The thing about marathons is that they are really quite far. It's easy to forget this, when you associate so much with ultra-folks, and have in fact run a few ultras yourself. Easy until you run a marathon. It's far, you remember, and it hurts in its own right. You long for the aerobically comfortable ultra-shuffle, but no, no, you have to fucking go.
So if marathons are hard, then maybe, I don't know, ultras are easy? I mean, you get to go so much slower, right? Right?
The thing about ultras, though, is that they are really fucking far. Stupid far. The kind of far that you can't really get your mind around it, even if you've done it. Especially if you've done it. The mind has a way of blocking out the traumatic bits, and embracing the few seconds of holyshitI'mactuallyabouttofinishthis.
Mile 49.8-50 felt pretty fucking ace, so how bad could it have been, really?
I mean, other than the part, crouched by the side of some gravel path to hell - except hell is actually somewhere, and this is so far from anything like somewhere - promising yourself you'll never run another single solitary step in the rest of your life, that if a pack of starving wolves hurdled the barbed wire fence next to you, you'd just smile and ask politely that they consume your whole carcass, so as not to leave a mess for the race volunteers.
Another thing about ultras is that nobody ever does just one.
And the thing about fall in Kansas is that there are a lot of fucking ultras.