Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rocky Raccoon 100 is almost here.

So, 2 days from now, I'll be running the big 100 mile race. The last several months of my life have been very focused on this specific event, so I ran a tremendous amount of miles throughout the 2nd half of October, November, December, and the first half of January to prep for this. I've been tapering the last few weeks and it's going to pay off this weekend. I'm going into the race with an incredible endurance base, but still managing to have very fresh legs, thanks to my extended taper. The one serious long run I've done in the past 3 weeks was last weekend and I felt absolutely EXPLOSIVE.

This is probably the most confident I've ever felt for any sort of 50+ mile race and I'm sure that, barring any injuries, I am going to run a massive PR this weekend. In fact, just to boost my confidence even more, I've decided to unretire my Falls Road Racing Team red jersey that I last wore when I broke 3 hours at the Boston Marathon last April. As nasty as this sounds, I've never washed it since then, in part to preserve how glorious I felt when I crossed the finish line under 3 hours at the world's most prestigious marathon. It's been hanging on my wall with salt from my sweat still crusting its sides ever since then. I don't believe in good luck charms or any of that nonsense, but I feel like just wearing the jersey while I race at Rocky will help me to always think about all of the best performances I've had in the past and how much Rocky Raccoon deserves a place among them after all of the arduous training I've put in specifically geared at this sole race.

Everytime I've started thinking about Rocky over the past few days, I've felt adrenaline just pulsing through me and I can literally feel my heart rate and blood pressure rising. The time has come for me to race and I am literally in the best shape of my life right now. The long part of this race was the last 3-4 months of training and all that remains is the short part: less than one day's worth of running on Saturday. In a 100 mile race, a lot of things can go wrong; you can have stress fractures, twisted joints, dehydration and heat stroke, kidney failure, hyponatremia, and you can even die, but the fact that I've trained incredibly well makes me supremely confident that my body, and even more importantly, my mind, are much stronger than anything this course can throw at me.

I'm not going to go into specifics about my strategy since I could write about that for hours and I'm sure that I will already write about this race for hours after I finish it in a massive personal record time. Here is what is important: this race and these trails will not defeat me. No matter what happens, I will continue on until I finish no matter what the cost.

The next time I post, I will be describing my conquest over a formidable 100 mile course. It will have proven to be a powerful foe, but I will have defeated it in such a conclusive way that I will be forced to declare this the greatest race I will have ever run at this point in my life.

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