When I started to run, I had no understanding about shoes or foot care. Somehow I had a strange belief that expensive running shoes was a scam and it really didn’t matter what you ran in as long as they fit well. I would just go to a big box store and choose a pair of cheap shoes off the shelf that seemed to fit well. My struggles were many, as I tried to go longer distances. My feet would get very sore and blisters were frequent. I became very discouraged.
Once I discovered the existence of ultrarunning in 2004, I subscribed to an email listserv named, ultralist (still in existence in 2016). This was the primary gathering place back then on the Internet for ultrarunning discussions. After my first year of ultrarunning, in 2005 I posted a long summary of my running activities and one veteran posted in reply: “After reading your race reports about your first ultra year, I’m amazed that you survived. It seems that you made many poor decisions during the year but still managed to grow and achieve success. You seem to be very determined and quite persistent, but be careful out there. Learning from your mistakes will help you eliminate a lot of the unnecessary pain you’ve been experiencing.” His comments were very true. I was gaining a lot of good experience through failures. I did read carefully the ultralist and learned a ton of knowledge from the experienced runners who shared their experiences and race report.