Ultrarunners are without a doubt "unique people". Let's be honest, most work normal day jobs as a cover for the fact they are a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Many have come to me and asked,"Am I crazy for wanting to run 100 miles, suffer sleep deprivation, and bodily harm, just to get a buckle?". My answer is yes. You are a weirdo. Welcome to the family!
However, sometimes it's not as easy to determine if you are normal, or an ultrarunner. It is universally known that one cannot be both, at least not at the same time. I've written this to help you out a bit. I've come up with some phrases, or ideas, and then I've determined what a normal person would think, and what a looney ultramarathoner would think. By the end of reading this, you should have a clear diagnosis. I will warn you that the very fact you found this blog about ultrarunning is a sad indicator that you are already profoundly leaning in the direction of NOT normal.
1. Using marathons as long training runs
Ultrarunner: thinks this is a normal, albeit expensive way to train. It mixes things up, and it's easy because it'll likely be flat, and you'll see a lot of friends doing the same.
Normal person: I've run for years doing 5k's and 10k's, and thought that was an accomplishment. I dream about running a marathon one day, but, 26.2 miles is still ridiculously far.
2. Gear consisting of GU's, hand bottles, hydration packs, salt tablets, compression socks, specialty clothing, trail shoes, hats, flasks....
Ultrarunner: business as usual. Got it all already!
Normal person: Are you running in the Sahara or something? Aren't flasks the fashionable way to carry alcohol? What the heck are those white powdery pills, and one ounce packets of slime?
3. Running 50-100 miles is normal
Ultrarunner: that's not too shabby, but I'd really like to do one of the longer races like Badwater, or Spartathlon.
Normal person: I don't even like to drive that far. That's why they made cars (I believe every ultrarunner has heard these at least once).
4. I run 100 miles to get a fancy buckle
Ultraunner: totally worth every blister, shut down kidney, and hyponatremia.
Normal person: dude, you can buy nice buckles at a store...and what the heck is hypnatremia?
5. I do hill repeats...
Ultrarunner: ...so I can be better prepared for the 4500 ft climb up Hope Pass at Leadville
Normal person: ....so I can be better prepared for the 200 ft climb up heart break hill at Boston. Better yet, I'll just run somewhere flat and not worry about hills.
6. Running a 5k
Ultrarunner: not worth an entry fee. Who needs another race t-shirt anyway?
Normal person: wow, 3.1 miles kicked my butt. I also got a cool shirt and the money went to a good cause.
7. Fat Asses
Ultrarunner: I have the inside scoop on these fun, aided, FREE, club events. It's a nice social way of getting in my little 50k, or 50 mile training run. Plus, who needs awards and more shirts?
Normal person: It's not nice to call people fat....Oh, it's the name of a run? If I'm gonna run 30-50 miles, I'd kinda like something to show for it :-/...but, I would NEVER run that stupidly far!
8. Marathon medals
Ultrarunner: they make good paper weights and coasters for the coffee table.
Normal person: If only I could find the way to earn just ONE!
9. 10 minute miles
Ultrarunner: I'd die to average a ten minute mile for an ultra!
Normal person: not bad for a few miles
10. Peeing infront of others
Ultrarunner: Not just peeing, but pooping, farting, snot rockets, chaffing, vomiting, bleeding, sweating....Let's face it, we display just about every bodily fluid and function on the trails.
Normal person: find a porter potty, or public bathroom. Geez, that's gross.
11. Western States, Badwater, JFK, Hardrock,...
Ultrarunner: Those are some big time races that I've either done, or like to do
Normal person: aren't those the name of a hospital, the description of drain water, an assasinated president, and a type of music?
12. Extreme conditions
Ultrarunner: 130 degrees in Death Valley, or -60 in the Antarctic
Normal person: the winter and the summer
Well....What's the consensus? Are you normal, or are you an ultrarunner? :-)
Hope this helped!