Crazy Thoughts from a Runner

| July 13, 2010 | 12 Comments

You can expect for a lot of great things to happen when you run and race. You might lose some weight, improve your BMI, increase your endurance, and gain confidence. But lately for me, I’ve been thinking some crazy thoughts – I want to run ultra marathons (any race longer than 26.2 miles) and finish triathlons (races that involve swimming, cycling and running).

After finishing my first marathon (Chicago 2007), I vowed to never run more than one step beyond 26.2 miles. I met several great people through the CARA marathon training program and we talked mostly about running. Back then, I saw swimming and cycling as cross-training options. I also thought ultra marathons were for older runners who want to take their time or type-A crazy people looking for an adrenaline rush. One of the women in our training group is lovingly nick-named “Ultra Jen” because she runs marathons as training workouts for races between 30 and 100 miles. Yes, ONE HUNDRED MILES!

Now let’s fast-forward to 2010. I was day dreaming about a vacation I want to take in about three years – when I turn a certain age. While I was mentally making a list of exotic destinations, I also thought “I want to run an ultra marathon. I think it would be fun to run a 50k (31 miles) or maybe 40 miles to commemorate my birthday.” I actually Googled “40 mile races” and got really excited! I knew the tough part wouldn’t be who would join me but rather which ultra marathon we would run.

I’m still warming up to the triathlon (or “tri”) idea. I haven’t been on a bicycle in several years and I don’t know how to swim. But I won’t let either excuse stop me! Riding a bicycle will be – well, like riding a bicycle. I plan on taking adult swim lessons. Just thinking about the new gear and apparel I will collect is giving me goose bumps! I’m looking forward to getting a new bike and asking my friends (namely Sue, Andie, Katie, Sheila, Tara, and several others) for tips and advice for a new triathlete.

For now, the ultras and triathlons will have to wait until 2011 or later. My primary goal this year is to run the Chicago Marathon in 3:45:59 or faster to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Three years ago, I would’ve thought I was crazy for thinking I could run a 3:45 marathon. But with some experience, consistent training, and support from friends, family and social media, I feel this goal is within reach. Plus, a little day dreaming doesn’t hurt.

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Category: Art & Leisure, Health & Fitness, Running Notes

About the Author ()

Chanthana Tsai is an endurance athlete currently training for local half marathons, 10-mile road races, the San Francisco Half Marathon, and the Chicago Marathon (where she hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon). Follow her on Twitter @chanthana or provide her motivation on Dailymile

Comments (12)

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  1. Katie says:

    Chanthana, you are going to kick the Chicago Marathon’s butt! Can’t wait for you to join the triathlon club! I know you are going to do awesome, because you are such a positive and energetic person!

    • Chanthana says:

      Thanks, Katie!! It seems to be a natural progression from purely running 🙂 Can’t wait to see how you do at the 70.3!

  2. Tara says:

    Chanthana- This is GREAT news. Just tell me when and where- and I’m there for the training and races!
    BTW- Ultra Jen just completed the Western States 100miler, if you’ve read Dean’s Book, you can get a feel to how amazing anyone is for completing that. …and be reminded that no matter how crazy people think your thoughts are… there’s always someone out there just a bit crazier!

    • Chanthana says:

      Yes! I knew I could count on you to train and race with me 🙂 I haven’t read Dean’s book (yet), but I did follow some of the WS100 tweets and updates. Ultra Jen is amazing!!

  3. Rachel says:

    I, too, have found myself feeling drawn to ultras after running a few marathons – but I have zero desire to do triathlons!!

    I realize that tri seems to be the natural progression once you’ve run enough marathons, but I fear the swim and getting kicked in the face.

    • Chanthana says:

      LOL Rachel! Getting kicked in the face during the swim and getting a flat from the bike are probably bound to happen to me. But how will I know unless I try? (or tri? haha) Let’s figure out which ultras we want to do after 2011!

  4. Sue says:

    So glad to hear you are drinking the Kool-Aid and thinking about a tri. Jump on in, the water is fine (figuratively speaking, of course). In the meantime, I can’t wait for you to kick butt at Chicago Marathon this year!

    • Chanthana says:

      You make the Kool-Aid look so refreshing! Can’t believe that Chicago is less than 3 months away. Thanks for your comment and support, Sue! And congrats on finishing your first Olympic distance tri 🙂

  5. BlazinAsian (the short one) says:

    What?! I love the news: ultras and triathlons. It will be a challenge to take on yet what an accomplishment at the end. You will do great AND most especially at Chicago Marathon this year! I’ll be cheering you on in your quest to BQ!!

    • Chanthana says:

      Yes! I like to think that I’m just getting started! And of course I expect you and the Tall One to join me for the ultras, at least!

  6. Sami says:

    You are a nerd 😉
    I love that you’re not making excuses for not doing a tri. I haven’t known you for that long but boy do I know you’re going to ROCK both the ultra and the tri if you wanted to.
    Good luck!

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