Doubts, Satisfaction Over Desire, and the Quest for 100 Miles

It is interesting that Eric and others have started to talk about doubts and fear.  These are very real emotions for me at the moment as the registration for my Cool Impossible approaches on Feb 1.  Ever since I decided to do this race I have been racked with doubt: Am I too fat? Am I too slow? Am I strong enough? Am I just freaking crazy?  I have shared these doubts with my friends ad nauseam.  One of my friends who patiently listened and was supportive finally cracked and said "Just shut up and do it, at least then you will know if you can do it."  Truer words were never spoken.  

I am following Eric's plan fairly consistently.  I try to make sure I get out and do what I need to do.  However, today I had a Zone 3 Endurance Threshold run for 1:30 and only did 1:17.  While I didn't beat myself up over it, I did wonder if I should have done those last 13 minutes.  On an intellectual level I know that 13 minutes is not the difference between success and failure in a 100 mile race.  But emotionally I feel that I should have done it because that is what you do if you want one of those buckles.  Being 47 (I will actually turn 48 during the race.  Happy Birthday to me!!!!) I also take extra time off during the week to make sure my body doesn't break down and while I feel guilty about it, I know that at my age it is necessary, I am 47, not 27 and that makes a big difference.  When I feel indecisive about my runs I have started to repeat Eric's mantra "Satisfaction over Desire" and that keeps me going.  While I am religiously doing the slant board stuff, I really need to start doing the exercises, and I mean REALLY NEED to start.  If I fail I want to make sure it isn't because of lack of preparation or conditioning.  

On one level running 100 miles feels overwhelmingly impossible, but when I was looking at the race manual I realized something, I could run 3 miles or 7 miles or 12 miles and that is what I am going to do, it is just going to be back to back.   That is doable.  It is funny I want one of those buckles in the worst way.  I can't even articulate why I want one but I do.  I saw a quote that said if you want to truly find out about yourself do an ultra.  Maybe that is it, I am not sure.  There is a 100 mile race right up the road from my house I could have done but chose not to because they offer a 50 mile and 100 k option you could drop down into.  I wanted to make sure there were no consolation prizes so I chose Cascade Crest 100 since there is only one distance and there is no dropping down.  To paraphrase Yoda "Do or do not, there is no dropping down."  Will I finish? I don't know, what I do know is that I will give it my all and if I fail, then I have failed gloriously.  There is no shame in failure if you leave everything on the course.  



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Comment by Eric Orton on January 15, 2014 at 3:40pm

This is great.  Remember, it is human nature to 'want to know' what will happen.  But this is impossible and therefore, we spend all of our energy looking for an answer that is impossible to know - until you do it.  Hence the true meaning behind the title of the book.

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