Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Woes of Ultrarunning

At this time of year it is easy to look at the calendar and say "I want to do all of these races"

It is easy to get the juices flowing. All memory is gone from the pain and suffering from the prior years' races. All of the training suffering is far removed from memory.

I keep thinking Zumbro is strong maybe for me, but then I head out for a long run as I did today but the engine just does not produce like it used to.

I hit the Minneapolis Lakes circuit this morning at 5am and found.... I was the only one out there! Oh well.

First 10 miles felt great, but then I became wet & cold. My right knee started hurting, and I threw in the towel at 15. I just did not want to do anything stupid this early in the season. I think the pavement and ice made the body hurt.

This leads me to the realization that these race take more than the "yeah... I am game for that" attitude. It takes a lot more. Hence the woes. One must balance pushing the body while not destroying it. At the same time, one has to push himself mentally while also not trashing the psyche and burning out.

After today I am reminded that "it is a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll". 6 weeks left to train for Zumbro is a stretch, but not out of the question. I am just not sure I want to voluntarily go into that suffering.

If it were warmer, I am sure I would feel up for it.

So the Woes

Realizing at the end of a long run "you ain't done nothing compared to what the race will ask"
Staying consistent.

Time to get my big boy pants on.


Anonymous said...

Brother, I'm with you. After 2 1/2 years removed from ultras and getting back into mma I'm getting the ultra bug again. I go out and run 8 miles and things fall apart. I too tell myself that it's mental, but then reality sets in and I can go no further. I feel like a wimp! I have a new respect for those who have kept their focus. The reality is that it's difficult to be good, let alone midiocre, at those things that are not an absolute priority. Remember the time away from the family...time that will not be recovered! Basically it comes down to this...pick your poison. What am I trying to say? I don't really know, but I understand. Good luck to you at the Ice Age and the Z100 if you decide to run it. By the way, I have a batch of trapist ale and some hard cider aging at this moment.

Pete Anderson AKA "Ted"

SingletrackJenny (formerly known as IronJenny) said...

Hey Matt! Didn't realize you blogged - thanks for stopping by!
I think you will be fine for Zumbro - because it sounds like you are listening to your body; and cold wet and freezing will make anybody feel like dropping - especially a training run. Keep respecting your body and you still have it in you.
Fifteen miles is a good run!

SteveQ said...

In three years of trying ultras, all I've learned is the difference between "This is crap, I'm quitting" and "This is crap, I'm going on." It takes a few long runs to remember the difference so that when you have to make that choice in a race, you make the right call. Try again next weekend.

Carilyn said...

I am with you, Matt. The longer I race, the more I know, and the harder it gets :) But, I think you also know that it is going to be hard but you can keep going. When I started, it was hard AND I wasn't sure I could keep going. The fact that you went out and did 15 miler in the cold all by yourself means you still have it!

Carilyn said...

Okay, now I'm stalking your blog :) Just got your e-mail! I'm so sorry - I switched to a new program and didn't know that the e-mails weren't automatically downloaded into my main account. My son was messing around with it and said, "Hey Mom, you have a bunch of e-mails in here." Uh, okay, so I'm not the most computer savvy person.

Anyway, You Are The Man! 6th Overall? Wow! I am so impressed. I'm still afraid of that course, so I'm glad you went back and got revenge - and an awesome performance to boot!

I love Peet's Coffee, so good move there :) My children claim that I have an addiction (twitch, twitch), but I just call it a strong, necessary vice of life :)

Great to hear from you, Matt! And glad to be back in the world of runners - especially when they are crushing KM 100!