Feeling Seriously Runspired!

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“There’s an overwhelming cultural mentality today that difficult tasks should be avoided; that volitional discomfort is an indication of some psychological oddity. Meanwhile, ultramarathons promise exactly the opposite; the expectation is that the race will be strenuous. Your body will get battered, your spirit will get broken, and you’ll question your sanity and emotional stability. (What’s more – you’ll pay somebody a lot of money in race fees for this to happen. If it weren’t for ultrarunning, there’d be a huge boom in masochism support groups. Clearly, we NEED this sport.) It’s no wonder most people think we’re insane.

But here’s the good part: our gain for suffering through all of this is something akin to enlightenment. We understand that our bodies and minds are capable of far more than most people ever realize – that the primary limiting factors in life’s journeys are the extent to which our minds can dream, and to which we’re willing to work to achieve them.

These truths we discover about ourselves are what keep us coming back for more. In that regard, ultrarunners are the fishermen leaving the shore: we’re fully aware that the storms might be terrible – but the rewards we harvest by venturing into the sea are always worth the hardship.”

-Donald Buraglio, The Running Life: Wisdom and Observations from a Lifetime of Running

I can’t think of a more wonderful place to run my first ultramarathon than the Scottish Highlands – what a place to be, what a life to live! Am seriously getting excited about pushing the limits, even though the race itself is still four months away. Here’s what’s in store for me, the backdrop to all the pain I’ll no doubt suffer:

Cateran trail

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Cateran trail3

cateran trail 4

I’m feeling so antsy right now that I’m seriously thinking about heading up there and start to recce the trail this weekend – despite the fact that the whole area is currently buried under several feet of snow!

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18 thoughts on “Feeling Seriously Runspired!

  1. Megha Patel says:

    -laughs- the first picture is so cool! The rest is worth exploring!! Love this post! Really great message.

  2. jon928 says:

    Looks fantastic. My wife and I are coming to Scotland in July. Maybe we can find a small hill to run up. :-). Good luck.

    • Hello and thanks for stopping by and commenting! When are you coming to Scotland? And where will you be? The good news is that we have an abundance of hills in Scotland (in fact, I’d dare you to go for a run that is flat around here!) and none of them are *really* high, so don’t be afraid to go hike them!

  3. DawnSeeker says:

    Love the totem face . . . reminds me of Hawaii :~))
    The whole world must be connected!

  4. Woderful quote from Buraglio and wonderful photos. I was in Scotland years ago and looking out at the hills, I wanted to just simply begin walking through them.
    That trip I was traveling with others on their itinerary and it was not to be, but I understand the yearning to get started.

    • Thank you! It’s a shame you didn’t get to explore the hills here – they are all very walkable and you’re in the middle of endless wilderness in next to no time! Perhaps you’ll come back at some point?

      • Not the Highlands, but I plan to be back this summer on an ocean voyage with a stop at Lerwick. I hope to do a run sometime during the one day we are there.

  5. Trails and Ultras says:

    Ooh it looks great! I’m started to feel excited for you. You should definitely try to get up and do some of the route before the race…it will really help you get a feel for the area and route 🙂

    • Thank you – it really is an insanely beautiful area. I’ve run up there before, although never on the trail itself! I think it’ll be good to find out what I’m in for 😉 So exciting!

  6. Jim Brennan says:

    I wanna run just looking at those photos!!!

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