Monday, January 12, 2015

A Tale of Two 100K

     December 27th, 2014 I ran my best race ever at 9:45:58 for 100Ks.  Thirty-one 2 mile loops on asphalt at a park in Houston. The Houston Running Festival.  On January 10th, 2015 I quit at mile 25 of the Bandera 100K
     Why did I do this?   I signed up for Bandera back in July with the intention of trying to run the best 100K I could run, to really train and race it. The 100K @ Houston Running Festival I signed up for in October.  My best shot at running a sub 10:30:00 100K was at the Houston Running Festival which is the minimum qualifying time to be able to register for the Spartathlon
     After running my race in Houston, I was ecstatic.  I could not believe that I did it.  My greatest ultra performance ever at this distance.  I had some lingering problems over the past two weeks, but I took it easy and figured, all would be well for Bandera.  The race started fine, but the crappy conditions and unrealistic goal of throwing down 11 hours, chewed me up and spit me out.
     I had no business trying to run hard at Bandera, or even running at all.  I mean come on.  What kind of dumbass does one have to be to think they could pull off two amazing runs, two weeks apart?  Maybe a 5K or 10K, but not 100K.

Every time you go for a run, you get to learn something new about yourself.

What did I learn.  I learned a valuable lesson in these four areas; patience, acceptance, humility, and respect. 

Patience - Plan your races/training properly so that there exists enough time for recovery/adaptation to run your best.  You don't have to run everything. 

Acceptance - Never lose sight of the runner you are on the day of the race.  You may be running well, but when course conditions warrant and lack of recovery dictate, you should adjust your expectations. 

Humility - Don't get greedy and think you should PR every race.

Respect -  Take care of your body.  Don't ask it to do more that it should.  My legs/lungs/heart just gave me a 9:45:58 100K two weeks ago and then I ask it to do it again?  That is not respectful.

     I enjoyed chatting with friends in the cold and watching the race by the start/finish line.  I was able to talk through some of my other goals and plans for the year.  Of course I'm still bummed about quitting, but I'm seeing more clearly now.