Today’s run went better than Wednesday’s. That’s progress. I still don’t feel perky, but I’m heading in the right direction.
I’m spending more time than I’d like worrying about whether I’ll be rested for Cape Cod. This part of the process, just before taper-time, is the hardest part of training for me. It’s getting to be too late for any more backward steps, but’s still too early to drop into full taper mode. Run up and down mountains for 20 miles in 85 degree heat? No problem. Relax? Umm…, sure. How?
Looking back, I’ve had more tired leg days than I’d like. It’s possible that I might have done a little too much over the last month or so. It’s also possible that I’m getting all wound up about nothing. That’s counter-productive, but it’s been known to happen.
As long as I avoid depleting my reserves again before the race, I should be OK. I’d better be.
Part of my current problem is that I don’t know what I’ll be doing after Cape Cod. One way I help manage my anxiety before a big race is to have future big races lined up. That way the first race, while important in itself, is also just a stepping stone along the path to the next race. If the weather is bad or something else goes wrong, it’s just oh well and on to the next race. After all, this is supposed to be a lifetime activity.
Cape Cod is carrying too much weight because I’m not sure what I’m doing next. I’m not real excited about lining things up to try for another fast marathon right away. Ruth has a lot coming up at work, which might cut into her marathon training time, making running tourism unlikely. My Short Race Syndrome makes training for short, fast races a bad idea.
I’m thinking about running more ultramarathons, in part because while running long distances is hard work, in some ways it’s easier on my body, and in part because I still have the goal of finishing a 100 mile race in less than 24 hours. I’d have to spend a few years building up to that, but I’d have plenty of intermediate steps along the way. Next year I could run the GAC Mother’s Day 8-Hour, Pinelands Farms on Memorial Day, the GCI 50K in July if I can get in (gotta get a claw) or the 24-hour Around the Lake if I can’t. Then in the fall there’s the Vermont 50, followed by Stone Cat or the Knickerbocker 60K. That would get me ready for Comrades in 2014 (a downhill year), and then maybe it would be time to try another 100 miler.
I’ve given it some thought.
Alternatively, maybe I could try just running for enjoyment. Do whatever I feel like for fun, without any goals – run with my friends, bike, ski, whatever I want whenever I want. As long as I do a 20 mile run every month or so, I’d be ready to jump in to anything up to a marathon anytime I felt like it. I might not be as fast as I could be, but I wouldn’t worry about time. My only goal would be to enjoy the effort and to keep moving. I might even hurt less, which would help me keep going as I get older. After all, this is supposed to be a lifetime activity.
I could do that, give up “serious” racing, couldn’t I? Could I?
Late note: Right after I finished the above post, I got an email announcing the TARC Fells Trail Ultra – Winter Solstice Edition, a 32 (or 40) mile race on the challenging Skyline Trail in the Middlesex Fells on December 1st. Perhaps the timing of the message was an omen. Anyhow, I’m in.
(7.9 mi. run; 146.5#)