Saturday, December 08, 2012

a random post

This blog has been super quiet for the past several months.  I've actually started a handful of posts on a variety of topics, ranging from my eternal love for my Lululemon Dart n' Dash shorts to musings about the injury prone-ness of a certain group of runners and how that might relate to their scores on the (scientifically validated) neuroticism scale.  I also started a post about my run at Shut-in and sent something out to my fellow BCTC friends, but I wasn't feeling terribly inspired to write a long, funny blog post, mostly because I was kind of ridiculously busy at work and having difficulty finding time to sleep, let alone write long, witty blog posts.

If you image search 'no time', this picture comes up - why??

Now, three weeks later, I'm still not inspired to write about Shut-in, as there's just not anything that was terribly inspiring (either positively or negatively) about that run.  It was a lovely day, but I had a cold, so I did a long slow run up a mountain, allowing me to enjoy the rest of my weekend in Asheville.  I wasn't super hyped up about the race going in, so not having a great day wasn't really that disappointing.  so meh.  But I feel compelled to write.  So here goes a post about the likely reason I'm not feeling particularly amped up about races.  It hearkens back to something I did (or, to be more accurate, did not do) in July.  I did not finish.  I'm not depressed about not finishing.  I'm not in some failure-induced malaise (at least, I don't think so...), but I do have this feeling of unfinished business.  When I bailed on Vermont, I thought I wouldn't.  I thought I would be okay with my body telling me I shouldn't do that.  ...but alas, my logical side was not strong enough to suppress my stubborn, I can do anything you can do side.  So one day in September, I rushed into work after my Saturday run (because work has gigabit hardwired ethernet and TWC in my not).  I spent 3 solid minutes hitting ctrl-F5 over and over again until the button appeared, and I clicked and crossed my fingers.  After a brief pause, the registration page for the Umstead 100 appeared, and I knew I had 20 min to fill in my info before my slot was returned to the pool.  After about 3 min of careful typing, I had my confirmation page.  I had been accepted into the Umstead 100.  I had also joined the community of people who had said things like "[there's no reason to run farther than a marathon.] Anything more and you're just being an asshole."  ...and "I would never sign up for the Uwharrie 40.  That's just stupid."  No, I'm not talking about the ultrarunning community (I entered that club of stupidity years ago), and I'm not talking about 100-milers (I tried that back in July, and I have not yet finished 100 miles, so that can't be it). No - instead I have become a certified member of the Eating One's Words club with my own failure to adhere to "I would never run the Umstead 100.  I know the trail too well and 8 laps around the park just sounds awful."

OOH!  My words taste like brownies!  Awesome!!
After the initial exhilaration about winning the race to enter the race wore off (which lasted about 10 seconds), that feeling of regret and remorse set in "what have I done?  Oh boy was that a bad life decision." I remembered how much I hated training for the last round.  How much I missed seeing my friends.  How much I missed everything in my life that was not working or running.  But on the upside, this go round I would not have to worry about travel.  I would not have to try and bribe people to fly somewhere with me so they could spend hours in a minivan waiting for the 2 min they would be able to see me before I dodged back into the forest again.  ...and unlike the last round, where I was the outsider listening to local runners chat with aid station volunteers while I friendlessly picked through the bowl of cantaloupe (emotions get a little ridiculous 45 miles in), this time *I* would the home team.  I reasoned this would be great because a) it might help keep me feeling a little happier in the later stages, and it also would add a little more pressure to keep going in the face of adversity (despite my Catholicism-induced guilt motivation, I also acquired a deep seated fear of shame at some point).  So logically, this was the correct answer.  However, I'm still battling that feeling that this was a bad bad choice. 

Regardless, the deed is done and here I am, back where I swore I wouldn't be - training up for another hundred.  This time, however, apprehension and excitement have been replaced with a sort of resigned determination.  Unless something is actually sticking out of me (and even then, if there's less than 20 miles to go...), I'm going to do my darndest to get my butt across that 100-mile line.  It won't be fun, and there will be crying and probably multiple temper tantrums (I seem to have 1-2 in a 50-miler, and I expect the curve to be exponential), but I *really* don't want to do this again, and I *really* don't want to end this endeavor with a big, fat DNF, as I'm not particularly good with the word "can't".  As a result, pretty much everything between now and April is a training run toward this goal.  Lots of repetitions of boring courses to get used to repetition and boring, and lots of loooong runs with checked egos (I'm supposed to run slow enough that feel like I could still run more at the end?  wha????)  It also means that I am absolutely not supposed to go all out at races between now and then, which is a little bittersweet (I mean - I was only 13 min from 8:30 at last year's Uwharrie, but on the flip side, I was THIRTEEN minutes from 8:30, so that takes a little pressure off...)  So here we are with a long winter of running ahead (how much fun is winter running anyway?  Don't answer that), but it will be worth it to be able to check this beast off the bucket list as the home team.  

I actually love running in the snow - it just adds such a lovely
bit of silliness to the mix