Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spreading the Gospel of Trail

Last night I was invited to lead a discussion for a group of interesting, fun women who had just read Born To Run as their monthly book club assignment. I knew only a handful of these smart ladies, most of whom are not runners, but who all enjoy being active in some way. It was a great evening, as I basically got to talk about what I love to do most: run dirt trails in the woods and mountains, something I could talk about for hours (and do, when I am running with my gang). In addition to talking about the book, they wanted to know how I got interested in running, specifically ultrarunning, and asked all of the classic questions:

"How many days do you run? Do you take any days off?" A: 5 days max per week, with at least one day off, sometimes two, with swimming and pool running in there as well.

"What do you eat? Do you have a special diet?" A: Everything, especially fruits and veggies, and Supremo Decaf Skim Mochas. No fad diets for me.

"Do you ever fall asleep when you are running 100 miles?" A: Yes. That's why I don't run them anymore.

"What do your kids think about their mom doing this stuff?" A: They *pretend* to not care, but I have caught them bragging on me a few times to their friends--"My mom can run 100 miles!"

"Do you wear Vibram 5 Fingers?" A: Heck no. If it's not broke, don't fix it. I do wear my beloved inov-8 268s, though.

"Why do you love running trails for long distances?" A: I love the community of the ultra world and the people, first and foremost. And running ultra distance has taught me to be flexible, to persevere, to adjust, and to be in the moment. Very valuable skills for this Type A mom. (there were lots of heads nodding at this point).

I brought along the buckle I earned for finishing MMT 100 in 2005, and we passed it around. I told them about how Western States 100 started, about Gordy and the Tevis Cup, and that Virginia is second behind California in the number of ultras, which seemed to surprise them. We talked about cool local trails that they could run or walk on, and I encouraged them to consider running with the CATS one day!

Mostly, though, I tried to convince them that it is never too late to find a passion that will change their life for the better. Thank you, ladies, for inviting me to your book group and allowing me to share my passion with you! Happy trails.


ultrarunnergirl said...

How fun to share your love of trail running with these women. And so true -- it's never too late to discover your new favorite thing in life!

Thomas Bussiere said...

Don't you just love talking to people with an interest to gaze into our world of ultras. People at work ask all the time about my next race, and how is it possible to run so far.

Olga said...

"What do your kids think about their mom doing this stuff?" A: They *pretend* to not care, but I have caught them bragging on me a few times to their friends--"My mom can run 100 miles!"
Ha! Also, when I said at the family dinner I was proud of my friend getting through her first half-marathon, my younger was like "13 miles, and you're proud?". Or, when my husband DNF'ed at mile 80, all my son could muster was "dude, 20 miles to go, piece of cake!".

Sabrina Moran said...

True or False: I ordered the Roclite 268s after seeing you run in them during one of the summer runs.......................TRUE. Hope you're well, Sophie!

run4daysbill said...

Wonderful, Soph. You are such a great ambassador for the sport.