Hong Kong 100 FLEX is one of the ultramarathons that is organized in Hong Kong. It is 103 km long and with 5180 m+ altitude gain throughout the race. This year due to COVID 19, it was organized as a virtual race which meant that you had one month to finish the race and upload your results. This still meant if you wanted to get points you had to finish the race under 32 hours. Fun fact #1 The best result this year was: 10 hours 54 minutes 30 seconds.
The reason I’m writing about this is that it was my first ultramarathon and you know what they say; you never forget your first one.
You are probably wondering why I did it or you already have a story in your head… well I have to disappoint you.
It was as simple as three days before the race my friend mentioned to me that she is doing it and I thought it was cool to join her. Well, I was mistaken.
D-day came and off we went. Fun fact #2 until 15 km in the race I didn’t know that my friend did this race already 15 times before. After that information and 10 km more, I understood why was I struggling to keep up with her.
Somewhere around 35 km, I got blisters on both of my feet, and my knees were already killing me because my shoes were too hard for this kind of “adventure” and I’m fat so any kinda downhill was just pain. I thought to myself I’m not in the military anymore, I’m not racing, there is no reason to suffer and continue. So after 54 km, 2000 m+ altitude gained and 10 hours I decided to quit the race and go home. When I arrived home and saw that one blister on my foot was almost as big as my hand, I knew I had made a smart decision.
There is always that “but”…
But because I couldn’t sleep for 3 days knowing I didn’t finish something I started I decided that I will do it one more time in two weeks.
My feet healed, I planned my route and tempo, I decided I’m doing it alone without any support, and in two weeks I was off again and after 27 hours of ups and downs, I finished the race and my first ever ultramarathon. It was more exciting than it sounds.
By now you are probably asking yourself why I’m telling this lame story and the answer is easy as:
We all find ourselves in situations where we wanna quit and I’m here to tell you that no matter what people are saying there is nothing wrong with quitting sometimes…
There is always that “but”…
But we can’t look at it as quitting and give up, instead, we need to look at it as a mistake that we did and figure out how to readjust and fire for effect.
There are too many people out there that preach “pain is weakness leaving the body” and all that stuff… f*** that!
There is a method to this madness called “Train smart, not hard!“
The only person you need to be better tomorrow is you today so If you quit today and go back tomorrow and do it again and do it better, even if that is a one-second or one-meter improvement or anything that is better than what you did yesterday you are on the right track…
Run your own race!
Stay safe and keep training