This week's night time run was attended by Ian, Erik, Chuck and Stephen. Conditions were perfect for a good quick run, you can read about our stats on Stephen's blog, as well as some of his personal thoughts about fall in Maine.
The most significant part of this run for me had to do with plans for the upcoming Stone Cat 50 Mile and Marathon Trail Races on November 10th. After completing the Pineland Farms 50k Trail Challenge this past spring I had great ambitions to do a 50 mile race this fall, thus earning me the qualification to run in the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run next year. This ambition was reinforced later in the summer as I crewed for James at this year's VT100 and witnessed him, Stephen and Jamie complete the race in inspiring form.
Since July I have had a lot of fun running, but what seemed to be missing was the structure and discipline I felt that I needed to prepare for my first 50 miler. For the past 6 weeks I have been vacillating between running the marathon and the 50-miler at Stone Cat. I knew that I was in good shape to do the marathon, but I just didn't have confidence in my ability to go much further. One thing I've learned about ultras in my limited exposure to this aspect of running is that mental strength is equally as important as physical strength, and it was with this in mind that I decided last weekend that I would play it safe and stick with the marathon. I shared this decision with my mother who was extremely relieved, like many of our mothers she thinks I run too much. Funny that I was just thinking that I don't run enough!
The strange thing about making this decision was that I didn't feel satisfied, something was missing. I shared this decision with the guys on Tuesday night and got the kind of response that could be expected from a couple of ultra runners. With honesty, sincerity, and the legs to back it up, they told me that I can run 50 miles. And I believe them. That night I filled out my entry form for the Stone Cat 50 Mile Trail Race and mailed it the next day.
Thank you Emma, James, Stephen, Jamie, Chuck and Erik for your encouragement.