Ok, so when I first decided to run the Tecumseh marathon I thought to myself,
“26.2 miles…on a rugged trail…in the winter. That sounds crazy! That sounds awesome!” And I signed up.
My whole attitude going into this was like “this is going to be absolutely insane, so the pressure’s off…let’s just go out and have fun and run like crazy through the woods. It’ll be a party! A party filled with lots of pain and ridiculousness.” I was looking at it like a situation where it’s so nuts that you can only laugh.
Then I ran Chicago and a couple things happened. One, I realized I can run the crap out of that distance and two, I started putting pressure on myself to run Tecumseh well. I was and still am pretty confident that I can go sub 3 hours on this course, easy, even without seeing the first half, but then my post-Chicago ailments simply wouldn’t subside. So my attitude for the race began to change from CRAZY! to OH CRAP! Still, I kept trying to lay down as consistent mileage as I could, always trying to at least get 2 hour trail runs in on the weekend. The “training” was always up and down and I could never get a grasp on just how setback I am from Chicago, but still I continued on.
Then something else happened, the completed race registration list was posted and I saw that not only do I have competition, but I have competition that may potentially use me to clean out their mud packed trail shoes. So then the inherent competitive nature in me kicked in and I REALLY started freaking out, way too late in the game. There was really nothing else I could do anymore at this point, except hope for the best.
So now my attitude went from party, to crazy, to serious, to competitive, to worrisome, to freak the hell out….and now…well, now I’ve kinda went over the edge and fell all the way back to party. Which is where I wanted to be in the first place.
See, I have done this all wrong. Since Chicago I have not put in one second of speedwork, aside from letting loose when I felt strong enough. I’ve also not put in one second of hill work, aside from the occasional incline during my daily runs. I’ve also been pretty inconsistent in my running, mainly due to my still strained leg muscles. About the only thing I’ve done right is put in consistent long runs on the weekends, but that’s been about it. I’m throwin a prayer to the wind on this one.
Admittedly, I’m still going to try and break 3 hours and still have a lot of confidence in that goal, but my freakout attitude on trying to fight to win this thing has, thankfully, fallen to the wayside. I’m out to party now. Hell, I even regret passing on those knee high argyle socks I was thinking of wearing during the race. That’s ok, the party will be in my head, as I moan and groan and struggle to stay positive as each hill attempts to explode my lungs and break my will in two. This time it’s still going to be about running competitively, but with a much heavier dose of positivity than I’m accustomed too.
So yeah, although I’ll still be shaking in absolute fear (and cold) at the start line, I’ll also be embracing the insanity of the effort and, hopefully, laughing on the inside all the same.
Hell, who knows, maybe the Ratt shirt will make another appearance this time around…just to fit the mood.
To everyone running Tecumseh on Saturday….y’all are crazy! This is going to be fun eh?! I’ll see you in the woods!