He overheard the conversation. He leaned over to my treadmill and interrupted a chat I was having with a friend. He heard the words "ultra", "50 miles" and "running." And then there it was. The question I had been waiting for. The question I knew would come. The question I was ready to answer. The question was asked by an acquaintance. Out of the blue. Out of his mouth. "Hey- what are you trying to prove?" What am I trying to prove? To you? To others? Nothing- absolutely nothing. To myself - absolutely everything.
The first thing to prove to myself is that I can actually do 50 miles all at one time. I think I can, pretty sure I can. But to actually lace up the shoes and hit the trails and run and run and run (and run and run and run) for 50 miles? Wow- now that would be something, huh?
The next thing I want to prove to myself is that I am an achiever. I can set goals, somewhat lofty goals, and work my way toward that accomplishment. HUGE! I tell my students all the time "Set a goal, you need goals!" Practice what I preach, right?
The biggest thing of all for me to prove to myself is actually kind of dumb, and I should know better. It is almost even embarrassing to post it here. Let me preface the next statement with this statement - I have issues with getting older. (that may have to be a topic of a future blog post.) Anyway, if I can run 50 miles at this age- something I would not even attempted 5 years ago, then it proves to me that growing older does not mean growing sedentary.
So Mr. Elliptical Man, here is my answer to your question. Don't take my desire to run an ultra personally. I am not trying to outdo you in any way. This has nothing to do with you and absolutely everything to do with wonderfully, fantastic me!