Rocky Raccoon 100 - (86 Mile DNF)
A period of 4 months had passed since the last time I had toed the starting line at a 100 mile race. There had been a distinct change in my attitude towards endurance athletics, a bit of an identity crisis, even earlier than that. It was at Burning River that I knew it was time to re-evaluate how I was spending my free time. 2 DNS, a DNF and a 32 hour finish followed. I wanted to explore more why I had signed up for so many races in the first place in 2013. And while I was running Rocky Raccoon, why I had continued to sign up for races into 2014.
When I was honest with myself about why I was doing it several things came to mind.
- Running had become part of my identity. As vulnerability goes I am decidedly human. My identity was formed by those things that gave my existence worth. Well, running never felt like it made me worth much more; I might have inspired a few individuals to lead more active lifestyles. I felt our identities are partially formed by looking at how others look at us. Or how we want others to look at us. Doing things that played into how I wanted others to see me was a real part of it.
- There was something that felt really good about finishing these races. I think this a natural response to the high felt a long time after finishing.
- The trips are fun. I don’t really like ‘traveling’ per say unless it involves a specific purpose. The races gave purpose to seeing new places I would not have otherwise gone. The trips are soured by a DNF.
- Of course the ever present clearness of mind that I’ve written about before. It’s out there on the trails in moments of duress.
It’s tumultuous. A seemingly intrinsic force drew me to registering for more races. I had definitely burnt out in 2013. The attitude shift I experienced mentioned earlier was that. The curiosity and lingers of desire were there but the emotional effort required for training and finishing races wasn’t there.
The rest of 2014 will be very different. The biggest factor is me creating a monthly budget, finally at the age of 30. Before I would monitor my finances by just see how badly I was doing after the month was over. Using mint.com I'll now know as the month progresses how much I'm in the shitter. That simple change means I'll actually limit how much I spend on race fees and traveling. More relenting to responsibility and aging.
"Texas Margeret, Texas.."
Rocky Raccoon didn’t go so well. The temperature at the start was a humid 60, suffocating compared to the dry, snowy 15-20 degrees I was training in. I started out comfortably fast, it felt sustainable. Until it didn’t. I applaud myself for hydration management because despite the weather I was sweating and urinating regularly. I let my food consumption get behind and slowed considerably. Eventually the wheels fell off. Barfing, crawling, quitting.
For the first time in a couple of races foot pain was pretty severe. I wore my trail N1s which look remarkably the same as the N2s but definitely didn’t keep my feet as safe. The N2s do have a really wide base which might contribute to reducing pain. Starting a new job in November meant I hadn’t rigged up a standing desk yet, which I think really does help with foot pain. Or it was some other factor related to swelling and fluids and fascias.
|This was taken in the park where the race is held.|
The course was overall uninspiring but really well laid out and aid was great. I can see how people pull off super fast times here. For some reason I had this notion that we’d be running in a desert but it turned out to be a really nice forested park with a beautiful lake. Quelled that Texas stereotype.
There was a particular stretch along the lake above that had such a beautiful breeze. I distinctly remember it wrapping my whole body in a cooling comfort. I acquired a serene moment there to still my mind in future calamity.