Happy 2-year anniversary!

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Running along the Potomac in my new 2016 neighborhood

This morning, Timehop announced that today marks the 2-year anniversary of The Ultra Life! And what better way to commemorate the anniversary of this blog than (duh) a blog post?

First of all, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who’s read my stuff, supported my training efforts and races, tried some of my recipes and found any inspiration and/or entertainment from my posts.

Secondly, I want to take a moment and reflect on what an incredible journey this has been. My first ultra was only less than three years ago, on September 23, 2013. I ran a 12-hour race and finished 40 miles before ending up injured and not able to run for six months. Since then, I’ve run multiple 50Ks and two 50-milers, which have taken me on amazing adventures, taught me a lot about myself and introduced me to a community of some really cool people.

Lastly, 5 things I’ve learned through my “Ultra Life” journey over the past couple years:

1. You can and should appreciate hardships. 

I’m not fast. I’m not very strong. I’m a little clumsy. So as you might be able to imagine, races aren’t exactly always fun for me. And they’re definitely not easy. But if I spend all year training for one big event, and end up being miserable during the whole race, what good is that?? I realized the only way training is worth it is if I learn to enjoy both the journey and the destination. Embrace the hardships. Learn to focus on the positive even as you’re at the lowest point you’ve ever been at. It will make you a strong person both physically and mentally, and we know that the mental battle is often the biggest.

2. Some people will want you to fail. 

As they say, haters gonna hate. Since I’ve started running and sharing my experiences, I’ve received a lot of support, but I’ve also received a lot of negative responses and criticism. There are people out there who wish you to fail and don’t want you to achieve your dreams.

3. Inspire them anyway. 

Sure, I run for selfish reasons. But one of the biggest reasons why I run is to inspire other people. I want to prove to myself and let others know that you really can achieve what you set out to, as long as you believe, work hard and are dedicated. I think the people who want you to fail need this message the most. Love your enemies, and inspire them anyway.

4. Limits do exist.

I’m not saying that you’re not capable of reaching your goals. What I am saying is that I’ve realized that my body does have its limits. I get sick. I get injured. I get burned out mentally and emotionally that I find it necessary to take a break at times. The key is to know your body’s limits and weaknesses and be able to regroup and respond accordingly.

5. You’ll only go as far as you allow your MIND to take you. 

This is something I’m working on. Self-doubt can be so crippling. If you doubt your potential, you won’t train as hard, you won’t try as hard, and you definitely won’t perform your best. I’m working on being more aware of the happenings in my brain. I hear negative and doubtful thoughts very often, but I’m trying to train myself to recognize when these thoughts form and steer them towards positivity and confidence. You are capable of so much more than you think. And that’s the whole point of ultra running anyway, isn’t it?

Those are just some of my lessons I’ve learned. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experiences with how running has changed your life. And even though I said it before, THANK YOU again for all of your support. It really does mean so much.

Keep on inspiring,

Jackie

 

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