ultra runner linda wong moves forward in reverse
posted: July 1, 2014
ULTRA RUNNING: a term used to describe any race where the distance is more than the traditional marathon race of 42k (26 miles). Most common ultra race distances are 50k (31 miles), 100k (62 miles), 50 miles (80k) and 100 miles (160k). Ultra races can also be a timed race, where the winner is the one who covers the most ground in the allotted time.
There’s a famous line in the Ozzy Osbourne song “No More Tears” about “going forward in reverse.” While it’s anybody’s guess as to what Ozzy meant in that context (or to decipher what he’s saying in general), we believe that there are times when doing things backwards can definitely propel you forward. Linda Wong, ultra-runner and Run Ambassador at our Robson St. store in Vancouver, is inadvertently proving just that.
This year Linda’s got two 50k races planned, in October and December. Ask her about about training for a 50k race and you’ll discover she’s got a sense of calm and comfort around how it’s all going to shake out because, really, when you’ve just completed a 100k race anything less seems like a walk through Stanley Park.
The Miwok 100k is an ultra trail race along the hilly coastline of the San Francisco Bay Area. For those who ran it, including Linda, May 3, 2014 marked a day of intense focus over nearly 12,000 feet of elevation gain, battling extreme coastal winds and glaring sun.
The intensity of the 100k training program-especially around a hamstring issue and sciatic problem-was a slow process. Linda says she had to really listen to her body when it was telling her to rest, to slow down or to push ahead. She knew that coming off of her injury it would be slow going to reach full training capacity, so patience and commitment to an enjoyable experience became her allies.
Linda crosses the finish line of the Miwok 100k
“Having a 100k in my body and having worked through an injury to make that race happen, I feel so much more confident in what my training for the next two races will look like,” says Linda. “I’m not the type of person to do something to ‘one-up’ myself, but more so because I love it. If I don’t love what I am doing, it’s won’t be a good day, and I won’t enjoy myself.”
Now, post race, she’s taking time to drink in the experience and recover. “When people ask me what’s next, I take so much pleasure in saying, ‘Whatever I want!’” she jokes. “A full recovery is the most important thing right now, and that means doing some of the things I put on the back burner while training: spending time with family and friends, catching up on things at home-just totally taking care of myself.”
Oh, and picking off those two 50k races later this year.
Those, Linda says, are for the fun of the sport. She never saw the Miwok 100k as something that “should have come after a 50k,” but as a benchmark for what she knows is possible, and a propellant in her running experience.
She knows there will always be mountains to climb and trails to stomp, and as long as she’s smiling, the distance just doesn’t matter. Hers is an approach to running that speaks to how love of a sport can make goals accessible, even if you appear to be moving forward in reverse.
Tears of happiness
Prairie girl Jess Robson is a long time lover of the sea and a current West Coaster. Residing in the sweet city of Vancouver, she spends her days working with small businesses and start-ups helping them tell their stories and bringing their brand, business and projects to life. She’s a passionate connector and feels like a superhero while holding a bottle of wine and entertaining friends. Catch up with her on Twitter or Instagram.