Running is just one foot in front of the other, and with the appropriate training, you might be surprised what the human body can do. Our daily lives are filled with assumptions about what is and isn’t possible. As UX designers, we spend much of our days making life easier for people and reducing friction in their lives. However, is there a place for stress, struggle and suffering? Are there unintended consequences of the work we are doing? Where is the balance between comfort and stress, ease and obstacle? What is the boundary between the natural and designed world? Growth and adaptation occur only through the application of appropriate stressors on systems. Over the last several years, I’ve been running trail ultramarathons as a way to introduce stress and adaptation into my life, and to re-connect with the natural world. 

In this talk, I’ll introduce you to the world of ultrarunning (any distance beyond 26.2 miles—typically 50k, 50m, 100k, and 100m+), and through stories of exhilaration and suffering, I’ll give you a taste of what it’s like to push your body beyond the limits of what you might have thought was possible.