Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trying not to Think too Much

I am currently in Boston attending the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. It so happens that I am the president of my national organization of psychologists who work for the Veterans Administration so I really need to be here to do important stuff like attend meetings, give an accounting of what I’ve been up to on behalf of VA psychologists over the past year and my personal favorite, handing out awards for the accomplishments of various VA psychologists.

All of this is important stuff in my professional world and important to me, I really do love my work and believe deeply in what we, as VA psychologists, do for a living. However, my head is just not in the game. While my body is in Bean Town my mind is in Hot Springs South Dakota where the Lean Horse awaits.

Just a couple short weeks ago I had Vineman to face and last weekend it was the New Mexico Tri Club State Championships but now there is nothing but an appallingly short span of time standing between me and my date with a 100 mile ultra-marathon.

I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. I think about all my training. I have had a huge year so far. I’ve logged almost 1000 miles, which is what I logged all of last year and that was a record running year for me. I have lowered my marathon PR 3 times and lowered my IM PR once but by almost two hours. I have lowered my 50K PR by an hour and have completed my first 50-miler in a respectable 10:28 but 100 miles!

You know they say you always have to respect “the distance”, whatever that distance may be and believe me, I respect the distance…really! However, I have that insidious worry, “Do I respect it enough?”...what exactly is enough respect for a distance anyway?! Seriously, if someone out there can quantify the level of respect I need to show or if there is some “Respect guy” out there that I can write and fervently explain just how much I do respect 100 miles of running you let me know…soon.

I am trying to balance my running, resting and crazy schedule of meetings while here in Boston but my mind is always somewhere out there in western South Dakota, somewhere out on the trail just waiting for my body to arrive.


  1. I am sure you will have a terrific race. In the meantime you have asked some great navel gazing questions - I suggest you pose them to your psychologist buddies!

  2. Um, I think "Fear of God" level respect is appropriate for a 100 miler, but if anyone can do it you can!

    I can't wait for the race report!

  3. I'm not sure but that you aren't absolutely ready for this, sweetie. You've certainly had practice being up and moving long after most people would have been prostrate in a tent somewhere. We're just going to work extra hard to make sure that your feet match your spirit and drive. :-)

  4. I honestly think the distance is doable and needs some respect..

    I think "mother nature" needs more respect, it can throw everything at you and you need to be ready for it. More so than any IM race.

    You will do great, just remember is all about you against the course, DON'T WORRY ABOUT who is front of you"..Not until the end anyways..

    Get that "buckle", getting excited for you.

  5. I used to think that you need a physcologist in order to contemplate or complete a 100miler. I see you travel with your own :)

    Good luck and make sure you survive so you can give me tips when if I ever decide to try it.

  6. You are so ready for this Brian. Just like Ironman, it will be old hat in a couple of weeks. Will be sending positive vibes your way. Rememeber your "one thing", whatever that is..