When I registered for the BFC, I decided to document my journey to becoming an ultramarathon runner. A blog seemed like a good option, since I could share it with friends if I chose, but I also didn’t want something public or searchable. This was really an exercise in writing as reflection, for myself, and not for public consumption. WordPress offered that privacy, so I decided to start my first blog.
I had started thinking of myself as the dark horse in the race because, as I mentioned in an earlier post, while I’m not the fastest or strongest runner on the course, I do have some mental toughness and determination, grit you might say, that propels me. As an equestrian, I always liked the phrase “dark horse in the race.” It was fitting for me and my horse, Whisper, when we competed. He was a $198 horse that the vet suggested was better fit for dog food, and I was a kid with very limited resources and self-taught horse girl. I trained us both for competition. We still managed to be county champs almost every year and smoked our competition across disciplines. We simply wanted it more than anyone else. I’ve carried that drive into my running. I’ve been humbled by the running world, but I feel confident that I can improve and that I can surprise people by showing them what I’m made of.
There I was, then, setting up my first blog, giving it a title that captured this spirit. Proud of my first entry and the aesthetic, I showed it to a friend, who said, “BFC Black Horse. Cool!” In that moment, I realized that instead of BFC Dark Horse, I had registered both the blog and my new gmail address as Black Horse. I felt like an idiot for my mistake, but it did have kind of a nice ring to it, so the name stuck.
The name is a tribute to my trusty steed. I’ve known hundreds of horses in my life, but none have had the heart that Whisper did. He and I were the scrappy underdogs who proved that hard work and a fierce spirit can outpace pedigree and privilege. Sometimes, when I run the trails, I think of our wild rides through the forest together, and I channel his inner fire. I also sometimes wonder what Wispy would think of me using my own legs to carry myself through the woods instead of using them to hold onto him. He would probably think I’m too damn slow for him and just tell me to hop up and hang on.
Affidavit: There’s one more part to the story, though. I had another palm-to-forehead moment recently when I was thinking about the ultra runner Micah True, and realized that Black Horse would most certainly strike other runners as a total rip-off of True’s adopted identity as Caballo Blanco (White Horse.) For the record, the connection didn’t occur to me until long after creating the blog. It makes me feel a little silly now, as it does seem to suggest I’m trying to put myself in the same league as this legendary runner. That’s not the intent, of course, but it seemed worth mentioning here.