Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A new running season I suppose

Ok, it’s been a while and I just realized that my last entry was on a DNF – I can’t let that stand. Particularly since, having just re-read it, I would have something to add: bullshit!

Well, not completely. I mean, 90% of what I wrote is true - at least the mental mindset part - but I now know that it was all mental. Of course I was beat, but in such a long race, who isn’t at some point? I forgot that things can turn around. I should have slept, had the cup of lapsong souchong tea that I’d been carrying in my bag, read the inspirational text messages sent to me by a mate back at work, and headed out just before dawn to see how the sunrise helped me – and get the job done. Because it turns out even that stress fracture in the foot wasn't a stress fracture but cuboid syndrome or dislocation. Painful but only in a dull way and quickly fixed by a 5mn physio manipulation. Nothing that should have prevented me from dropping out, at least not where I did.

In a way, I was too tempted by the 2-hour drive home that would allow me to spend Saturday with my wife and kids. And Sunday, because if I had soldiered on to the end, it probably would have taken me till Sunday morning at least. And that’s what I couldn’t bear. There’s the real problem: no matter how many races I’ve done going in with the attitude of “just finishing”, and no matter how many times I’ve read it and told others, I realize now that I’d somehow given myself a 42-43 time limit, the time it took me to complete Jordan. I couldn’t face doing any longer… and that was my downfall.

Now I’ve signed up for another 100 miler, with 24,000 feet of elevation, in Portugal. A new mountain range to discover and only 50 participants. Far away from home – or at least far enough so that quitting won’t bring me home any faster and I might as well soldier on. Quite early in the year – June – but at least this way I won’t be obsessing about it for nine months, with the real risk of peaking too soon.

Because out of everything I wrote after the UT4M, I do believe that training was not the real issue, and it’s irrelevant anyway because I’m not willing to dedicate more time to this. It would take away the enjoyment and make the sacrifices and egocentrism too great. So if I fail to finish this next 100 miler, then I may have to admit that either physically and/or mentally I just don’t have what it takes. But I need to find out.
This time I going to train differently, hoping that I don't have another skiing accident. Anyway, more ski touring in the winter months, more swimming, more biking; fewer long weekend runs but longer (every two weeks instead of every week to spend time with the family), more mid-week speed work, no pressure (no fund raising) and lots of fun. 

I’m excited again.

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