Most take this time off during the cold months towards the end of the year where I tend to enjoy this during the hotter months when it’s 100+ deg outside in the South. The rest period has been nice but I don’t sleep as well at night, I eat too much, and feel lazy and unhealthy. The hunger to run is back, and the thought of pounding the trails is getting overwhelming. The objective for down-time has been accomplished, and it’s time to start breaking my body down again is here – Thank God.
What a crazy year so far with the many unforeseen racing results of my fellow ultra runners. I’m talking about some incredible tough runners which have overcame even the most difficult and unimaginable conditions, and reach deep inside to finish the race strong with a top 10 or even winning. This year I have seen more DNF posts, and more then one from some, and to face the most realistic and painful part of doing one of the most extraordinary endurance sports known. This way of life demands years of hard training for one to even consider competing in these events, not to mention the hours of sacrifice for months leading up to toeing the line. So much effort, heart, and planning with a very good possibility that you may not see the finish line! We visualize our thoughts and emotions for victory but never defeat. And when the day comes which reminds us that we are human, our lives are turned upside down with deep self disappointment knowing it came down to a decision during a moment of weakness and pain. Nevertheless, I feel this is what makes us stronger when you have thrown yourself into the dirt, mud, and rocks only to crawl back on your feet to return another day. This is a lot like life when pushing through the bad challenging times which you just don’t always win, but live to survive. This is what I call building experience or living life for all it has to offer. I would rather take a chance and deal with the DNF then to not ever race and not know what it feels like to push myself to my limits. Besides, how do you know what your limits are if you don’t push yourself, every now and then, to total exhaustion.
As for my agenda, I have a 50K and a 50 miler in October if my training goes well. I’m looking at a couple of marathons before the year is up so I can work on those fast-twitch muscles. This will give me a good base going into next year’s agenda, and will hopefully include Western States 100, which I qualified for, again. I will find out in December if I’m one of the few selected for this epic race.