Questionably Texan

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Looking Back at the Lost Soul Ultra


I had some time to kill waiting for a flight this morning, so I started looking back through some posts on my old blog that I had written around the time of my first 100-miler.  I ran the Lost Soul Ultra in September, 2011.  It was held in the city where I grew up (Lethbridge, AB, Canada), and is dubbed “The toughest race on the prairies.”  I probably should have paid more attention to the slogan before I signed up for the race.  Oh well, live and learn!

Although I was grossly undertrained for the distance (as I am again for Rocky Raccoon, surprise!), I knew that the mental challenge would be the most difficult thing to overcome.  Leading up to the race, my wife would routinely ask me, “Are you going to finish?”  It was her way of both gauging my confidence, and reminding me that I needed to decide ahead of time whether or not I was going to finish.  As a result, I came up with three reasons why I would DNF (“did not finish”) the race.
-If my urine contained blood
-If I was going to injure myself to the point of needing surgery
-If I broke a bone in one of my legs
Luckily none of those things happened, and so I had no excuse to quit.

I also put a lot of pressure on myself because of my food choices.  In one of my posts I wrote:

“One of the primary reasons that I didn’t allow quitting to be an option was because of my diet.  As a vegan, I feel like my food choices are under constant scrutiny from others – probably more so because I’m a runner.  I’m rather confident that if I were to have quit for ANY reason (blisters, pain, broken femur, …) there are some who would attribute my lack of success to my lack of meat.  And quite frankly, I couldn’t let that happen!  I know that I am far healthier now than I was when I ate a more “traditional” diet, but my choice is still met with judgements on a frequent basis.  So, for all of the vegans out there, I was making damn sure I finished that race!   Let’s face it – if I run 100 miles on nothing but plants (and licorice!), any questions about protein and energy can quite easily put to rest by pointing to the 30lb finisher’s rock that’s sitting in my living room.”  

Having completed the distance once already, I’m more secure in my plant-based diet.  I still don’t want to DNF at Rocky, but I also don’t want to be stupid like I was a few weeks ago.

Over the next 10 days I may resurrect a few posts from the Lost Soul Ultra.  There are things that I’d forgotten about (like having the shit scared out of me when I nearly stepped on a beaver at 3am), and things that I would probably like to have forgotten (like how hot it got during the second day).

For now though, I’ll just sit back and watch the video that my wife put together from the race.  Even though it’s been 18 months, every time I hear Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”, I feel like a little bit of a badass.



  1. sp0ket0wn says:

    Rock on questionablytexan. I am not vegan; am sore just from doing a thirty minute workout dvd yesterday, my bike has two flat tires and runs on hopes and dreams of being a physically-fit-bike-commuting-computer-genius and you inspire me. Working on all those forementioned items while I take in the snowscape of Spokane WA USA and get inspired reading about you pursuing your dreams. Ultramarathons. You win already dude.

  2. Ha- love your reasons to not finish!
    I just watched the video- amazing and so inspiring! I definitely think you should read old posts and rewatch the video over these next few days to help prep you!
    Have you ever considered doing the Canadian Death Race? It’s on my bucket list but scares me!

    • I’ve thought about the Canadian Death Race. Some of the guys running the Lost Soul had done the CDR previously. It sounds like a great race, but one that I would want to do with others (I don’t think I’d want to do the relay, but I would want to share the experience with at least one other person). My main fear about the race is the mountain passes – I’m deathly afraid of heights, even being on a mountain that is walkable is challenge for me!

  3. This is fantastic. I hope Rocky Racoon goes great for you. I can’t even imagine pushing that far, but its great to see someone show it is possible!

  4. Jill says:

    The video gave me the chills when I saw it first round…and even more the 2nd (as I start to *think* about doing the Leadville 50 this year). Love the Bon Jovi song, if I make it to Leadville, I’m totally stealing it :). You’re an animal, Jesse….Rocky is going to go great and I can’t wait for the video for that!

  5. So how exactly did you fuel during the 100 mile race? That is crazy to even think of running that far! Was it difficult to stay focused for that long?

    • Fueling was my biggest challenge. My wife basically force fed me. Near the end, I was pretty much taking in nothing but liquid calories because everything else sounded vomitous (a word I used a lot during the race!). I had hoped to just grab food at the aid stations, and walk and eat on the course, but I just couldn’t do it. I needed to sit down and force myself to eat.

      There was only one part where it was hard to stay focused – sometime around 4am. Had been going for almost 24 hours, and the sun hadn’t risen yet. I honestly don’t remember what I thought about to occupy my time during the race. Maybe I’ll resurrect my old post on the mental challenge of the race (I’ve intentionally not linked this blog to my old blog).

      • Wow, that must’ve been some experience! So when is your next 100 mile race? That is what you are training for now, correct? How many days did it take you to recover?

        • Next (and possibly last) 100 miler is one week away – next Saturday. I’ve been planning on running it, but I’m not sure I would really use the word “training.” I’m feeling incredibly ill-prepared, but nothing I can do about that now.

          I don’t quite remember how long it took me to recover after the first 100. I was pretty much dead to the world for at least two days. I also ended up taking about 2 months off from running, largely because of the “what now?” feeling. This time around, I can’t afford to take that much time off since I still need to bike to work most days, and I’ve signed myself up for a 1/2 marathon at the end of May.

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