Forty Miles of Faith

It’s been three years since I decided I wanted to complete a 100-mile ultra-marathon. It’s not so hard to dream the big dreams when the goal is so far in the future, but now said 100-mile ultra-marathon is three days away, and it is getting harder to remain quite so tenacious. Most minutes I’m excited but then a pang of terror sweeps me up. Am I really going to do this?


Run Rabbit Run race details:

Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Distance: 104 miles (+/- 2 because no one seems to know for sure)

Elevation gain: 20,195 Feet (Plus the same amount of loss)

Average elevation: About 9,000 Feet ASL (Course high point is about 10,500 feet)

Cut-off: 36 hours (8 a.m. on Friday to 8 p.m. on Saturday)

Run Rabbit Run Elevation Profile
Run Rabbit Run Elevation Profile


Why I Have Reason to be Confident:

In July I completed the Never Summer 100K , my longest race and my longest training run preparing for Run Rabbit Run 100.  It was 65 miles and 13,000 feet of elevation gain with a 24-hour cut-off; so it was exactly 2/3rds as long as Run Rabbit. I gave a smart, well-paced effort. I never despaired, and I finished feeling like I could keep going. Yay!

Why I Have Reason to be Very Afraid:

104 – 65 = 39

In other words, Run Rabbit Run is about 40 miles longer than the furthest I’ve ever gone.


Why I Have Reason to be Confident:

When training for a marathon, you prepare your body to go a specific distance – 26.2 miles. Ultra training takes an opposite philosophy. The goal is to train your legs to keep moving when exhausted, to push through the walls and loss of momentum. Ultramarathon training helps your body – and your mind – to continue no matter what. It isn’t about specific distance, but time on your feet. I’ve done the work and put in the mileage. I’m prepared as I could be at this time.

Why I Have Reason to be Very Afraid:

One hundred miles is about the mileage I would put in in a month of training for a road marathon. In a typical month, I get one massage and between four and eight adjustments at my chiropractor. I stretch/roll, I eat enormous amounts of protein, and I sleep – a lot. In between all those miles I have time to check-in with my body to see if it has any sore spots that could become injuries. For this 100 miles I will have very little of that. Food, yes. But no sleep, no massage therapist, no chiropractor, no time to keep a slight injury from snowballing.

Why I Have Reason to be Confident:

Ultra-marathon success comes down to the ability to take care of oneself (besides luck), and I’m pretty super at that life skill. I’ve had to learn that art masterfully in order to manage my chronic headache. In terms of running, I know what to eat and when, how to pace myself, and to understand the difference between a pain I can run through and one I can’t.

What Will Motivate Me:

I saw this quote tattooed on some guy’s leg:

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

That’s it. That’s why I do this. I want to live that motto in all ways.


What Else Will Motivate Me:

The other reason I do this is to have the strength to visit places like these.

From the summit of North Maroon (Maroon Bells), Snowmass Mountain (left) and Capitol Peak (right), Elks
From the summit of North Maroon (Maroon Bells), Snowmass Mountain (left) and Capitol Peak (right), Elks
Ice Lakes, San Juans
Ice Lakes, San Juans
Chicago Basin, San Juans
Chicago Basin, San Juans

I’ve been to all three of these places in the past few weeks alone. It doesn’t matter how many miles of trail I cover in a summer, I want more of this beauty. You know that expression, “You are what you eat?” I think we are also the places we’ve been. To be sure, these memories will be with me as I run through Steamboat.

A Big Thanks:

I have seven people coming to help me, to crew and to pace for me – yes, seven! They will meet me at the aid stations, feed me, listen to me whine, lose sleep, and lie and tell me I look strong. From mile 46 on, I will have a pacer running along with me to make sure I don’t sit down, never to stand again. This race would be impossible without them.

Plus, bonus kudos to my friend, Cathy, who made this sweet care package for me.

Cathy is my feet's new best friend.
Cathy is my feet’s new best friend.

I’m so thankful to have such wonderful supporters in my life.


How To Follow Me:

The race will be broadcasted 8am Friday morning at You can also track me here using my bib number #575. I’ll be posting live on Facebook too (for as long as I have cell reception and cognitive functioning).

Let the miles begin!


15 responses to “Forty Miles of Faith”

  1. Reblogged this on Cathy A. E. Bell and commented:
    My friend Lynn gives me a special shout out at the end of her blog. She is about to embark on a 100 mile race in the mountains. Amazing. And scary and this woman who has chronic daily headaches pushes through that to do amazing things with her body and I’m so proud of her. She inspires me to be a better person. Take a look at her blog post and you’ll be amazed too.

    1. Thanks for posting, Cathy, and for your care package! I’ll be thinking of you lots as I use all those products!

  2. Lynn, way to go on your goals and your training- cheering for you for Washington! From another person who finds challenge and solace in the mountains.

    1. Thank you Shannon! The mountains are so giving in that way, aren’t they? We have so much in common.


    From: Lynn K Hall <> Reply-To: Lynn K Hall <> Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 11:24 AM To: “” <> Subject: [New post] Forty Miles of Faith

    Lynn K Hall posted: “It’s been three years since I decided I wanted to complete a 100-mile ultra-marathon. It’s not so hard to dream the big dreams when the goal is so far in the future, but now said 100-mile ultra-marathon is three days away, and it is getting harder to rema”

  4. Good Luck, Lynn! You got this! Looking forward to your updates! ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. I am confident that you can do it Lynn — and I’m sure you know how you would feel if you didn’t try. The most important thing is to try second in importance is to finish. I’m sure you know that you have many supporters (including me) who will be cheering you on and will still be your staunch supporters no matter what happens.

    1. That’s why you are so awesome. Thank you for your unconditional support!

  6. You’ve got this, Lynn! I’ve got endless faith in you, and will sustain you in my thoughts as you run the distance. (Isaiah 40:31)

    1. Thank you, Melodye! I’ll look up that one 🙂

  7. So excited for you!!! I know you can do it, and you give me inspiration 🙂 Good luck and can’t wait to hear about how it goes!!!!

    1. Thanks, Meg! I’m glad we are having dinner soon.

  8. You’re an inspiration!!! And the parallels you draw between this physical journey and the internal one really resonates. CHEERING YOU ON!

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