Set a goal, get sick...that's been my pattern of late. After deciding I would run the 50-miler, I got sick the following week. I recently decided to do the Strava 100-Mile Challenge and boom, three days later, I'm sick and sitting here on a Saturday morning writing this post. The cool thing about being sick is that it makes you really appreciate when you are healthy and to not take things for granted. It must be the Universe's way to keep things in perspective and keep life balanced. Big woop woop to Beth Shutt for taking the leap and going pro next year, well earned and well deserved, you have my full support Beth! And big woop woop to Libby Bergman for gnawing on the endless possibilities out there for her next endeavor post Kona. Can you tell I've been catching up on blogs? Well, back to the title of the post.
Post 50-miler, I'm starting to learn that there is a whole lot of crazy out there, crazier than ironmans. A friend emailed me a couple of days after my 50-miler and reminded me that I had qualified to throw my name in the Western States 100-miler, and she encouraged me to do it. I immediately thought of this quote from a movie, "Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here". I started to do some research, and well, there's a whole lot of crazy out there...and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to be that crazy...yet. The first crazy I found was a guy who raced the Leadville 100 in sandals: http://lunasandals.com/blog/14-Leadville-100-Trail-Run-in-Luna-Sandals. Just in case you don't feel like reading the entire article, I thought I would extract the best part from this read:
There's some debate at Luna whether miles run can be "junk miles," and after my experience I definitely believe in running the minimal amount necessary to get ready for an ultra. I'd like to take it one step further and say that there are not only junk miles but also "harmful miles," and on the flip-side, "golden miles."
Harmful miles are the ones that you don't want to be doing, the ones where you wish it were over. These miles will actually hurt your future performance, especially running in an event. Running with negative thoughts in your head is only going to make the negative thoughts come more easily next time. In an ultra, negativity will stop you faster than a brick wall. Golden miles on the other hand, are exactly the opposite. They're the kind of miles you spend running with your best friends, or alone on a trail feeling like you're flying through the forest, or where the rain won't stop coming down and the smile won't leave your face. These miles are worth millions. I strive to make all of my miles golden miles. Even though my training may average 5 miles per week, you'd be hard pressed to put in a better 5 miles than I do.
However, I would like to add one caveat to his golden mile philosophy. Golden miles can HURT. The term golden miles can be misleading and give an impression that all miles should be fun and feel good. But recall that he tells us golden miles are void of negative thoughts, you can hurt and still be golden as long as you don't have negative thoughts. Thus, keep doing those mile repeats at threshold or race pace minus 10. And keep doing those looooong runs of 20+miles, all the while, keeping them golden and void of negative thoughts.
The second crazy I found was a bit more inspiring, a trailer for a documentary on the Western States 100. Enjoy.
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