As the mother of 4 children I have often
had discussions given lectures about being safe and smart while surfing the world wide web. I’m not dumb enough to think that my kids haven’t looked up all kinds of shit they shouldn’t be looking at – or things that I would prefer that they weren’t looking at. Half the time you don’t even have to go looking for those nuggets of internet debauchery. A simple google image search for a seemingly harmless subject can bring up more pictures of boobies and booties than I care to see on a Tuesday. Or any given day. But I digress. Teenagers and social media – they all have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, MySpace (is that still a thing) and of course because I’m a mom, I worry about what kind of strange people they are going to come in contact with. There’s some creepers out there. We all know it. I don’t need some freaky Silence-of-the-Lambs basement dweller messaging my kids and them innocently believing he really is Austin from Sydney, Australia who is totally into rugby and whose family is thinking about moving to Colorado…OMG…maybe we could meet…where do you live…No Way! That’s where my dad got a job…and then suddenly there’s an NCIS/CSI episode going on. Not happening. Hence, the lectures.
My own social media life has been fairly limited. I started my Twitter account in 2008 and I tweeted something about vacuuming and didn’t understand what the point of short little messages to the world was or how would I get people to follow me and why would they care and never tweeted again until 2014. I decided to look up a famous runner and started following them and then another and then suggestions came and before you know it, I had a few followers and they chatted about running and since I was training for a marathon, this was loads of fun. Other people were runners too! I didn’t have any running friends in real life and yet here are all these people that run and tweet about what races they do and when they get hurt and how much foam rolling hurts and how hungry they are all the time and how much chafing hurts like a son of a bitch in the shower. These were my people. And then I began to talk about them to my family. There’s this guy from England that likes Eric Orton and knows about the Cool Impossible too and OMG he’s coming to the United States for one of Eric’s training camps and oh it would be so cool if I could go too cuz I love Eric Orton and it would be so fun to meet him and.…. WHOA! I had turned into a 14 year old girl.(Disclaimer: I didn’t get to meet Rich but he’s actually a very nice guy and not an ax murderer.)
Somewhere along the way I started following a gal from Los Angeles who was running the Paris marathon and also training to run a 50k or 50 mile race. She was always happy and encouraging to other runners. She had a quick wit and sense of humor and quickly Christina (@arunningmess) became one of my favorites and a friend.
Then one day I noticed a tweet about a runner and her family moving to Colorado and finding their forever home in Fort Collins. I welcomed her to Colorado and soon we are chatting about the Bear Chase race in Denver. Melissa (@melissa_raguet) had run the race and encouraged me to sign up for it for my first ultra. She was going to run the 50 mile race and before I knew what happened I had registered for the 50k, and was making to plans to meet my Twitter friend in real life! (Disclaimer: I have met Melissa and her family- twice actually – and they are wonderful, kind, amazing people. Also not ax murderers.)
These two ladies are intelligent and kind and inspiring, and in the craziness of internet chatter the conversation turned to Javelina Jundred. And as those crazy 140 character conversations evolve, a handful of us start actually considering taking on the 100 mile race ourselves. Christina took charge and said Hey! I’m serious about this. If you want to join me, great! Melissa, Marsden (@runninglonely) and I all throw in our hands and say I’m in.
Melissa takes the reins next, and messages me and Christina about an idea she got while running one day (lots of ideas are born while running). What if the 3 of us ladies did a podcast about ultra running and specifically about training for Javelina? There’s lots of podcasts by elite runners and men, but how about women ultra runners, that don’t have sponsors but do have full time jobs and husbands and kids and family events and laundry and grocery shopping and stuff that sometimes men don’t have to or choose not to deal with? See what I mean – intelligent women.
Whirlwind commences and a website is created, an email and Twitter account established and soon we are recording our first episode of The Ultra Ordinary Podcast – three ordinary women runners embarking on a journey to their first 100 mile race together at the Javelina Jundred in Fountain Hills, Arizona in October of 2016. So far we have talked about training schedules and styles, races that Christina and Melissa have recently run, injuries, post ultra blues, coyotes, and our Christmas wishlist. We plan on talking about nutrition and rest while training, reviewing some of our favorite running books and movies and even have some interviews planned with other runners. I look forward to our time together on Skype every week as we talk and laugh and cuss and tell stories. I hope you can join us. None of us are ax murderers.