Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Down to the nitty gritty

In 67 hours I will be beginning my first 100 mile race. Nervous? A little bit. More anxious than anything. Anxious to see what the weather will be like (it has taken a turn for the worse ion the past few days with the projected highs hiking up from 75 to 88), anxious to see what the course will be like and anxious to see if my training was enough.

I think few people “enjoy” running long-distance races like marathons and the like. Follow me here. Given the amount of energy one must expend, the pain and muscle fatigue a runner must go through, I do not think that during the 26.2 miles (or 50k, or 100 miles or what have you) that you are enjoying the effort. And akin to what I heard someone once say to people who read magazines when they are on a treadmill, “If you can do that, you aren’t working hard enough”. And if you can enjoy the race in the middle of the race, well, chances are you aren’t running hard enough either.

Sure, glimpses of beautiful scenery are wonderful, as are cheering fans, or a babbling brook or any other bit of nature or landmark in a city that you love. But those glimpses are fleeting. You pass Heartbreak Hill or the deer that goes bounding by you or that gorgeous vista in South Dakota and it is back to the race. Back to pushing yourself to excel.

What I DO think that people enjoy is having DONE a race. The sense of accomplishment when you are finished is the elixir that brings us back. Being able to STOP running, assess what you just accomplished and then begin planning your next race and thinking about how you can improve is the hook for most runners.

So, when people ask me why I want to do a 100 mile race, I tell them I do not. I tell them I want to see if I can do it. I also want to see what it feels like to do something I have never done before. And when I am done, I will want to see what it feels like to run it faster. Or run it somewhere else in the country. Or what it feels like on A Sunday rather than a Saturday.

My OD 100 follows two days after my birthday. No longer a 30-year old, I am now 30-something. The present I have given to myself is the gift of a challenge. With my two good friends, Christine and Katie crewing for me, I feel this will be a challenge I meet head on and will succeed.

I could also crash and burn at mile 86. And I can definitely tell you that is something I do not want to do.


Anne said...

Good luck!

klottey4 said...
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Yellow Scuba said...

We won't let you crash and burn, Dane. This will be a birthday celebration to be remembered (but hopefully not from the scars! ;) ). I'm sure you will have much to celebrate after you FINISH your first 100, old man!

Amy said...

Good luck!! Have a great race!! I hope the weather forcast gets better for you :)

D said...

Finally found your blogs again!!

You better not crash and burn, well you can if you want, but I know you dont.

I dont want to say best of luck, cause that doesnt come into it. Just have a great time, and enjoy the "after race"

triclancy said...

I say that the finish line is nirvana and just like some women say that childbirth is "worth it" and they'd do it all over again, such is the case for endurance sports. In the end, it's the pain and the experience of "doing it" that makes life..well, life!

Also, just think of the massive amount of calories you'll burn and the justification to eat (and drink) whatever you damn well please for several days afterwards!!

Dane said...

Thanks everyone!

Hey "D", care to let me know who you are?

Michele said...

Good luck - with that great crew, you will have a splendid day!

(And I agree with some of your post - when I have the time to notice things in a marathon it is because I am pacing; therefore, running at a relaxed pace for me).

Happy birthday, old man.

Runner NYC said...

You ran 84 miles in 12 hours at Presque Isle, right? Another 16 in 8 more hours? Piece of cake! For you - not me.

Danette said...

I wish for you good weather...other than that I believe you have the stubbornness to see you through it!

Alan said...

I hope all goes well and you have the run you are looking for this weekend.


KMK said...

I enjoyed my first marathon but I also knew when I was finished that I could have run it faster.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow as I run my piddly little 5K.

Amy said...

Good luck D. It's hot out there today. Anxious to hear the details. And happy birthday! Welcome to the over 30 crowd.

Trail Goat said...

So how did it go? No info on your blog or the website yet.