First post- my blog is live!

Welcome! I hereby kick off my blog with this post. For starters I encourage you to visit the “About” page where I introduce myself and explain a little bit what I expect to write about on this blog. The plan is to do it fairly regularly hoping to provide this demanding (and hopefully rapidly increasing in size) audience with an entertaining reading material.

The “Ultramarathons” page currently contains just a bare list of events I took part in and expect to take part in soon. With time I hope to grow it by adding race reports which will be linked from there. My vision for this page is to be a good reference point, especially when someone wants to find out more about a specific event.

I think this is the right time to explain why I’ve decided to blog.

Admittedly I thought about blogging every now and then but I always concluded that there is so many different blogs, websites, or Facebook pages about running (including ultramarathon running) that I have nothing to contribute on top of this vast source of information. In December 2016 my wife got me thinking about it again. Having discussed this at length we concluded that there actually might be an audience willing to follow my exploits and benefit from reading my blog.

How did we reach this conclusion? The answer actually lies in the name of my blog, but here’s a funny linguistic trick- “Wolny biegacz” in Polish can be translated in two different ways, either as “Free runner”, or “Slow runner”. I don’t have this liberty in English so I chose “Slow runner”. Perhaps I should have gone for “FreeSlow runner” or “SlowFree runner” 🙂

In a nutshell- “Free runner” because running offers me freedom and gives an opportunity to switch off and not being bothered by the usual day-to-day crap. Running is a means of mental recovery (not necessarily physical). During my long runs I tend to get good ideas and I get to solve niggling issues, or I’m simply able to look at them from another perspective and realise they’re not actually worrisome as they might have looked before.

On the other hand “Slow runner” because generally I don’t run fast. Well, often I move quite slowly, even just walk for prolonged periods while at an ultramarathon. On this blog I want to show and prove that you don’t need to be a super fast runner to enjoy ultra running, that there is nothing wrong if you complete an event in twice the winner’s time as long as you feel good about your performance. I must admit that I very often read race reports written by top runners which are naturally inspiring, but sometimes also frustrating. I get to think “He’s so good, if only I could be so good”, “Why am I not making any visible progress with all my training?”, or “That’s surely because I don’t live near any mountains and can’t regularly do hill training”. On this blog I want to prove that such thinking is unnecessary and leads you nowhere. On the contrary- you can be an average or below-average runner and still achieve personal successes and feel satisfaction and fulfilment.

That’s it for the first post I guess. I welcome comments and questions which I will definitely answer. Please like my FB page and/or follow me on Twitter.

In my next blog post I plan to elaborate a bit about ultramarathons for these readers who are not that familiar with the ridiculous concept of running farther than 42 kilometres.

All the best,
Marcin

2 comments

  1. Nice blog. I’m in. Please tell us your thoughts and tricks about breaking through the pain barrier. Should you stop, have a drink and massage aching parts of your body before carrying on? Are there any stretches or exercises you can do mid-run to loosen your feet, legs back and shoulders from the fixed running positions that ache after a few hours.

    1. Hi Jon,

      Thanks for your kind words- I’m glad to see you liked the post. And thanks for the questions.

      On quite a few circumstances I had to battle serious tiredness and dark thoughts that put me on the verge of pulling out of a race. However, in most cases it was ‘just’ tiredness, such as an extreme urge to sleep. For example, while doing Ridgeway Challenge 86-miler in 2015 I felt so tired and sleepy during the night, that I was unable to walk, not to say run, because my eyes were closing and I was pretty much starting to dream/hallucinate. It was so tough that I decided I need to lie down for a couple of minutes. And I did- it could have been just for 30 seconds or 5 minutes, I have absolutely no idea, but it helped a bit and allowed me to go on. Then the tiredness came again so I did that trick one more time. After that a guy caught up with me and I tagged along with him which woke me up and got me through the dark times. By the way this guy is Rod Viggers to whom I’m still grateful for the help back then (thanks mate if you’re reading it). By the way, I should also mention that the need for sleep was so great that no energy gels, no double-caffeine gels, or coffee at the previous checkpoint worked.

      On another occasion, actually in my fairly early days of doing ultras, so perhaps about 8-9 years ago I remember I had not-so-comfy. After 70 or so km I had dreadful blisters that I could hardly run or walk. When the blisters started to burst I would shout in agony for a couple of minutes… then it got better 🙂 Once all the blisters burst, my feet felt a bit numb and I could move swiftly again.

      When it comes to various pains and niggles while on a long run I guess I’d usually introduce a walking break. My pains are hardly ever that severe that I would have to stop and consider my options- it’s usually enough to slow down for some time and then pick up running again. If my legs are in pain, the culprit are usually calves. I might do an occasional quick stretch just by bending down on straight legs which loosens the calves a bit.

      To conclude my response I would add one thing- if you think something is seriously wrong, then take no risks and stop your training run or pull out of the race. No use risking your health.

      Hope that was helpful.
      Marcin

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