During the surge of emotions I experience after successfully completing a race there is the desire to find the next challenge. Usually it starts with going to Ultra Signup to look up my results, but I always end up looking for my next race. I find that each race offers the chance to explore a new and interesting location. So it is easy to find yourself getting ready to click the register button.
This is a bad idea according to my friend Ben Syzek, “If you look at Ultra Signup right after a race you’re gonna do something stupid. Well…even more stupid than usual.”
After my last race, The Uwharrie Mountain Run, I found myself on Ultra Signup contemplating the Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run/Hike (SRT). This is a 70-mile self-support race from High Point State Park, New Jersey to Rosendale, New York.
I’ve run a 50-miler and a few 40-milers so maybe I can look at pushing out to a further distance. I still fear tackling a 100-miler because of the time investment in training and how badly I do without sleep. So I started looking at 100k’s as the next logical step. Weirdly they are not a prevalent as 50 or 100-milers.
Taking on the SRT not only increases my distance but also means I have to carry everything I need for those 70-miles. That is a whole new game for me. That means predicting everything I would need because I have no chance to change it out or get a backup if something fails. This is a different test all together for me.
Yet I keep thinking about this race. I keep thinking about the challenge of it and how I will feel if I complete it. I know it will be leaps and bounds tougher than any race I have completed previously, yet I am curious.
Maybe this is what makes us adventurers. That desire to test ourselves, to find out if we have the mettle.
What are your thoughts? Why do you push yourself? Please comment below.