“Dienkes says the mind is like a house with many rooms,”… “There are rooms one must not go into. To anticipate one’s death is one of those rooms. We must not allow ourselves to think it.”
-From the book “Gates of Fire” quoted by Alexandros detailing the Spartan Warrior Training
When I first started this blog, I determined to detail the good, the bad, and the ugly in regards to running and training. Last October I DNF’ed my first ever race. After having The North Face Challenge 50 mile cancelled due to hurricane weather in September, I regrouped, ramped back up and quickly tapered to run the Palo Duro 50 miler. At about the 50K marker, I determined I couldn’t make the cutoffs due to a sever ITB issue that made it extremely difficult to even walk that last 20 miles. Frankly, I think about that day at least once a week.
Although I have alluded to running another 50 miler, at this point only a handful of people knew I am running the Grasslands 50 mile race. Next weekend, March 21, I will toe the line at 0700. Part of me said that if I didn’t make it that public, then the accountability would be minimal. I just don’t roll that way. So with this posting, now you know.
Furthermore, I would be lying to you if I said that the 50 mile distance has not gotten in my head. I have come off a great race in Bandera, have had a really productive training cycle and my tapering has been what was expected. I feel as prepared as I ever have. I also need to add that there are a handful of individuals, who have helped in making this demon conquerable.
The race takes place at the LBJ Grassland state park outside of Decatur Texas. The course consists of 4 loops to be thought of as more of a four leaf clover rather than 4 loops repeated. The terrain is rather benign and the elevation change is nearly zero. The course can be sandy and if it rains just prior to the race, “miserably muddy.” I have a game plan and some personal goals. With that said, it obvious that finishing is the demon to exorcise. Any other outcome is a “room I refuse to go into!”
p.s. The book of “Gates of Fire” by Stephen Pressfield is the story of the Battle of Thermopylae and the 300 Spartans that annihilated 20,000 plus of King Xerxes’ Persian Army. It is told from the viewpoint of the lone Spartan survivor kept alive by heroic measures from Xerxes surgeons in order for him to relay his tale to the King. Made to be mandatory reading by the USMC and intensely studied at both the U.S. Military and Naval Academies. Highly recommended and on my top 10 list.