This is my last burn down week before tapering for Mt. Hood. I think I reduced mileage too much for Beacon Rock 50K, with weekly mileage preceding the race of 38, 20, 25, Race. I’m trying a different strategy this time and plan to maintain mileage this week – landing somewhere around 30 for the week with a medium weekend run somewhere around 10 miles.
I ran (and rode) through the recovery coming of Sunday’s 20 miler. Last night I stretched and spent quality time with the foam roller – my legs felt good this morning and I ran into work with my pack on (sub-8 minute pace). My plan is to keep foam rolling and stretching this week – and keep the sleep hours consistent (~8).
I’m still really nervous about the race. When I was feeling bad on Sunday’s run, I thought about bailing, telling myself I wasn’t ready. But after I recovered and got some food I felt a lot better – and felt good after. The scary thing is that when I think of 50 miles, I think of Frank from Donnie Darko. When I raced my first 50 miler my body was so broken afterwards that I couldn’t sleep and Donnie Darko was the movie I watched at 3 in the morning – sitting on the couch in pain.
I was walking out of a meeting with a colleague yesterday and that’s when I made the decision. Completely uneventful really. I’m ready to bring it.
On my run into work this morning I was pondering this concept of forging, like metal forging, blacksmithing. A hot fire and a 10 pound sledgehammer and a piece of steel on an anvil. I think a lot of people have a misconception that people are fragile and delicate – but it’s not true, people are malleable and resilient. But the material being forged is difficult to define – its characteristics, how malleable it is, how much effort or force or energy it takes to form it. The answer is … more effort than you think. More like steel and a sledgehammer than say sculpting with clay or working with wood.
I was reading this article yesterday (so much amazing knowledge here), but this part stood out to me:
Tanaka Shozo, a famous Japanese conservationist, said:
“The question of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.” Ultrarunning is to a very large degree a question of the heart. Make yours big and you’ll always be a winner.
Running is a thinking sport – it’s about strategy. Ultras even more so – they can’t be run on pure adrenalin or anger or being “pumped up”. You need the big love. I really like that quote.