I get to spend a lot of time with my lovely one year-old daughter, for which I am thankful. But sleeping for 8 hours straight also has it’s merits. I’m home alone and I’m living bachelor style. Life is just so easy when you get to plan your meals as you wish. I get peace and quiet to get some work done, I can watch long movies about ultrarunning, do the dishes every other day, and just enjoy wasting time. I’m even playing with the idea of getting up before sunrise to do a long run before a rehearsal tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.
Yesterday I watched “Running the Sahara” and “Running on the sun”. The first movie is about three guys running from the western coast of Africa to Egypt and the Red Sea. On the way they meet nomads and travel through some historic North African cities. I wish they had given us a bit more background on the places they traveled through. For instance, I know a bit about Libya, but Niger and Chad still are mysteries to me. But that would have taken a big documentary film crew of course. This is more of a bare bones production, which in a way makes it more “real”. I liked seeing how the level of effort changed the dynamic between the runners and the support team, and the political situations in some countries makes this movie a bit of a thriller.
The latter movie was very inspiring. It portrays a number of runners participating in the 1999 Badwater Ultramarathon. It focuses on some of the top runners as well as some other extraordinary people, and it’s incredible at times to see the dedication these people show. Apparently blisters can get worse than I had imagined. I also learned that running long distances can seriously mess with your head, as a lot of the contestants get disoriented, and some even meet imaginary people along the way. I especially liked one gentleman by the name of Jack Denness, who, in typical British understatement, signed up for the Badwater because he had gotten “to that certain stage where you want, maybe, that little bit extra”.
Judging from these films, it seems like people generally look more and more fit and fresh as they got through the first 100k or so (or a bit more if you rest inbetween), but after a while their faces start to look wrinkled and drawn from the dehydration. Especially the Sahara guys looked very scruffy at times.
It made me think that maybe for me to attempt a marathon isn’t such a crazy idea after all… and that running anything over two marathons in a row is slightly mad. Anyway my idea of what is possible and impossible (or just a bad idea) has been rocked.