In about 7 day’s, I am about to run my first “real” Ultramarathon with a distance of 50 Km. So far my longest run was a standard 42k marathon. Thinking that this ultra is only 8 km more is both wrong and true. From a mental perspective I think it is a good and positive attitude, since I trained enough and I am convinced that I will run a marathon distance without running into big problems. I am also very positive that I will have enough energy and will power to run those extra 8k. On the other hand I am stepping in to an unknown territory since I have never walked or run this far. I am leaving my comfort zone, and leaving the comfort zone has an impact mentally and physically. Suddenly al extra questions come up; how do I pace my race, am I fit enough, are my shoes the right ones for the track. And of course a lot what if questions do come into my mind (what if the weather.. etc.).
Leaving the comfort zone also makes me ask questions again, and it gives the opportunity, or it forces me to question and to test myself. Leaving the comfort zone also means that I have to convince my inner self that I can trust my training, and that I can run this far and that I can push it. I guess forcing myself to leave my comfort zone is one of the strongest drives for me, to push it further. To demand more and not take the easy road is an essential part of my live.
“If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not constantly demanding more from yourself–expanding and learning as you go–your choosing a numb existence. Your denying yourself an extraordinary trip.”
― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
So next week Sunday, I will be on the start line, and I am prepared to push it and to finish.