Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tired Pegs and Death Anxiety

After a planned easy jaunt this evening I'll finish this week with just under 17,000 vert in 6 days to essentially wrap up the hard training for the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2 weeks time.  Despite cutting back on the mileage and vertical this week, the pegs felt pretty dead and I felt like I was fighting off a cold.  I made a couple half-assed attempts at getting some decent turnover in the legs but they were pretty tame affairs.  For sure feeling some accumulated fatigue and welcoming the upcoming taper.   

I'm definitely having some pre-race jitters and, perhaps as to be expected, am finding myself second guessing my preparation and race plan in fairly neurotic fashion unprecedented by any other races this season (which have been uniformly characterized by no forethought and minimal expectation.)  The last time I recall feeling this wound up about a race was prior to my first marathon in 2002: the Cleveland marathon which I travelled to with P. Terrence McGovern and which turned out to be a spectacular display of suffering (although not so spectacular as Mr. McGovern's display.)  I went into that race with a calf injury that reared it's head at mile 7 and forced me to finish the last 19 miles with a lurching, antalgic stride, eventually stopping the clock at a desperate 2:59:59 (despite having stubbornly forced a number of sub-6 minute miles around half-way).  

That 98% of my already limited mental energy is currently devoted to this endeavor (that only a handful of people in the world care anything about and even a smaller handful of whom care about doing as fast as possible), in the context of residency, fatherhood, spousehood, home-ownership, etc, nicely illustrates the peculiar projection and  sublimation characteristic of endurance feats and also provides an immediate and facile answer to the ever-present question of just why in the hell anyone does this: the Sisyphean project of denying death, of course.  

With this in mind I will attempt to harness my ever-present death anxiety over the next two weeks to the unlikely project of maintaining a Zen-like complacency.

Mon- 2 hrs with 2300 vert, Bonneville to Black Mtn Ridge.
Tues- 2:05 hrs with 2600 vert from Kaysville out and back, reconaissance on the course.  8x 1 min on 1 min off fartlek
Wed- 2 hrs with 3,200 vert, Lookout Peak with Helfer.
Thurs - off 
Fri- 1:45 with 2000 vert up above Alta with 15 min tempo.  
Sat- 4:10, approx. 20 miles with 4,700 vert from Brighton out and back on Wasatch 100 course w/ Bethany.
Sun- easy 1.5-2 hours with 1500-2000 vert.

Totals: 6 runs, around 13.5 hours, about 17k vert.  LEWIS!

With Auntie Zoe

Above Alta

Indian Paintbrush

Sunset Pass

somewhere around Pole Line Pass

Climbing back up the flip side of Sunset Pass

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