't find in road races. I love being on the trails, even when you have to wear a headlamp to see anything.
The camaraderie of the ultrarunning community is the icing on the cake. You will never meet a more welcoming group of people. And the accomplishment of completing a 31 mile race is beyond humbling. The ultra welcomes everybody regardless of their age. I see that currently I'm the only male who will be 70 or older come race day, but I'm hoping that will change. I would LOVE the competition. However, the true competition is always within yourself. I run in order to be the absolute best I can be. I am not diminished by the runners ahead of me or increased by those running after me. I am locked in combat with myself.
We cannot let losing or failing paralyze us. This is what makes us stronger. And anyway, who wants to be perfect and get everything right every single time? How boring! All we can do in life is our best. The outcome is often not up to us or directly based on our effort. It's one thing to try your best and fail, but it's even worse when you know you could have done more. Even if we ultimately do fail, at least we will have no regrets.