As this gloomy mid-morning Monday continues on, I felt the urge to log a few thoughts on my progress and process of my 100 mile training. Since my last post, I was in the thralls of training for the Boston Marathon, and had my sights set on a postponement of that race. Over the coming weeks and months, that race; among others, began to cancel and I continued to train at a mediocre effort. The occasional time trial, or virtual race peaked my interested as it may have with so many other runners, but in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to complete a 100 miler this year. The main goal was the Javelina Jundred in October. However, with so many uncertainties, that race wasn't in the cards for me to attempt. I then shifted to another goal, which will lead me to the starting line of another 100 miler I found; expect this race will be in January.
The idea of completing a 100 miler seemed so appealing to me for nearly 10 years now. Many friends have done them and the sense I get from them is unworldly. They have that look of terror and humble satisfaction that only a few runners have accomplished. "They've seen things" is what I whisper to Arlene when we end a conversation and part ways. I feel compelled to inquiry more of every aspect they went through: from their training, to what race they did, the scenery, what hallucinations occurred, to any other words of wisdom. Yet, with a subtle look on their face, I can tell they want to cherish those memories for themselves. Or, elect to show me that there isn't a way to describe their experience and that you just have to venture into the darkness and find out for yourself.
As of now, I plan on running the Coldwater Rumble 100 miler in January. That race is put on by the same organizers as Javelina, and has a solid course that seems to be manageable for me. I'm not expecting to set any records or do anything wild out there, I just want to complete one and feel the anguish that comes from the process in training for a 100 miler. I want to be uncomfortable and keep pushing. I want to embrace everything the elements have to offer and still put one foot in front of the other. I know these 30 mile training runs are nothing compared to the actual 100 mile race, or even a 40 mile training run. However, I feel that this is a learning process, and if I can bare through the race, then I can reflect back on my training and see what needs to be changed for another attempt. Time can only tell.