Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ultras ruin everything

Scotland Highlands - The Quirang
Scottish Highlands - Image via Wikipedia
Have you ever noticed how running ultramarathons (and running in general) ruin things in your life?

This was reconfirmed last night while watching a movie (The Eagle, if you are interested and no I am not recommending it in any way **insert full legal disclaimer**  and yes there are a few vague spoilers)

In the movie there is a point where two characters are literally running from a band of brigands over rough territory in Scotland and Northern England.  They start off on horseback and after the horse goes lame they have to hoof it themselves.  Well of course there comes the emotional climax when the protagonist who has had a sword slice on one of his legs can continue on no further due to exhaustion.  His side kick, who for various reasons has mixed loyalties, has to make the dramatic choice of staying with his friend or leaving him behind to be killed by the coming ever closer marauders.  Now a normal person enjoys this movie moment, is caught up in the tension of the conflict, and if you are Aristotlean in your outlook, experience a little catharsis.

However, my reaction was different.  Can't continue?  Seriously?  Get your rump up and get moving.  No excuses!  Sword slashes are for wimps.  Not only will you be slaughtered if you don't get up, you won't get a finisher's medal!  (Cutoffs any one?)  Also, why did his pacer let him sit down in the first place?  Big mistake.  Keep that guy moving, sitting down let's him think about it and his muscles tighten up and cramp.  Pacer dude is definitely failing in his job if he's gonna let his runner sit around and whine about not being able to go on.  Relentless forward progress my man.  Psssht please, can't go on.  If you can talk you can walk.  Move it!

Am I the only one who relates a preponderance of life experiences to running ultras?




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