It seems like my blog has turned into a shoe review website lately. The truth is, there are a lot more shoes that I still need to write reviews on. I just haven’t been able to find the time, or get back into the habit, of writing more.
This summer I have not raced much. I have set a 5k PR twice (17:49 and 17:40, had a decent 50 miler (Pineland Farms in 7:51) and twice I have DNF’d. Once at the Traprock 50k (while in 4th place) and then at the Vermont 100 at mile 71. Although I have not been training as hard as the past few years, both DNF’s could have been avoided. The major problem is my head.
This is not a surprise. When running Ultras especially 100 milers, your body will only take you so far. You better have your head ready before you toe the line. I have been too cavalier in my approach. I think that once you run a bunch of these you tend to forget how much they hurt. I learned from my first 100 mile DNF, the Bear, last year. You HAVE to have a reason to continue figured out BEFORE you get to that point where you don’t think you can go any further. That’s the only thing that will keep you going.
For me, that means setting a goal and focusing on it for months ahead of time. It makes me really want it. Bad. Really Bad. Part of setting a big goal for me has always been to publicly declare it. That way it becomes more real. So I would like to do that right now.
I have decided once again to give myself a little test. I have never run further than 100 miles in one shot. On October 27th I am going to run the Ghost Rail Trail Ultra, here in NH. It is a unique race. The course is a 7.5 mile rail trail that you run out and back on. You can do any distance of 15 mile intervals and there is an official 100 mile race distance too. The course is open for 30 hours. I am going to stay on course for the full 30 hours and see how many total miles I can do. I believe that I should be able to go over 125 miles if things go well, but I am headed into uncharted territory for me.
I am so excited to be taking myself completely out of my normal comfort zone once again. It has been a while since I have done so. My training has to be very different for this. I will have to learn to be patient, something I am not very good at. I once again have that terrified feeling. Like the first time I signed up for a 100 mile race. After running 50 miles, a 100 seemed next to impossible. It scared the crap out of me, so I trained hard and focused. I got my head in order. Once again, I’m terrified. And that makes me feel so very alive!
Of course, my biggest problem is really going to be trying to figure out what shoes to wear…
awesome goal, Nate. Best of luck to you!
Good luck at Ghost Trail, Nate. I ran the 15 mile race back when that was all it was and it was a blast, not sure how many OaB's I could do, but i know one thing....I have made the decision to no longer run 100 milers. Have been running them since 1998 and I'm done. Next goal is to BQ for 2014!
Remember.... don't be afraid to walk. If you can erase that fear.. and embrace it.. you'll break the 100 mile wall.
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