The mental roller-coaster of 100 mile “race” prep

Post Rocky Raccoon recovery, training truly started for this year’s Western States Endurance Run.  Rocky Raccoon had served as a good dry run for the routine that would be pre-race and early stage racing.  Unfortunately I didn’t get an opportunity to experience the final 38 miles due to a worsening MCL strain that had reared its ugly head a few weeks prior to race day. 
Con – not the full experience, turned Pro – could have jeopardized the focal race with a long-tern injury.
The next ten weeks, training ramped up well and a trip was quickly planned for the Smokey Mountains.  A friend and I drove down on a Friday got in ~57 miles and 13,00ft of gain (and descent) in about 48 hours and headed back.  I had hoped to do about 80 miles, but recovery was proving more difficult than expected between multiple runs in a day, so the last day we grouped together the original two runs into one of 31 miles.
Con – not as many miles, turned Pro – a longer quality run lasting about 7.5 hours.
Four weeks after the Smokey’s, training turned towards the Dances With Dirt – Gnaw Bone 50 mile as a good race prep and fitness test.  Race day proved to be nearly flawless, winning in a course record… except for a fall on the trail that dislocated and bruised some ribs.
Pro – #winning, turned Con – couldn’t train the following three weeks which had planned on being the pinnacle of my training cycle, turned Pro – I could have run myself into an overuse injury that would have lasted longer than the rib pain and put me out of the race… maybe I needed the recovery in a way.
Four weeks after DWD, once I was back to running, I figured there wasn’t much fitness loss (even if there wasn’t any gain).  But, I felt that mentally I needed one last long run to fell complete.  Steph and I signed up for Hawthorn Half Day (where she kicked ass!) and I set out to get in 50-60 miles.  At about 45 miles my adductor started cramping a bit subsequently pulling on my MCL and re-aggravating that problem.
Pro – got in 50 miles, turned Con – old injury resurfacing, turned Pro – I know what to expect from this injury, I have more time to treat it, and it’s not as bad as it was the first time.
The last 15 days I’ve gotten four massages (at Balance Massage Therapy) and a handful of ART sessions (at Indiana Spine and Sports).  The result has been amazing progress to the point where I don’t “really” feel it.  By “really” I mean that I’m in the hypersensitive, think about it every second mode of an injury where of course I notice it, but I probably wouldn’t if the problem had never been worse than it is now – make sense?
Con – potential flare up possible in my focal race, turned Pro – now I have a better plan of attack for the race as far as how aggressive to (not) be…
So, here we are on the week of the BIG one and I’m not sure what to expect…
A hot one?  Yes.
Injury?  Maybe.
Immobility post-race?  Probably.
A silver buckle?  Hopefully.
The experience of a lifetime?  Definitely.
Control what you can, find the pro in every con, and enjoy the ride… otherwise why do it, right?  Here We Go.
You can follow me on race day (June 29 at 8am EST) via the Live Tracker and on Facebook/Twitter(where my crew will be posting pics, videos, etc.).
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One thought on “The mental roller-coaster of 100 mile “race” prep

  1. June 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Congrats on the WS finish. Can’t wait to read the report.

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