Friday, April 11, 2014

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Ran 135 Consecutive Miles

Hi Josh,

First off, congratulations! Big accomplishment. 135 miles. 33 straight hours.

Plus, you had to dodge cattle
Other than breathe, I don't think I've ever done any one thing for 32 hours straight, let alone participate in an ultra-marathon. Wait, "ultra" doesn't really cover it. Über marathon? Super duper marathon? What do they call the event, again? The Brazil 135? Well that...doesn't really do it justice, does it? The race isn't short, why should the title be? I think I would call it the "Pre-Foot Reconstructive Surgery" Extreme-Power-Ultra-Über Marathon. Just so people know what they're in for.

But on to my main point: I also want to thank you. Like any good runner, you not only achieved a great personal victory, but you've inspired others and helped put things in perspective. I know you helped me. I am in the thick of things with my spring training, which means I'm running more and more every week trying to build up to 6 miles a day, 36 miles a week. And as you found in your run, the challenge is more psychological than physical.

Since I didn't increase my distance all winter, I got very comfortable with my 3.1 run. I knew exactly what to expect, how much energy I'd be exerting, and where I would be turning around.

Now, though, I'm breaking out of that comfort zone. And I generally have one reaction when I find myself running farther, my muscles and heart straining to cope with the increase in work:

It can be discouraging to have to fight with your brain to find those scraps of motivation on a daily basis, so hearing about your ridiculously epic run helped me to appreciate some of the simple things my relatively lax running schedule allows.

Like sleeping.

I get to sleep in between every one of my runs! Imagine that! I also get to, you know, stop after a while. I use that time not running to do things like eat, write, use the bathroom, all sorts of crazy things.

But you've also inspired me to keep pursuing my training goals so that, one day, I can reach a fraction of your awesomeness. There are so many things you can do after winning that race that I want to try. Here's a few of them.

1. Custom order a "135" running distance bumper sticker, put it on your car, and scorn those with lesser distances displayed on their car.

"Oh, only 26.2 miles? That's cute. I bet you didn't even have to dodge any cattle."
2. One-up literally any thing that is ever said to you. Seriously. You could meet Neil Armstrong and be like, "Oh, you went to the moon? Well, did you run there? No? I BASICALLY DID."

Suck it, you American hero
3. Scare Daniel Day-Lewis from ever playing you in a movie.

Guys, Daniel Day-Lewis is a dedicated actor. We all know this. He gets insanely into every part he plays, even staying in character behind the scenes to try and fully experience who they are.

I heard he went through, like, thousands of stove-pipe hats in preparation for Lincoln
In fact, I'm convinced that his entire career might be preparation for another character who's a really dedicated Hollywood actor with a distinguished career. Basically, I think this whole thing might unfold with Inception-like levels of significance.

But I think we can safely say that you, buddy, are one project he would NOT take on. I think even he would be intimidated by a 135-mile character preparatory run.

So good on you, buddy. I think that's a great accomplishment and a worthy goal for anyone's life: live such that Daniel Day Lewis would find it too hard to play you in a movie.

Nice job.


A Runner's Journal


  1. I mean, I'm pretty sure you (and I) have SLEPT for thirty-three hours straight. Other than that, though...

  2. I'm with you - I can't think of anything that I've done for 33 hours straight. Definitely puts things into perspective and is a great motivator for pushing myself when running on a trail.