Katherine Fischer knew she was going to finish her first 100-mile run before she'd even started. Simply put, she gave herself no other option.
"There are two pieces of running/racing advice that I think about before any race/adventure/running project. The first piece: decide in advance what it will take to make me quit," says Katherine. "For both 100-mile projects, I decided there was nothing that would make me quit. There was no DNF-ing but there might need to be a NFY (Not Finished Yet) where I needed to take a break and come back to finish later on. In some ways that relieved a lot of mental fatigue knowing I am going to finish. I know I am not going to waste time vacillating about whether I should quit or not when stuff gets hard."
"The second piece of advice is from [coach and trail runner] David Roche: smile every mile. None of this stuff matters except the memories we make, so decide now that they will be good memories no matter how the race actually goes."
So, when things got hard during her 'Around the Block 100-milers' (yes, she did two of them!), Katherine lent in and believed in herself and the faith others had in her. "So many of the people I have met through Strava have helped me believe I am capable of more than I ever imagined I would be."
Katherine woke up at 2 am to start work, began running at first light (5:59 am) before taking a 6-hour break to do some work and eat. Around 4 pm she started running again completing the 100 miles the following morning, fueled by a donut delivery to her doorstep.
Her advice to other athletes? "See this time as an opportunity rather than a misfortune. As endurance athletes, we are so lucky we don’t need a lot to challenge ourselves. We don’t need big mountains or a big race or fancy gear. All we need is our imagination and a positive attitude."