Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Monday, March 16, 2009

Full Disclosure

“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.


Marcy said...

GO DAVE GO DAVE GO DAVE!! It's your birfday! You're soooo gonna rock! Go get it!! Whooott!

Missy said...

Go Dave, that rocks! You want a bike and I want to run a trail. I'm still skerd but maybe I'll try running on a non-asphalt surface first!?!

Rick Gaston said...

Dave just think of it this way. The 50-mile distance is only half a 100 so don't let it intimidate you any further. When you're hurting at the 50 just be glad it's not a 100. Think of something bigger and harder you can compare it. Haha works for me.

Anyway, you're trained for this. I've always told you, you have the training and work ethic of a 100-mile runner. Watch your pace, remember what Dmitry told you and all that drinking and eating stuff. Get to 19 feeling relaxed, like you can run forever. From that point it's all familiar territory, you've done a 50k before.

olga said...

Good point on brain with rooms - or on Rick's advice. Basically, while it's impossible to not dwell on scary thoughts before the race, once it starts - just head down and move. Don't count miles until it's over 2/3 in, don't look at the watch, don't allow negative thinking. One goal only. Period. Good luck.

Mark "The Naked Runner" said...

Sounds like you have a lot of support behind you! Me included! You can do this! It's going to be oh, so sweet, crossing that finish line, brutha! I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face when I finished my first 50 miler! See ya soon! Peace!

Chauncey Matthews said...

Yo Dave,
"There is no try...only do"
That's all I got in the way of cool quotes for ya. Good luck in the race!
After you slay the 50 mile dragon, maybe you'll come to your senses and get a bike ;)


Derek said...

Dave, with the training you have been doing you will rock that run. You will get to 50 and ask for another. I would wish you luck, but you have trained so well, you don't need it. Just go out and "do it"!!

Donald said...

You can do it. Think positive and have a determined mindset - that alone will carry you a long way towards the finish. Remember, 90% of the race is half mental.

Jeff Coble said...

I look forward to meeting you this Saturday (then seeing or reading about your finish). See you Saturday on the trail.