Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Before the Hammer Falls

There are times when you head out for a race knowing that you really didn’t train quite like you probably should have. There are times when you head out for a race feeling over trained and nagged by some minor injury. Then there are times when you know for a fact that you have trained exactly as hard as you could have done while avoiding injury and getting in a solid taper. For me heading into Leadville is of that last sort; I feel like I pushed it to the razors edge and hit my taper moments before some overuse injury kicked in. As to whether or not I am “peaking”, who knows. I wish I had one of those meat thermometers they used to put in turkeys where the little red indicator popped out when the turkey was done but alas, I am a lower tech turkey so I’ll just have to hope all the innards are trained to perfection.

This sense that I have done everything possible to the maximum extent that is reasonable in preparing for Leadville has left me with an amazing sense of calm, equanimity, dare I say serenity. Daily I visualize myself running along the trails of Leadville, summiting Sugar Loaf, summiting Hope Pass, running the shores of Turquoise Lake and it is all so vivid and, somewhat surprisingly, not at all anxiety provoking.

I’ve questioned myself several times “Are you taking this seriously enough? Are you giving the course its due?” and the answer is a definitive yes. I have had to quell many fears by training in the cold, at high altitude, over mountain passes on uncertain footing, through the rain and miles of water and mud, into the darkness and back out again. I have had to face down insecurities about what people may think as I am on this fool’s errand, what if I fail, what other runners will think to see someone like me standing at the starting line dressed to race. I have spent countless hours in training and in pouring over past race reports, working our pace charts, gear lists, nutrition needs, back-up clothing, equipment and plan. I have performed the entire rituals attendant to the cult of ultrarunning.

I fully inhabit the calm before the storm; I am the bullet in the moment before the hammer strike.

It is time to go to work. I will see you at the finish line.


  1. Good luck!

    You are ready and there's no way you will fail. Don't you realize you've already succeeded?!

    Can't wait to read how it goes!

  2. 1 - Looking fit!
    2 - Looking prepared!
    3 - Looking badass!

    Bring it baby

    While you are out there, remember to enjoy the beauty around you and the serenity of the space between your steps.

    Enjoy this race for all that is worth, internally and externally.

    Rock this BITCH!!

  3. Good luck and kick ass!

  4. "I am the bullet in the moment before the hammer strike" ... Love it! :) Good Luck!!!