|Braveheart himself sending us off|
Sometimes things don’t turn out just right and you’re left with reassessing, regrouping. This past week I ran The Music City Trail Ultra and it kicked my ass, put me in my place, and handed me my ego.
And of course even with all the markings, I still got lost. A wrong turn early on taken with a half dozen others, and before we knew it we were 3+ miles and an hour behind the rest. Dead last. No one to blame but myself, not paying attention and just following along. I spent the next 6 hours passing almost half the field, struggling with the nagging thoughts. I’ve never been so far off a course before. At times I walked more than I would have otherwise, the drive to push forward gone.
longer these races the more important the mental aspect becomes. Pain
and doubt float up to the surface, questions of ability, of insanity.
Because in many ways these races are insane. So it becomes a mental
exercise, how to keep your body moving forward, get to the next bend in
the trail, the next hill top, the next aid station. Distract yourself,
think of something else, think of nothing, whatever it takes. Whatever
happens, don’t stop. A perfect metaphor for life this ultra running
|quad busting hills|
It was everywhere in plain sight, a few times it was thick across the trail and you had no option other than run straight through. I’m luckily not allergic, but still have some itchy red areas. Long socks highly recommended.
Little bastards latch onto your legs and start burrowing in, picked off a half dozen or so. They are fairly harmless really, just have to get them in time.
Even worse than ticks, evil little bastards get under your skin and lay eggs. Itchy as all hell.
Most trails have runnable switchbacks to even out the steepness. Not so much here. You know it’s steep when you’re just as slow going down as up because you’re afraid to trip and tumble to the bottom.
– I need to buy shoes with just a little more padding. I love my minimal shoes, but after 4-5 hours of gravel and hard rocky surfaces it starts taking its toll. So a zero drop shoe with just a few millimeters of extra padding should do.- Pay attention to markings more, don’t follow along. Load GPS mapping data into my phone when available.
Phrase of the day:
“More stumps than Stump Jump.”