Aisha Jordan Johnson, “Patience is peaceful and so is running!!!

Aisha Jordan Johnson, I've come across this name a few times, usually through post on FB as she shares her runs and milage. One thing that i've noticed from those post was how consistent Aisha has been when it comes to her miles. Aisha isn't your average runner, she is one that ALWAYS looks for a challenge as she has finished numerous ultras and marathons. You name the type of race and theres a very good chance she has ran it. But it was one of her last post that really spoke to me when it comes to patience and running as you can see in the title above. This month we get to chat it up with Aisha as we discuss her journey, her why and obviously her interest in running these insane amount of miles for races lol.

MSM: Welcome to Mid Strike Magazine. Usually, we’d start with a formal introduction but as I did some research I came across a race that you completed called the Vudoo Ultra, 138 miles. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT MILES. All I can say is wow but my next question to follow is why?

AJJ:  YES!! Voodoo Ultra was such an incredible race!  I choose this race because it was fulfilling a childhood dream of mine, running from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.  I am from New Orleans, but my paternal grandparents lived in Baton Rouge.  When we would take the 3 and half hour drive to visit them, I would look out the car window and imagine myself running through the woods to get to their house.  I thought that would be the ultimate adventure.  I was so excited when I stumbled upon this race.  The the city of New Orleans would not allow any runners to finish in the French Quarter as originally planned, due to the pandemic. Instead, it was an out and back race, all in Baton Rouge.  It was still a life changing experience.

MSM: I’ve only crossed 26.2 once and finished at 31 miles but I must ask, what happens to the body while running 138 total miles? Were you able to rest or sleep during the run?

AJJ: The body does go through a bit of trauma when running this type of distance.  The route was completely gravel, on top of a levee with the Mississippi River as your companion for most of the distance.  My feet did swell, and they felt very heavy as early as mile 50.  Even the thought of food made me nauseous at about mile 70. Along the route I probably slept a total of 45 minutes out of a 46-hour race.  I did stop to eat some soup a couple of times.  Soup is a norm at ultra-marathon aid stations.  The auditory and visual hallucinations are by far the scariest part of the race.  Sounds will range from one extreme to the next; meaning a dog barking right next to me sounded like it was miles away.  But the sound of a car driving by sounded like a plane getting ready to crash into me.  With sleep deprivation your mind creates images that are not there, or the mind makes it out to be something or someone else.  It’s an intense feeling to say the least.

MSM: Crossing the finish line had to be an experience like no other and I'm sure it was one of the best finishes that you’ve ever experienced in your run journey with a sense of accomplishment that was like no other. Take us through some of those feelings as you crossed that finish line?

AJJ: Going through the finish line definitely felt surreal.  More like an outer body experience. I watched myself receiving the second-place woman’s award along with the valued race belt buckle.  The feeling is euphoric and lasts for several days.  Even with the sore body.  When you are out in the natural elements for so many hours, pushing your body to the limit, you feel an incredible appreciation and connection to everything; especially family, friends, and the world around me.

 I love the fact that running is universal. It doesn’t matter your age, race, religion, economic status, or gender.  We are all runners. 

Aisha Jordan Johnson

MSM: You’re one of the most consistent runners in the running community, has running always been something that has been a part of your lifestyle?

AJJ: I was on the track team in high school as a sprinter, running 100’s and 200’s.  As a child, my real love of running stemmed from spending time with my dad; running longer distances with him on the weekends.  I didn’t return to running until I was in my late 20’s.  I was a new mom and turned to running as a form of convenient exercise.  I ran with me daughters in a double jogging stroller when they were young. When I first got back into running; my breathing was ragged and my pace was inconsistent, but I didn’t care.  Endorphins are real!  It felt great to be back at it. 

MSM: We’ve yet to discuss your running journey, give us some insight into some of the races you ran. What have been some of your favs and ones that you are looking forward to?

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