Can one rely on muscle memory for 32 miles? Uh, I guess we will see.
I have psychological issues with racing and with well heat and with not being able to eat solid food and uh maybe life in general. It has been ELEVEN DAYS since I have had a sandwich, and make that ten days without anything that requires chewing. I had this now not so brilliant idea to get braces, I got them mostly because everyone told me they aren’t that bad and well actually they are that bad!
I’ve wanted to run the Speedgoat 50K since it’s birth way back during my waiting tables Snowbird phase. Fast forward 10 or so years and now I have my chance. Back then I couldn’t even fathom the distance and now with nearly 10 ultra finishes behind me I still can’t fathom the distance especially since I am currently starving!
Speedgoat Karl says, “This the most technical race east and west of Snowbird Ski Resort. Rocky, rooty, snowy, very steep hills, even steeper descent, all over nasty, wet rocky terrain. If you like a fast 50k, this race is NOT for you.” What he should have said is if you legs feel like poo and you just got bite turbos that do not let you close your mouth, this race might NOT be for you.
Now that I’ve been through several of these races, I notice a pattern (except for the last Red Hot for some reason). I feel like absolute death the week before the race to the point of not being able to even move my legs in a running type motion. My anxiety level is through the roof and I spend all week doubting my abilities and drafting emails to the race director begging my entry be deferred until next year, which I never go as far as to send. There are typically lots of tears. In order to soothe my anxiety, I tell myself I will make the decision to run the morning of the race and I typically wake up calm and ready to run.
Truth be told I always do have some sort of injury issue I am dealing with since that is just the bodily cards I have been dealt. But I have never had to drop out of a race for injury issues (knocking on lots of wood) so that makes me wonder if all this pre-race funk is purely in my head.
Perhaps this is all my textbook defensive pessimism working or maybe I am actually insane, but the real questions is why do I keep doing this to myself?!? And well I do it because I love running and trails and fields full of happy wildflowers and trail running people and the fact that I get to drink coke at aid stations. And well most of all I do it because I don’t think I can do it and if somehow I can use these experiences to learn how to trust in my strength and my abilities maybe I can stop being so gosh darned afraid of everything. My lack of confidence is my biggest weakness and it holds me back in all areas of my life. Maybe if I can learn how to deal with this I can actually make something of myself!
Tomorrow is going to be a serious challenge so I need some serious plans. My pelvis is jacked (take ibuprofen, start out slow, and don’t make any bodily judgments until mile 10), my mouth hurts (wax the shit out of your braces in the morning and view mouth pain as nice distraction from running pain), I can’t bite down on typical race bottle, how am I going to stay hydrated, oh no! (hope new squeezy bottle works, start as hydrated as can be, and guzzle at aid stations), it is going to be hot (take salt tablets, soak Buff in streams, go naked if you have to), and don’t quit (focus on the flowers and the views of Mt. Superior and how good it will feel to be done and then you never have to do this again).
This is going to be awful and totally fun!