Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Existential Thoughts on Losing the Massanutten 100 Lottery

And so I sit at home with a cleared mind on a snowy day, with school canceled and my final paper emailed in to my grad school professor, feeling quite philosophical on running, ultras, and the like. Which brings me to yesterday's Massanutten 100 lottery. I love their unique system of getting in based on the stock market. It's fair. It's fun. But alas, the Dow simply didn't close in my favor yesterday and I did not get in.

Yet, strangely, I don't really care that much. Enough so that I'm contemplating not even bothering with the waiting list. Don't get me wrong, the race is top notch and I really would love to do it. I've paced there the past two years and the course is awesome. And, like all 100s that I know of and most other shorter ultras as well, the race management is top notch. They do a great job and it's a grand time for runners, pacers, crews, and volunteers. But, I would rather plan on the absolute, even if there's a good chance I would get off the waiting list. I still have some time to think about it, but as of right now I'm thinking of not trying to get in.

Laurel mentioned to me yesterday, and I'm paraphrasing here, that when it becomes a competition to get in a race, it can detract from the fun. I'm obviously experiencing that now. That, and it's hard not to think that there are great races nearby that are much less of a hassle to get in (i.e. no lotteries needed) like the Vermont 100 and the Iroquois 100. As of now, I'm thinking of doing those two. And it'll be really fun to do the local Pineland Farms 50-miler on fresh legs. I've done pretty well there the past two years, but have done so just a week after pacing at Massanutten, involving a 37-mile mountain run for me... and last year with some plantar fasciitis issues to boot. I'm curious to see how I'd do with a proper taper and legs that aren't sore.

This is all subject to change and nothing is carved in stone at this point. One of the things I've really enjoyed the past several months coming off the stress fracture is having my options open to me. I've been enjoying taking my time ever so slowly ramping up the mileage, not stressing too much when I have down periods in my training (like the past week and a half) because of work and grad school commitments. I'm pleasantly surprised at the speed I've gained back, running most of my shorter runs at faster paces with ease, and knowing it's now just a matter of working on the endurance. I'm really enjoying running for the sake of the love of running, and not worrying much about races looming on the horizon, because there are none. I'm also really thankful I'm running with zero injuries or nagging pains, something I haven't had in while. And I'm also treasuring spending a good chunk of my time running with my Trail Monster friends, who are the best group of running buddies one could possibly ask for.

So.. with so much to enjoy lately, why should I be disappointed? I have a feeling 2010 is going to be a great year!

Happy running.

6 comments:

Paige said...

You're right, 2010 really IS going to be a great year :) This much I know.

Sparkplug said...

Bummer about Massanutten, but you are right, there are other races out there, and I'm sure 2010 will be a great year for you! I also agree that the Trail Monsters are a great group! We are so lucky to have such awesome friends :-)

trailgrrl said...

I think one of the biggest things about WS for me is it requires me to step away from running races every weekend and focus more on fastpacking and hiking hard in the mountains..which happen to be the things I loved to do before I started to race...so I have to say it was a timely post for me to read...2 weekends ago I spent the day hiking the Monadnock Sunapee trail with friends and I had a BLAST! Thanks for sharing...

mindy said...

Yeah, bummer about Massanutten :( But you have the right attitude. It's nice to just have a "break" from the mental prep of a race and just running for running sake. Pineland is going to kick total ass this year!!

vja said...

Wow! I read the title and was trying to think of what I could say to cheer you up, but your post was actually an upper. Can't ask for much more than to be really enjoying running just for the running. So, yeah, bummer about the 100, but Yay! too :)

RICK'S RUNNING said...

HERE'S TO RUNNING FREE IN 2010 ;]