Adam Gifford - Ultras with your SO

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Pros and Cons Racing with Your Other (Better?) Half

By Adam Gifford

I am lucky enough to have found a girl who will run ultras with me (of course since I run ultras some may say that I am simply lucky enough to have found a girl at all). We run about 10 ultras a year together. Now when I say “together” I don’t mean that we just run the same races, I mean that we run every step of each race TOGETHER. If this is something that you have been considering then here is a brief list of the pros and cons of racing with your other half.

Pros:

  • Exhaustion induced hallucinations during a hundred miler can really create a bonding moment (“Honey, do you see that squid wearing a beret and eating candy corn? Of course I do, it’s right behind the giant bottle of mouthwash levitating over that lava pit.”)
  • You both stop getting invited to boring dinner parties because all of your stories are about dehydration, kidney failure, and Rhabdomyolysis.
  • Dealing with in-laws will be easy compared to that time that you both had to deal with acute mountain sickness and hypothermia at 3am in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.

Cons:

  • You have to watch a person pop blisters, shoot snot rockets, throw up, and pee right on the trail all while thinking, “This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
  • You can’t get out of household chores by using the excuse that you just ran a long race. (“Really? You’re too tired because you ran an ultra this weekend? You mean the same one that I ran? I should be the one who’s too tired considering that I practically CARRIED you between miles 75 and 90!!”)
  • There is a dichotomy in your relationship. One of you can leave the other towards the end to finish early and laugh with friends while the other stumbles across the finish line. However, if the other person would ever attempt this then they would find themselves on a post-race couch rather than a post race-bed.       

Tandem bicycles are known as “divorcycles” and tandem kayaks are known as “relationship accelerators”, but neither one of them come close to the experiences you will have while racing with your better half.

Comments:

Bharat, Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Holler there Mike Sims!To anybody hooked by the idea that one could run an ultra in 3 months, note that that increasing your training more than 10% per week frequently leads to overuse injuries. (This plan increases up to 33% off the bat). Despite the modern overachieving mentality that we can do everything, and we can do it all now, consider drawing out your training plans a bit longer than 4 months so that you stay healthy and keep running. Running, especially distance running, is a game of patience.Running distances can be physically addictive (in a positive way!) and ultras can be incredible emotional and mental experiences. So don't let your training plan get in the way of you and the trails. There will be more races further down the line, and the one in four months will also be held again in sixteen months.

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