A wise man once said, “…Competitive ultra running is very different from road or shorter trail and also very different from recreational Ultra running. If the goal is to race consistently and to be healthy then down time is huge…In running the core principle is ‘stress and rest.’ There are lots of ways to do that. You will always face opposition when you encounter success and if you try to please everyone you will end up pleasing no one, especially not yourself.”
Everyone assumes that when you sign up for a “race” you must be racing. At least in my case, I get the assumption that I’ll be going full force. It was hard at first when starting with Rivs to have a variety of race types….A races, B-C races, training races or tune ups I like to call them, and fun runs. I’m so programmed to just race and race everything. This is exactly how I fell out of love with road racing. The expectation was there that I had to win. I didn’t care for that outside pressure especially when I was just doing something as a workout or for fun. I started to justify every running decision I had to make.
I can’t remember the last time I went into a race for fun. I actually don’t think I ever have! This years Kettle 100 is something I have always wanted to do since running the 38 miler in 2011 (I went full force and still have the CR for that fun run event) but I’m simply doing it for fun. I want to relax through aid stations, enjoy the scenery, and be goofy the whole way with Sid as we knock off miles. I want a no pressure run. I allowed that mentally to set in after completing my A race at Ice Age. Time for some enjoyment on the trails after a high stress race!
I won’t be ‘just running’ 100 miles. My purpose is not to finish in pain, or with injury. My purpose is to smile the whole way. If that means cutting it short at the 100k or less, that’s ok. Why pound my legs on a fun run, right? Everything will be done slow, controlled, and with injury free legs in mind. If that means majority is hiked, then awesome. Always keeping the big picture in mind is key. Busting my legs on a fun run is not my goal. I run with purpose.
Kettle will be a brilliant day of miles, giggles, lots of food, and a social atmosphere with lots of people out there. But because it’s a fun run, that doesn’t mean I’m jipping on my race week prep. Everything is gonna be fun and games over 100 miles if well prepared! I’m eating properly and for me that’s a bit more to load up the glycogen stores…hydrating well…tapering my workouts…resting and rolling often…sleeping a good nights sleep…and still saying no to caffeine. All the right prep will create a phenomenal experience.
I’m looking forward to running this Saturday with Sid for the Kettle 100, no matter what distance I complete up to 100 miles, for my first ever trail fun run. It should be a beautiful day in WI!! Post race report to come!!