What I learned from my 8x8x8 — running eight miles every eight hours for eight days. Spoiler alert: it’s not about running.

A scene of sunrise over trees with hills in distance
A scene of sunrise over trees with hills in distance
Sunrise: one of the benefits of being out for a run at the f**king crack of dawn

Back in August I undertook the “4x4x48,” a challenge thought up by fitness guru David Goggins that entails running four miles every four hours for 48 hours. I wanted it to mean something, but the whole thing just felt performative and insubstantial — something to do and then maybe post about on social media. I thought possibly I might have begun developing better discipline in getting out for a run “on time” and without too much foot-dragging, but…

What I learned from accepting an arbitrary challenge

A couple of months ago, a friend posted on Facebook that she and her husband had decided to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours: 48 miles in 48 hours. She posted a photo that appeared to be her husband, running ahead of her in the dark. As I imagine would be the case for most people, my first thought was…why? Probably unlike most people, however, I also thought this sounded like a great idea. Besides the running part — something I do anyhow — what most appealed to me…

Why it is so damn hard to say, and why you should say it anyhow

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual assault that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

The man was all over me pawing and slobbering, and I was completely frozen. He was tall, and he was old, and he was clutching at my ass and shoving his tongue down my throat. We were not in some dark alley or sleazy bar, we were standing around with lots of other people — including my boyfriend — in someone’s day-lit back yard.

It was a wedding reception.

The groom was a guy my boyfriend knew…

Going deep at the 2019 Run Rabbit Run 100

Photo by James Peacock on Unsplash

There were numerous reasons why it made no sense to return to Colorado to attack another 100-mile run three weeks after a fourth unsuccessful attempt to attain a Leadville 100 finisher’s buckle. This latest Leadville DNF was at least partially due to my not being in good enough shape to run 100 miles in the allotted time, and there’s no possible way I will be in significantly better shape in three weeks. I have injuries that won’t be healed in time, I have no pacers or crew or support at all…

Demon Debates and Dragging a Fridge = DNF

Mt Massive, as viewed from the Leadville course

I’m back for my fourth shot at the Leadville 100, and I don’t feel great. My winter was beset by injuries and distractions, my training has been lame, and I’m not in the best shape. My only option at this point is to think positive. I did run a marathon in June that was notably faster than I’ve managed for over a decade; I now have run the whole course, and I’ve finished a different mountainous 100, so I believe I’ve learned a thing or two. Experience, hopefully, counts for a lot.

Therefore, I need to stop dwelling on the…

getting older does not necessarily mean you can’t improve

Running faster! Image by Mark Murphy

Recently I ran my 36th marathon, in my third-fastest marathon time. I report this not (only) because I am happy about it, but because I am approaching my mid-50s, and I want it to be known that getting older does not automatically, in and of itself, mean getting slower. For well over a decade now I have harbored the belief that it may still be possible to set a new personal record (PR), in spite of the inexorable progression from age group to age group. I have run since I was…

A Grand Day Out

Light at the End of the Tunnel: marathon #36. There are a few things I want to report about this race. The first is that in spite of clocking my all-time slowest marathon in Boston less than 2 months ago, this time I managed to run my 3rd fastest. I ran a faster time (a mere 17 seconds faster) in August of 2007, and faster still (PR) a year before that. Otherwise I have never run a faster marathon. …

What are you not doing because you’re afraid to fall?

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

I arrived a few minutes late for practice; my running team was already standing in a circle while our coach made announcements and described the impending workout. I had joined the circle (unobtrusively, I thought) and just as she was getting to the end of her remarks the coach’s eyes settled on me and she stopped mid-sentence. “Um…Catherine, did you fall?” Everyone looked at me. I was in the midst of saying yeah, but no big deal, I’m fine when I looked down and realized that there was blood all…

It doesn’t have to be a negative

At the 2016 LT100 starting line, pre-DNF. Photo Credit: Sebastian Greer

Did Not Finish: we all know that “DNF” in place of a final time means that we started a race and, for whatever reason, did not cross the finish line. Maybe it’s an injury, maybe a severe gastrointestinal issue. Perhaps it’s a missed cutoff time. Sometimes it’s a voluntary, considered and rational decision, when the pain or time or risk of continuing are determined to outweigh the value of a buckle. Sometimes a DNF is chosen, deemed preferable to a disappointing race time or not achieving a place on a podium. But no…

Fat does not provide protection

Can you see yourself in the mirror?

One time I spent almost two hours in a department store dressing room, staring at myself in the mirror. It was my senior year in college, and there was a fancy event coming up for which a new dress seemed to be in order, so that is what I was doing: shopping for a dress. I had zeroed in on a likely candidate and entered the dressing room with the same dress in several different sizes, to determine which (if any) might fit me. I had four or five different sizes (I was that clueless…

Catherine Lunt

Overthinker, ultrarunner, obsessive writer, prolific dreamer and undisciplined creative.

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