Yes, this week was an eventful run with a cougar jumping down 20 yards in front of me 13 miles into the run. I had jumped off the paved trail at about mile 11 to run up a narrow little trail at Stubb Stewart State Park. After reaching the top I was about a half mile back down and heard a huge crash just up ahead. I knew it was too large to be a dear or small animal but figured I had spooked an elk or something. I stopped to get a glimpse at what it was and caught a glimpse of the cat slinking off down into the creaked following the trail. I thought about my options for a second and decided I would rather risk an encounter with a cougar than climb back up the half mile and find a different route. Maybe not the smartest choice but how bright can you be to want to put yourself through a 100 mile ultra marathon, right???
We did parallel each other for a bit but eventually I did make it past him and was back on my way and heading home.
Each week I do one long training run and increase my mileage as time goes on. Right now I am up to 25 miles (just short of marathon distance.) It was interesting running a marathon with no finish line, fancy medal, or chearing section. It felt awesome to accomplish that with no pat on the back. Just knock it out and head to work.
What I learned is when we raise our goals and expectations for ourselves we hit a point that we must have the reason we are going after it deep inside ourselves and always present. Believe me, there is nothing easy about starting your day with a marathon. And I still have a hell of a time getting myself out the door a lot of mornings. But I do it because I know the man I am today can’t accomplish what I want to do. It’s going to take a better man and every run is going to get me closer to that.