Running an ultra will take a toll on your body as well as your mind. Following an ultra it is customary for me to take at least one if not two weeks completely off. I listen to my body, I know my body and having asked it to cover an ultra distance I reward it with time off. In the last two weeks, I have been dissecting Kettle and looking for answers to so many questions. Miles 50-62 I questioned every aspect of why I run ultras, told myself I would never run another ultra again...ever again, found another runner who felt the same way (we walked in the final miles together) and wallowed in the fact my dream of the Midwest Slam ended before it even began. However, time heals running wounds and I made no decisions or took any actions during these past two weeks. I have slept, stayed off my feet as much as possible and gave in to any food craving that hit me. Only for two weeks! The third week is active recovery meaning time in the pool or on the bike. The fourth week I start running and by that time my lower body is ready to go and I can pick up my training schedule as if I was in the second month of training for a marathon.
As you can guess I am NOT giving up on running ultras but I did take a closer look at the rest of my season and made some sensible changes. The Mohican 100 and Burning River 100 are off the schedule. The Hallucination 100 in early September and Chimera 100 in mid November are on the schedule. This allows me to properly train for running on a technical single track trail. I am excited because a few of my inner circle buddies have said they will join me for those races. I will have a crew and some pacers and that's a HUGE asset and lift for me from my Kettle experience. The Hallucination is a 16.6 mile loop that will allow me to adjust each loop and I'll know where to press and where to relax through the course. A cool detail to that race is it starts on Friday afternoon so when you finish you can join the party that goes on all weekend.
Chimera...well Chimera I have a score to settle with you. Last year I wiped out on a granite slab at mile 15 and by mile 85 I had to declare DNF. I know the course, I know how to train for it and I WILL finish it this year.
It's off to the pool tomorrow and roll the bicycle on the trainer. I am refocused on my training and my races towards the end of the season. I know it is a realistic goal and two 100 mile finishes will look really good on my application for Badwater for next year. We all have plans that go awry and in my case the lemonade was pretty sour. I let it sit for awhile, thought about what I wanted and how to get it and in the end I have a better plan. Just remember in the end everything always works out and if it hasn't ? It's not the end.