I recently mentioned on my Facebook page that I was anxious about the Umstead 100 mile race this Saturday.
Some offered words of encouragement and others stated I needn't worry because of past accomplishments. All kind words but I guess what I was really meaning to say was how I was anxious about how my leg is going to perform this weekend. I have been resting it an unprecedented amount of time (for me at least) recently, in hopes of healing it as quickly as possible. Then I thought about it more and I guess I was worrying a little about more than just my leg.
Any race you enter, you want to do well. If you have put in the effort and time and know you have a little bit of talent, you also hope you can win. But before I even cared about how high I placed, my thoughts would go back to one of only two DNFs in my life, one being the Old Dominion 100 Mile race nearly three years ago.
First, I cannot believe it has been three years. Do not tell me that time does not move faster when you get older because as I was typing that last paragraph, I felt for sure it had been just two years. But nope - three. Holy mackeral. I vividly remember standing on that starting line ready to rock the course.
However, I knew I was hoping against hope that I was going to do well in the race. The heat and humidity were stifling even at 4 AM. Reaching 90 degrees with typical June humidity levels in the greater DC area, I soon was struggling even if my time and place didn't show it (I was in sole possession of second place from miles 20-75).
The day started to become "done" at that 75th mile but I somehow pushed through the hardest section of the course before having my body refuse to go forward at mile 87. It was a decision that was smart even though I could have pushed through the final 13 miles eventually I am sure. But I did not and therefore have never finished a 100 mile race.
Therein lies the trepidation. There is no anxiety about potentially winning the race as I know there are much more experienced and faster runners at this race. So it is no a "Gee, I really hope I win" anxiety. No, it is the "I absolutely KNOW I can run well and do well but it is still 100 miles and Dane you have a leg which has not been at its peak the past month."
But there is only one thing to do come race day. Lace up the shoes and do Left, Right, Repeat. The rest will work itself out in time.