09 May 2013

Daunted and Distracted

“I wanted to throw myself into an experience that was too big for me 
and learn in a way that cost me something.” 
- Jamie Zeppa

Quad Rock 50 course profile
Life has finally slowed down enough for me to begin immersing myself in the Quad Rock 50, which has become in some ways my "A" race of the year. It was added to the calendar to prepare me for pacing Sheila at the Rocky Mountain Slam races. More specifically, it was added for Hardrock training, as pacing 30 miles there will feel like 50. 

Sheila and I previewed a piece of the Quad Rock course last month and I realized that I had picked a pretty tough 50 for my first one. I may have gotten in over my head. I'm always concerned about cutoffs, but this time the likelihood of missing one is much higher. That would be a real bummer, after all the preparation to run this distance. I don't knowingly set goals that are difficult to meet, so this year of ultrarunning is stretching me to take risks and deal with failure. 

I was encouraged reading an interview with Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall, as I contemplate the challenge of meeting my goal and the possibility of failure:

"God has always provided enough strength for me to do what He wants me to do on the race course. It doesn't mean that I always win...The truth is that those who are not created to be the best in the world at something can experience the same level of satisfaction in daily living as the best guy or girl in the world if they are doing what they were created to do and they are not comparing themselves to others.

My plan is to run smart and to the best of my ability, leaving the outcome to whatever God has planned for me. My natural response to failure is shame, but I know my worth is not determined by my accomplishments. The ultimate verdict as to my value was returned 2,000 years ago on a cross. I alluded to this in the blog written after my first ultra. To quote Carter Crenshaw, worth is not ultimately determined by the performance of a product, but by what someone is willing to pay for it. Word. 
Perfect post-race shirt, don't ya think?
Numerous ultrarunners have advised that it should feel slow in the first half, which is how I plan to pace myself. Fear of a DNF is a powerful motivator for me, so the challenge will be to hold myself back in the beginning. I'll be bringing along plain-tasting food and gels to fuel myself. Lastly, I will remind myself to have fun. I want to enjoy the day, no matter how many miles I end up running.

On top of my inaugural 50 miler, J-man and I began the process of buying a home two weeks ago. It wasn't planned until next year, but circumstances presented themselves in which it had to be done now, during my toughest two months of training. Thankfully, we found a home right away and plan to close in June, the week after Bighorn.   

To add to the busyness, the end of my son's Kindergarten year includes an art show, music program, field trip and IEP meeting as we prepare for his 6th birthday in two weeks. Additionally, my daughter is potty training, which demands a lot of my attention when she's home with me. Have mercy. 

Having more on my plate actually has helped me to a) run faster as I train between appointments and b) rest during this taper week as I was slammed with to-dos and strict deadlines. I had a PR on one of my trails last week as it became a tempo run, racing to meet our Realtor. So I'm using the added stress to my advantage when I can.

Last week, Sheila and I had a great run on the Ponderous Posterior trails which ranged from desert-y to scree-ful to snowy to slushy. My feet were soaked for at least half of our 5 hour run.  Hardrock training, baby!
Taking care of business
You may not have heard of this talented singer-songwriter-producer, but he's been one of my fav's for over 20 years. His stripped-down remake of his most well-known song just slays me. Enjoy!

Happy Trails,



  1. some of the best advice I read about running your first 50 was, "In the first thirty miles, walk sooner than you think you should. In the last twenty, run before you think you can."

    I applied this in my 100 miler to the first and second half of the race and it was sage advice. Your gonna rock at Quad Rock.

    Remember, "that little voice in the back of your head that says 'you cant do this' is a liar."

    and, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

    1. Tbanks Jeremy, just what I needed to hear. I just had dinner with my R2R2R buds and plan to keep their backsides in view to keep my pace in check the first half!