Running 100 miles is pure insanity and bad-assery, so we sat down with two Team Film finishers, Casey Kenley and Leann Faust, and asked some questions to get in their insane brains. The results: we are motivated to take more risks, to never miss out (FOMO), to embrace the film family of support, and “go for it”–aka “live your film.”
So why the hell would you run 100 freaking miles?
Leann: I suffer from FOMO- fear of missing out. I couldn’t help think as I trained with Casey, “What if it’s so fun and I’m NOT PART OF IT??” I’m kind of kidding, but my entrance into the race was less planned and definitely more because of peer influence. After I’d run a couple of 30 mile runs during Casey’s training, it just kind of seemed like a more exciting task to switch from the 50 miler (as a pacer, my original plan) to the 100. What did I have to lose?
Casey: Because I’ve figured out that I’m constantly searching for ways to live up to what I consider to be my potential. It’s mostly a psychological issue. I’m not out there to win anything. This challenge felt like one I’d been building up to since 2010, when I ran my first 50. Now I’m writing a book — no need to go farther than 100!
How does this accomplishment define you or how does it add to the person you are now since you’ve done it?
Leann: It makes me a complete and total badass. Haaaaa. Kidding. It’s definitely a conversation piece! I think if nothing else, it makes me realize that there are so many boundaries we give ourselves that simple aren’t there. If I can traverse 100 miles in one go, what else can I do?
Casey: It helps fulfill my need to feel like I’m not status quo — again the psychological issue! It also makes me feel like I can do most anything I put my mind to. I can train, stay focused, endure and finish with a smile on my face.
Tell us about your training. How did your training change for something like this?
Leann: So I was training to pace Casey for 50 miles. I’d qualified for Boston the November before her training started. The main difference is really long back to back runs on consecutive days (i.e., 30 miles one day, 20 the next at the longest). However, because I jumped in late in training for the full distance, I did about 4/10 of the really long back to backs. I did do most of the longest runs (just not as many back to backs).
Casey: I am very lucky that I was able to shift my work scheduled to spend many a Friday running really far — 18-30 miles. And then I’d run another longer run on Saturdays. Those back-to-back runs were the only modification to my overall running. The training took 24 weeks. I would run three shorter runs (3-6 miles) during the week.
What was the most challenging moment of the actual 100?
Leann: My GPS died with 3 miles and an hour to go, which sounds like a ridiculous amount of time, but we were moving so slow and could not go faster. I really was not sure we’d make it and I couldn’t stop crying. My friends just kept trying to stuff oreos in my mouth to distract me. It worked.
Casey: The mud. It rained a lot, so my partner in crime Leann and I had to do a lot of trudging when we were already exhausted. She was a great partner though, as we stayed on the same pace, stayed positive, and she entertained me through the whole race. We also had a 50-miler newbie friend during the first 50 miles, so those women made my challenges feel much lighter.
Most rewarding moment?
Leann: By far the most rewarding was getting to cover the last 50 miles with 6 other friends/spouses. Casey and I stuck together so we each had a pacer for each of the final 3 loops. We had 2 different people for each loop. It was a really bonding and humbling event
Casey: The finish! It was tears, friends to hug who had driven hours to see us, beers and exhaustion. I was just so happy.
What’s next for you? Because 100 miles sure seems like something to” top out” with as an athlete.
Leann: I just ran the Boston marathon, which was so fun! That’s a really special event for nerdy runners. I am also signed up to do a half-ironman in a month. I have not been swimming like I should (or probably training overall), so it might be a bit rough! It’s my first real triathlon, and a solid distance, so I’m just going for a completion. After that, we’ll be renovating a house.
Casey: Another 100 in August — Leadville — and to get a publisher for my book (I’m in book-traininig mode now).
Do you have advice for people contemplating an ultra or a “bigger than life” event?
Leann: Just go for it! You’ll learn so much in the process that it’s worth it no matter what! Plus, there’s usually some amazingly cool people whose paths you might be fortunate enough to cross while doing something like that!
Casey: Wow. Yes, just do it. Take the risk and put yourself out there. Five years down the road, if someone told you that you had one month left to live, think about the legacy you’re leaving. That “bigger than life” event could define who you are in the eyes of your children or people who look up to you. And it could allow you to live out your last days without regretting never taking that risk. (That was a little dark. Sorry!) Go for it!!!
Pictured below are just a few of the many support crew on the journey of 100 or BUST: Stacey Davis, Leann, Casey, and Bill Kenley.