Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Chapter Test Today, Final this Weekend

I'm sure it gets old reading about my poor little feet, I promise, it gets old writing about them.

But that's what this blog is, about my journey in the Slam for a year, and this is significant. It's significant because for the first time that I can remember, I'm scared. Honest injun (now there's a lovely saying), I thought that I was close to invincible, I'm not. Even after Western States founder, Gordy Ansleigh, at age 60 took one look at my training plan and said, "I don't like it. You may not finish your next 100 with it, and you definitely won't be running when you're 60 if you keep it up."

Why Gordy? "Too much." Ah beans! What's this guy know? This guy that's finished Western States every year he has attempted it. This guy that attempts Western States almost every year. This guy who, like me, doesn't have a slender runner's figure. What's he know? Evidently quite a lot.

Gordy was right, I can't finish the Grand Slam.... on my old mileage junkie's plan. Candy was right. Star was right. My body knows this too. But like many addictions this one is dying hard. I want to run, every day. I want to run twice a day. It's always worked before. It's not fair. I don't want to adapt, but I know I can't run the Grand Slam if I don't adapt. And I'm scared that even if I do adapt I won't be able to finish. My body is aging and things are happening that never used to happen. I will hang in, I won't quit, but I will sacrifice, if it's possible for my body to handle it, I will do it. Before this last injury I would have bet a lot of money (if I had it) that I would finish and do well in the grand slam. Now we'll see.

Chapter Test today, I run hills at Julie's, how will the foot do, I don't know.
Final Exam this weekend, Saturday I run 15 and Sunday 10.

If my body can handle this, I'll be back to running, but only three or four days a week. The rest, gasp, will be biking and gym.

Yall, I'm scared, I have let running define me, and I feel without it I am nothing. I know it's not right, but it's how I feel. The Slam Aint Afraid of Me, It's always there Ready for us! Even the 30% that finish take their lumps!


Chase Squires said...

Actually, look at it this way, you've banked a solid base with lots of miles .. now, time to focus on "quality miles" ... which aren't fun. But they're valuable.

This could mean tempo runs, fartleks (hee hee) and pushing yourslef to run faster on shorter long runs, 'sted of 30 leisurely, try 18 at 9 mm ...

Star said...

Free advice for the day:
Take a deep breath. Calm down. Meditate about it for awhile. There is a solution, and it will involve change. Your body will tell you what to do...listen to it.

Your motivational thought for the day:
I CAN finish the Grand Slam and I WILL finish the Gran Slam.

I'd be happy to fit you into my scheulde tomorrow for additional counseling....and of course an additional fee :)

Chase Squires said...

My body keeps telling me to have a rib eye and a 24 oz beer ....

superdave524 said...

Grand Slams are delicious. Denny's rocks!

Naw, seriously, Ange. You are amazing. You have done things I would have bet were impossible. If you don't finish this, you will remain a great father, a great teacher, a great friend to a lot of folks and a great brother to me. You are also a talented writer with interesting things about which to write. That said, don't be a pussy. You will finish this or I'll kick your ass. You got that? (plus, there's a bottle of Johnny Walker Gold (hell, maybe I get get some folks to pitch in for some Johnny Walker Blue) in it when you finish.

AndyMan said...

If I could just get a little of that Scotch now....

Hey, I know it's possible, I'd bet on me above most to finish, but I now realize that it isn't in the bag and now I have Fear with which to deal. I aint afraid of no ghosts, but I am afraid of 4 100 mile trail runs in 10 weeks.

Roger said...

Being extremely injury prone (as Andy has mentioned on this very blog), I have toed many a starting line with my head full of doubts. I rarely feel prepared, always wishing I'd had another month to get ready. There always seems to be some issue with a foot, knee, hip, etc. I spend a lot of time wondering if today's the day a little piece of gristle is going to pop and render me a pedestrian.

At NEARLY 46 years OLD (not young you darn optimists), I have finally started making adjustments. A couple of weight workouts per week. hard rides on the mountain bike to give my achilles a break. Even shortening the length of my Saturday run then taking a ride on my Bike so I can add a couple hours onto my cardio session (get that fat metabolism cranking).

I don't look at "Miles per week" at all anymore. I look at "Hours per week"

It's a strange transition to make but it works. I have run a 50k PR this year and added a good race at Croom without running nearly as many miles as in past years.

Suck it up! You CAN amke the adjustment and finish the SLAM!

Star said...

I'm not as old as you and Roger, but that sounds like wise advice! (And I won't mention that Candi and I both told you basically the same, I wouldn't do that).

Oh and one more thing: I second the "Don't be a P*ssy!" Its one of my note-to-self phrases (and I've been using it a lot longer than your brother).

The Professor said...

"My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."

"Better listen to him, Flounder, he's in pre-med."

superdave524 said...


"Same thing".

runsforbeer said...

At a certain point, isn't all this in our heads anyway? What is a good training plan for 4 100 milers in 10 weeks? Should we try to do 3 100 milers in 12 weeks in preparation? NO! Get in shape for ONE 100 miler, do that and the race itself will be training for the next. Fear will only f*** with your head and magnify doubts and "pain." I bet you are a good ultrarunner because you are stubborn and bullheaded (just like me!). You've made the decision to commit yourself to these races, so make the decision to finish and all else will fall into place. Yes, it will be difficult, yes it will be painful but you know that going in.

Any man who volunteers to crew at Badwater the same summer as his Grand Slam is obviously crazy enough to get the job done!

Remember, "It never always gets worse."

While I'm here, does anyone have any info about the new Keys 100? I'm thinking it might be a great warm up to Badwater...

runsforbeer said... more thing...I need 9 minutes back from my Croom 50 Mile time. I was 9:10 at the finish, not 9:19!

AndyMan said...

Hey Ms (Mrs?) Badwater USA 2008, I didn't mean to cheat you I swear! You may know some math teachers, but I aint won, Inglish is my thing, not really, it's history, and you know that stuff is all made up anyway. While I'm doing Surgery on the race results, how do you feel about 7:59?

Best to you! Let me know when the next race is up your way.