Its' arrival in my life could scarcely have been more timely. My most recent "races" (or runs that I paid money for, since I wasn't racing, per say), have been... disappointing to say the least. I'm yet to familiarize myself with the experience of running an ultra well, and I believe that would enhance both my enjoyment and performance. I've received wonderful advice from wonderful athletes who have botched hundreds more races or runs than I, but who have also flirted with the elusive perfect day.
One of the first ways in which ultrarunning was described to me was as a discipline. Sure, its a sport, a game, a bit insane, but above all it is a discipline. Thus, it takes time, dedication, passion, patience, and persistence to reach a new level and soar to new heights. That brings me back to Jonathan Livingston Seagull: I know that I am strong and that I have trained reasonably well to make myself this way, but competing in races brings new challenges, with which I am not familiar and not always prepared to overcome. This being said, in Saturday's race, when I falter from my patience and begin calculating splits, thinking about how much longer another 25 miles can feel, reflecting on the elevation profile and the climbs that lay ahead, I'll bring this quote to mind:
"Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation.
Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know
and you will see the way to fly."
"You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there."
Anyways, this coming weekend, my objective will be to be smart, patient, and present. It is foolhardy to convince myself that pausing to consume calories will save me time in the long run, because too few calories can slow me to a walk and eat up the clock. Its naive to ride the assumption that running my tail off in the first half will put time in the "bank" and allow for a decent finish despite poor running in the second half; in actuality to run strong and consistently, despite not breeching 8 or 9 minute miles, will produce a far stronger finishing time.
Thanks for reading through, heres the week in review:
6 miles out and back on the Pine Creek Trail with Mel and Luna, 1:00, 400 ft
11 miles with Luke on the CT (from Clear Creek Res.), to the Pine Creek Trail, 2:05, 3,000 ft
3 miles with Luna to and from a fishing hole, 35 minutes powerhiking, 600 ft
23 miles with Luna, 3 laps of the Highline-RockCreek loop at the Fish Hatch (Travis joined the last lap). Lap 1- 1:20, Lap 2- 1:19, Lap 3- 1:22, 4:01, 4,000 ft. I was really pumped about this workout, focused on my fueling by having a visit to the aid-stationwagon to start each loop, and felt strong the entire run.
8 miles with Luna on the CT south from Wurt's Ditch Rd, 1:20, 1,200 ft
51 miles, 9 hours, 9,700 ft