Growth occurs when we push ourselves in many facets of life or work and I’ve been successful in doing that for the past few years. Facebook has a way of bringing things around with its On This Day feature and today it reminded me of previous milestones in my running career. Bring on the ultramarathon!

In 2015, I was celebrating a (then) long distance of 8.25 miles on the treadmill. Last year, I celebrated 15.05 miles as a new personal best and complained about the new pizza restaurant on my route.

Success is not achieved in the comfort zone. ultramarathon
Success is not achieved in the comfort zone.

Yesterday, I crossed an even larger milestone with the completion of a new personal best – 27.27 miles in the wind, graupel, and mud – on my first run longer than the marathon. And found myself wishing someone would bring me a slice of that previously mentioned pizza during my run.

Now, in the running community, there are debates over what constitutes an ultramarathon distance. Many argue anything longer than a standard marathon (26.2 miles) should be considered an ultra. By this measurement, I could be considered a ultrarunner.

In the other camp, are many runners who argue an ultramarathon threshold is 50k, or roughly 31.07 miles. By this measuring stick, I’m still on my way to ultra aspirations.

beef runner ultramarathon

No matter the measuring stick you adhere to, I succeeded my personal goal to best 27 miles before March 2017. I accomplished this task with nine days to spare. My next goal is to best 31.07 miles before April 2017.

Yes, I am aware of the crazy and I embrace that. After completing my first three marathon distances last year, I just publicly admitted my plan to run marathons (and then some) on Saturdays as part of my usual training.

I’m not sure whether to thank being laid off work last December for the time to dedicate to running long or if I need to thank running long for the time to deal with being laid off work. Either way, I’ve tried to make the most of my time.

To those who suggest we need to be on a special diet or omit food groups (i.e. dairy, red meats, gluten, etc.) in order to be successful in our running or fitness goals, I say, Watch Me.

Next race? Aside from a couple of half marathons for fun (I heard many of you laugh), my eyes are set on the 50-mile distance of the Trail Rail Run in June. Wish me luck and enjoy a steak with me tonight.

Read more about my Team Beef running adventures on the blog. Read more about how protein fuels my fitness on the blog.

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