Ever done a loop course, or perhaps the same race multiple times, when you think you should be experiencing deja vu, but instead you find yourself in unfamiliar territory? You are covering the same ground and your brain is telling you that you should recognize your surroundings…but everything looks, sounds and feels different. It is like you are running through that area for the first time.
Dating is tricky to navigate for the average person. But for ultrarunners, it is like trying to get through an obstacle course blindfolded. There are traps everywhere, and we usually don’t see them until we’ve already fallen in. To help my fellow ultrarunners, I figured I could give some sage dating advice…because who doesn’t want to take dating advice from someone who has been single for over four years! Amiright, laaaaaadies? Guys?
Okay, to make this more understandable, I have sectioned this out into five easy steps, representing five stages of a 100 mile race. Read on and prepare to get your romance mojo going.
Step One: Setting up your online profile (0-10 miles)
First impressions matter, so cultivate your online profile wisely! A hint of sporty works, but avoid the full-blown ultrarunner persona just yet. Think sprite, not red bull.
- Pick a photo of you at the start of a race. One in which you look shiny, full of hope, and spandex-clad before your dreams are shattered a few dozens of kilometres later. Everyone loves spandex – leave nothing to the imagination! You’ve got it, so why not flaunt it across the internet for all to see and examine?
- Do NOT post a photo of you at the end of a race. I know you’re super proud of that race finish, but you probably aren’t seeing the salt caked on the side of your face, the dried snot on your sleeve, or the unidentifiable brown smudges on your pants. Read more
“Donde estan los…toilettes? No. Banos?”
It had been about 14 years since I had spoken Spanish and there at that checkpoint in the middle of the night, I was struggling to remember the most basic of phrases. No surprise though – I don’t think I’ve ever asked for the toilets during a race even in English. You would be much more likely to find me indecently exposed, squatting beside the trail, than coming out of a proper bathroom. The clock is ticking, yo!
But this time, in Transgrancanaria, I decided to take a different approach. Last year, I pushed my body to some pretty hard extremes – and I paid for it (more on that later). I went into the race well undertrained, so I wasn’t going to be able to gun it ala 2017. For months after Tor des Geants, I only ran a few times a week, rarely breaking 30km. I didn’t hit a 100 km week until the month before the race, and my longest run had only reached 28km. I was honestly unsure of my ability to finish 125km, so I told myself that I was simply going to have to enjoy as many kilometers as I could. I was going to force myself to stop and smell the roses (or, more realistically, stop and smell the proper toilet facilities).