Saturday, March 19, 2011

Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Race in 2 Weeks!

I ran this race in 2010, but am not entered this year.  I will be there in spirit, and the race will never be far from my mind throughout that weekend.

The race is in 2 short weeks, on Saturday 2 April.  The training is done--or should be.  You can only screw things up now by training hard.  Your goal is just to keep your legs loose and uninjured, and your overall health OK, going into race day.

Finishing a 100 mile race is an accomplishment that puts you into a very elite group.  Back in 1998 when I finished my first 100 at Massanutten, VA, I once did the math: 

In 1997, less than 1000 separate individuals completed a 100 mile race in North America.  That's 1 out of 250,000 Americans (.0004%--4 ten thousandths of one percent--of the U.S. population), or even less if you add in the 30 million Canadians. 

The numbers are no doubt up now in 2011, but the principle remains: You are elite--keep repeating that! 

Program for success.  Don't even think "If I finish...", you can only say, "When I finish...."  You will experience some bad patches, but make a pact with yourself ahead of time that the only acceptable reason to drop is if continuing the race would cause injury.  If your knee hurts or your stomach is sick, but it's not the type of symptom that indicates further damage if you proceed, then you keep on going. 

You walk if you have to, but you keep moving forward at all costs.  And the symptoms will abate and the running will again get easier.  Seriously.  Some learned Ultrarunner--I forget who--once said "It never always keeps getting worse," meaning that at some point the difficulty will resolve and get easier.

All your hard work in training is about to bear fruit. You are elite! 


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