Saturday, January 30, 2016

Do Something Epic

Today's post comes to you with a warm congratulations to Belmont resident Becca Pizza as she became the first American Woman to complete and win the World Marathon Challenge - 7 marathons, 7 days, 7 continents.

I got into triathlons and ultra running as a way to see just what I was capable of.  Over the course of the past 8 years I have gone from casual athlete to extreme endurance enthusiasts.  Each new event requires focus, dedication, and commitment.  As the events become more extreme, the lead up time becomes that much more important.

This past week I was glued to my phone tracking Becca as she traversed the world knocking out one marathon after another.  As someone who has run long distances, I try to get in the head of and try and see what others are experiencing.  In running I have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  While the feeling of despair when you are far from the finish line can be quite overwhelming, the endorphin kick and feeling of accomplishment when crossing the line is something that cannot be replicated.

Becca first knocked out a sub 4 hour marathon in Antartica last Friday in 10 degree weather entirely on ice.  She chased it the next day with a 3:44 in Puenta Arenas, Chile and followed that with a 3:41 in Miami.

My peak volume in a week ever was 100 miles (last May).  She was running 184.3 miles with 55 hours of flights in between.  Purely looking at it from a running perspective after the first three races, I am thinking, "Ok, I could do this."

Next up she ran a 3:48 at Madrid and chased that with a 3:50 in Morocco less then 12 hours later.

At this point, I feel I would have broke.  I look at it and all I can remember is when I arrived back at the Greek Peak Ski area in my first 50 miler.  36 miles into the race as I looked up the ski slope I was about to run (walk) up, I felt the feeling of despair. While I eventually triumphed and completed the race, that was a really hard / slow section.

While I do not know what was going through Becca's head, I do know that running times like she was do not leave room for break downs, blow ups, and long walks.

She would go on to run a 4:14 in Dubai and finish strong with a 4:08 in Australia and become the first American women to complete this epic accomplishment.

As I look forward to my races in 2016 and plan out the following years, I have a new sense of inspiration to try something bigger.  While it probably won't be the world marathon challenge, it will be something (or things) considered crazy to the average person.

So my challenge to you, is to do something epic.  It doesn't have to be today or tomorrow, but find something outside your comfort zone.  It could be a long run, a mountain climb, or a multi day bike ride.  Enjoy the journey and be proud of the accomplishment.

Join me in congratulating Becca when she returns next Thursday, Belmont Center 3:30pm -

- 79 Days until Boston Marathon
- 140 Days until Big Horn (52 miles)
- 253 Days until TARC 100k

- Scot

Belmont Savings bank giving Becca
I first met Becca back in mid January at her send off at the Belmont Savings Bank.  After reading about the challenge on Runners World's website and later realizing that she lives around the corner from me, I thought why not give my support.  As I stood in line to meet her with some elementary school children, I felt a little silly.  After talking with her for 30 seconds about running and racing, I realized this is a person I need to get to know.  I am looking forward to going for a run with her once she recoveries and hearing more about the journey.

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