The toughest race isn’t a distance. This leaves no room for bragging that your event is the most difficult, or comparisons about who is the toughest runner on your team or in your club. True toughness comes from overcoming personal limits. It’s fighting against the internal dialogue in your head that stems from your body wanting to slow you down. It’s overcoming the feedback signals from your muscles that say they’re flooding with acid, or that your fuel stores are running dangerously low. How each runner experiences these sensations of fatigue is completely individual. No one else knows exactly what you’re feeling and at what point you might give in to the pain.
Steve Magness in his article from RUNNING TIMES, “True Grit”
There are times that I’m out on the trail, almost finished or coming to a junction at the road. I hear someone at my heels. I enjoy picking up my pace to run as fast as I can without falling or being caught, making it so that they cannot pass unless they speed up. I’m successful half the time. 🙂 It is the competitor in me. It is the moment that I’m out there thinking, am I going to win or is he?
A time to compete: Stump Jump 2014, 50K. I plan to sign up in a few weeks. My goal is to compete in this race. For me, that means placing in the top 5 females for my age group 40-44. I researched all of the top 5 #’s for my age group for the last five years. It is a steep goal, but just within the realm of attainable. I have three key components to my training this time around, train by mileage, run hill repeats on the trail and run with persons who are faster than me and see how long I can hang on. The training alone sounds exciting.
I really like the 50K distance. I think I will forever have Matt Adams’ words in my mind, “the race does not begin until mile 19.” I also remember from running SJ in the past that mile 18/19 is a drop bag area. My mind is getting in the game, three months to train.
A time to complete: Zion Ultras 2015, 100K. I plan to sign up, after SJ. My goal is to complete this race. This year, there were 16 ladies and 53 men who ran this race. I plan to enjoy every minute of being in the minority of this race. This race is 2 x 50K, so 62 miles. Wow! Two back to back 50K’s. I prefer to look at it as one 50 mile race and then a 12-miler. 🙂
New elements to this race. They start at an elevation of approximately 3500′ and the peak elevation is approximately 5700′. The total elevation gain/loss will not be tough. What will be challenging will be the altitude. We live at an elevation of 643′, here in Franklin, TN.
The pictures of Zion look incredible. I am sure that I will be both in awe at many moments AND incredibly tired of seeing those mountains at moments. The scenery will be a positive element. Another positive element is that I can have a pacer at mile 46. 🙂 SO, cool to me. I can totally make it to mile 46. How great to have a companion for the last 16 miles. 🙂 Imagining this challenge now with humility.
Words to train by:
I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. . . you broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Psalm 18:33-34, 36
I will put myself in situations that challenge my weaknesses and take me out of my comfort zone.
If you do not put yourself into positions where you are under pressure and require of yourself to choose to deal with what arises, you will never have the opportunity to know your own greatness. -Bobby McGee, Magical Running p. 189
Once you know you have the choice of either exhaustion or challenge, the answer becomes clear, meet the challenge. -Bobby McGee, Magical Running p. 186
There is no such thing as a life without commitment. You are already living a host of commitments, whether or not you are aware of it. -Dr. Tamara Moore, “Welcome to Commitment, Enjoy Your Stay.”