LooseCrew-JeffO: Peeved @ Me I-yam


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peeved @ Me I-yam

The mentality surrounding the LT100 is really not ideal. Can't remember if I've already mentioned this before The Race or not, but I do believe in giving up - when prudent. It's just that people so often think of running 100 miles as so insurmountable that you have to approach it with an attitude of never giving up - that's the only way! Well it's not the only way. You can actually condition yourself sufficiently to go the distance without having major hardships. With only two years of training, I'm not there yet. This was extremely difficult for me. My conditioning was so marginal at this point that a small series of mishaps is all it took to derail my train.

Tania P pointed some things out to me. I'm going to paraphrase her advice, though.

You should do what's healthy. Don't destroy yourself in one race, and then miss the next 5-10 because you're lame, and then after being lame for so long you've lost your conditioning and have to start over. Think long-term.

In light of that, I should have quit at Fish Hatchery. My mortal sin is that I'm not repentant - I'm so glad I made it over Sugarloaf! It was SO COOL to be there after all those miles!! My only defense is that I wasn't aware of my ankle injury yet. The nerve damage and endorphins covered it up.

The doctor at the clinic was not proud of me. He's really sick of the parade each and every year. He doesn't find our quips about insanity to be funny. It's not a joking matter to him.

But seriously, I didn't know I was injured beyond my left IT band, which wasn't a full-blown crippling injury (but thank goodness it can heal while my ankle recovers).

Elite ultra-runners are so personable and approachable. You often get into a conversation with someone you don't know and they're just the nicest person. Then you find out you're talking to someone like Kirk Apt, Jeff Beuche, Eric Bindner - elite runners - and they don't have any chips on their shoulders. That's because if you do ultras for very long, your chips will get knocked off.

An ultra can be a single event, but really life is an ultra, especially if you wear the title of "ultra-runner". It doesn't end with one race. It's a process that includes all of your races and all the non-running events in your life. Every race you do, you need to be looking at the next race on your schedule.

I, of course, had no more races scheduled. All I had was a list of events I'd maybe like to do if I'm not crippled. So my approach was not the healthiest. Each year I choose one event that is my Primary Event. Everything else is just training for That.

Scott Jurek DNF'd at Mont Blanc. Nobody's going to call him a quiter. He's one of the most elite runners in the world. He's not going to scuttle his schedule by destroying himself on one race. He may set a course record in a week somewhere.

So maybe I need to approach next year with a full schedule for after Leadville and an attitude that I can DNF - it's OK?

This year, I had no real problem the first 60 miles. It was those last 24 that things went critical-mass. Sure there was building stress before mile 60, but there wasn't much penalty felt.

So I can run 60+ miles without a problem. This next year I need to keep pushing that limit out to 70, 80, 90+. But not at the penalty of obsessing over it to the detriment of my relationships, my job, and my health in general.

Socially, I'm very clumsy. It's been hard for me to crawl out from under my rock and stay out here. Repeatedly I feel embarassed, but I can't quit because of that. Sometimes I'm so clumsy I think I should not inflict my clumsiness on others - that I'd be doing everyone a favor by crawling back under my rock. But I'm not going to do that - sorry. Running has brought me out into the light. I've met other socially-clumsy people who I adore. Maybe they need me the way I need them? So this is another one of my "ultras" I don't want to DNF. By continuing to run 100-milers, I hope to help myself in this other "ultra" to keep going, no matter how painful.


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