Saturday, August 7th, I will not be racing the Mad City 100k in Madison, Wisconsin. I've raced it twice, getting second last year running 6:56 per mile pace for 62 miles. However, in the last three months I think I have only had about 30 miles faster than 7:00 per mile, and only one long run over 16 miles. That's woefully insufficient for racing 100 kilometers.
I often wait until the last minute to register for races because things don't always fall into place. Maybe it's an injury, maybe I'm just not in shape. This time it's the not in shape aspect.
Grrr! It's frustrating seeing the constant stream of successes on social media, and then going out and running six miles at 8 minute pace, and breathing way too hard. It's frustrating because I have some fear that my best running is all behind me. Running has acted as a crutch the last decade to show me concrete self improvement when I struggle to get that validation from the other things in my life. I fear that feeling of success ending. Sure, fear can be a source of motivation, but it's 5:30 pm 30F outside and it rained earlier, so it's wet out, and it's not enough to get me out the door so far today.
My sister visited for Easter this weekend, and we talked about gods, little g. And I told her that I made Everest a god in my life in the years leading up to it. I trained for it, I saved for it, I thought about it. And in hind sight I don't really like the fact that I put so much effort into that one thing. Yes I showed up extremely well prepared, but as a climbing mentor told me in 2010 when Yosemite had defeated me three times in two weeks, "if you aren't whole without it, you won't be whole with it."
It's always fascinating for me to read about olympians. They put years of their lives, decades often, into a sport and then when it is over, wow! What a change! Even when they are still going there can be a letdown at the end of the season. It is what it is, and you have to wait until next year to try again, or for seniors, it was your last chance at State or NCAAs. It can be very sad.
So... I'm in the market to pick another race or races. If you have suggestions or free entry let me know. Im not injured and I'm not in bad shape right now, but there is no way I would run a 7:10 100k like I did last year right now.