A couple of weeks ago I was interested to read this article on Aspiring Mormon Women. Then, even more interested, I found this one, from the NY Times.
As a synopsis: there is a girl named Keila Merino who teaches elementary school in New York and runs ultramarathons in her spare time.* Her training miles add up to over a hundred every week, even when she's not training for something big. But these days, she is.
In 1978, a beautiful, lanky South African grandma named Mavis Hutchinson ran across the United States from Los Angeles to New York in seventy days. She averaged around forty miles a day that whole time.
That is the distance between Salt Lake City and Provo peeps.
For more than two months.
This year, under the auspice of raising money for a children's running group in New York, Keila set a goal to beat Hutchinson's record and do it in sixty-eight days. Math= she would need to average almost fifty miles every day for the length of time between Independence Day in July and Labour Day in September.
I happen to love ultra-sports--particularly endurance running--and I discovered all of this on the very day that a new leg of my own race was starting.
It is my goal to submit my thesis in 58 days. Those who have written a PhD dissertation know that it is no mean feat. It has taken me almost three years just to do the research (and I still feel like I could fill up another year!) Writing is a different beast altogether. As in an ultramarathon, where a twisted ankle, dehydration, nutrient-deficiency, inclement weather, or any number of a score of unexpected setbacks could derail your whole plan (as it did Keila's in the end-- #spoileralert), lack of discipline, material, quality, or confidence, personal problems, sickness, writers block, or any number of other issues can derail even the best, most dedicated of students. And I don't even claim to be one of them.
But reading about Keila and Mavis, and thinking of the ultramarathoners I know in my life (speaking metaphorically rather than literally), I found a new identity:
I Am An Ultrarunner, and My Race Is Not Yet Over.
|Keila's beautiful sunrise shot|
1) my Heavenly Father and my responsibilities to Him
2) my family and my responsibilities to them
So, this is my plan: Keep running. Take each day as it comes. Don't worry about the future but just do your best today. And, take time to enjoy the scenery as it goes by--to appreciate the views you get from the road. I know when this race is over, I'll be better and stronger for having run it. I love it.
See you at the finish line!
*Ultramarathons are any races longer than a traditional marathon. The most common distances for ultramarathons are 70 kilometres, 100 miles, or longer.