Friday, May 22, 2009

a time to race

I have no idea what kind of time I’ll be able to run in Mt Wilson tomorrow. Two years ago (the first time I ran it) I ran a 1:37. Last year a 1:27. I had a dream a few days ago that I would run 1:17 – I guess my psyche thinks in mathematical sequences. But, I haven’t been training that hard and while I’m sort of excited for the run I also kind of wish I wasn’t running it. It’s not so much the run itself that bothers me as the specific start time and crowds on the trail. And who knows if my body will want to run tomorrow morning. I’ve tried to take it easy this week to give myself the best chance of improving my time. I’ve only run two three-milers Tuesday and Thursday and have only biked about 15 miles. But this just leaves me itching for a bike ride and/or a nice long-and-easy run through the shade after a leisurely breakfast. Instead, I won’t be able to sleep well tonight. Which will make it even more difficult to get out of bed early tomorrow morning. Then force some food down. Drive off to the start to check in and warm up and get hydrated but not too much. Wait in line at the porto-johns. Try to stretch out my cherry-bomb(neck-back-shoulder knot.) Then it starts and I’ve got to get ahead of all the people that start off way to fast for their overall pace so I don’t get stuck behind them on the trail but at the same time conserve for the next four miles of grueling uphill pull. Keep pulling, keep pulling, keep pulling. I won’t have time to stop and talk with the plants on this trip – hopefully they’ll understand my hurry. Pull, pull, pull up that hill. Go inside yourself. Try to accept the agony in your legs and lungs and heart and gut. Go. Finally it will level off. Tag that big old Oak at Orachard Camp and then fly, fly, fly back down the trail trying not to bowl into anyone or trip over clumsy feet to disaster. Keep your knees up. Stay aware of the terrain. Light and solid yet fast as you can. Then you hit the road again and that’s where it really starts to hurt but you’ve got to nail it all the way down that pavement to the finish ‘cause you just might pull off a miracle time for yourself (but that will just put more pressure on your ever-aging body for next year.) And then it’s over.


Alaskan Assassin said...

I go through the exact same thing every race. The day before I always try to figure out why I want to go through with it. It is such needless pain and discomfort.

Then when I cross the finish line and no matter what my time or distance it all feels worth least until I see the results.

Hope you have a good fun race tomorrow. Give Catra a hug and a nice game slap for me. jk

Jonah said...

Thanks, Evan. I'm sure I'll have a better perspective on it by the time I get to the margarita brunch after the race...