|Kilian in the pain cave|
While making friends with pain is a cornerstone of endurance sports, I find myself in more of a love/hate relationship with it at the moment. Kilian Jornet (above) represents an echelon outside my potential. But when I conjure my conquests of fitness and stamina, the chasm between now and then stings. The epidural procedure has enabled me to resume training, but the comfort I know awaits me has resisted to manifest thus far. My back continues to feel vulnerable and sore after hard efforts. My hips and ass are fatigued from so much strength work. Fortunately, the sciatica has not returned. So I have that going for me.
I have run less than 70 miles for the year. Yet, I intend to toe the line tomorrow morning for my third Way Too Cool 50k. It is going to be sloppy. Rain should build all morning to a full blown storm by 3 pm, right around my expected finishing time. My 50k PR (5:23) came on this course in 2013. I am not chasing a PR this year. Getting my groove back and spending time on my feet are my two primary goals tomorrow. Having fun and practicing 100 miler pace (run/walk likely) are also on the agenda. I get to try the new Tailwind Green Tea Buzz drink mix, and then there is all that rain.
I have always loved running in the rain. Sure, it is hard to get out the door, but a good storm makes any outdoor activity feel, well, more Epic. Am I right? The 2012 CIM (Stormathon Redux) will always be one of my favorite accomplishments. However, with the slippery conditions, I will have to be very mindful of my footing. I cannot risk tweaking my already frail back. So, I'll slow it down. Maybe I'll even stop at 8 miles for a beer break at the Victory Sportdesign tent before tackling the back two thirds of the course. It worked pretty well while pacing at TRT, right?
Sad news from the Western States organization this week; Dr. Bob Lind, shotgun starter emeritus has passed at the age of 81. I am honored to have met him briefly at the Sports and Medicine conferences in Squaw Valley. The fact that my first two Western States runs were started by the blast of his shotgun further cement those two runs as the most important accomplishments of my running career. AJW has penned a poignant remembrance over at iRunFar. Please, do check it out.