This post went live around 8:30 Thursday morning, less than 4 hours before my next ultramarathon, the Steep Canyon 50k in Brevard, North Carolina.
Little about this race is conventional:
- It starts and ends at Oskar Blues Brewery‘s REEB Ranch
- It’s held on a Thursday, to kick off a 4-day music festival
- The start time is set for noon, so all runners end while the music is jamm’n
- It’s a loops course, 3 x 10+ mile loops
The odd timing throws off my taper period, nutrition, and frankly, my mental state. But the event is bound to be a blast, and the uniqueness of the music festival, brewery, and timing, will only make this race that much more of an adventure.
Unfortunately, my training has been just as unconventional:
- Due to traveling nearly every weekend for the past 5 weeks, long runs are all out of wack
- Weddings, birthdays, river floats, and travel meant I wasn’t eating or sleeping well, and drinking a few too many beers
Training has been less than ideal. Take this past Saturday, for example, when I spent more time getting dressed for a wedding, than I did running. It ain’t easy looking this good:
But here we are, a few hours before the start, and I’m loading up the car to head to the start.
Letting Go of Expectations
When I registered for this race, I intended to take training seriously and see what I could do on this course. I ran the route several times, and focused a course specific training plan for this hilly — yet very runnable — route.
Slowly life started getting in the way, I had to make adjustments to my training. Eventually, though, I completely lost focus on that initial drive.
Spiraling me into a deep running funk.
All of which means I’ve had to reevaluate my expectations. Let go of the idea that this will be a dream race, and set new goals.
So what are my new goals? To have fun, reinvigorate my training, and enjoy a day out on the trail. With Katie out volunteering on the course, and lots of friends running as well, having fun sounds a lot more manageable.
Over the past few weeks, as I’ve held on tightly to expectations I knew I couldn’t fulfill, I’ve been down and discouraged.
By letting go, and just appreciating the adventure for what it is, I’m feeling a lot better about the experience.
A good reminder that sometimes you have to let go in order to move forward.
How I Prepare for a 50k Ultramarathon
Yesterday I released the 20th episode of Trail Talk! Thank you for all the support and kind words about the podcast over the past several months.