Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Off the radar

Friends, it's been a while. Does anyone still read this blog? For the few that still do, let me update you. I unofficially "retired" from ultra marathons last November, 2010. Ironically, as fate would have it, I was selected in BOTH the Massanutten 100 and Western States 100 lotteries. The odds of getting into both in the same year is 1 in 40.

You would at least think running Western States would be enough for me to get my butt in gear and start training...but it hasn't. Any other year, and I would be drooling at the propect of spending a summer's day running from Squaw Valley to Auburn. Usually a month off from real running is all I need to re-energize, but things are very different right now, and I have no real desire to run ultras, or attempt to run them "fast". Don't get me wrong,I'm still running, but only 25-40 miles per week instead of the traditional 70-90.

I'm enjoying my time away from the "task" of running. I still love trails, mountain vistas, and running fellowship. But, more and more that is all I really want out of running, not medals, closets stuffed with race shirts, and buckles. The idea of starting lines, finish lines, and competetion have lost much of their former appeal. Can I still run two tough 100 mile races with my current mindset? I guess we'll find out.

4 comments:

Runner Tammy said...

Hi Mike,

With WS100 I have no time goals except to finish and have a GREAT time with lots of new and old friends.

Feel free to hang back with me. I can almost definitely promise you it will be fun times (but probably not fast times:-)

See you at Squaw if not before,
Tammy

jenn said...

DOOD....

while I totally get you loving running just for the sake of running.. ( that's AWESOME to reach that point).
but 1. you are SO talented. You are GOOD at ultra running.. I'm downright envious of your speed and ability. You make it look SO easy.
2. OMG... do you KNOW how many people would LOVE to be in your shoes?! please train properly for MMT and WS so you can be the BEST MIKE you can be!! I just don't want you to look back in hindsight and see what a great opportunity you had and you didn't seize it with both hands and literally RUN with it! Life is so short. and I know that in the end, the starts, finishes, race bibs, buckles and shirts just pile up to a big nothing-- but you will have THE EXPERIENCE of running WS and that is something uniquely YOURS. YOUR WS JOURNEY. OWN IT.
may and june will both be here before you know it. I would just view MMT as a long run for WS? :o)

((HUG))

I totally respect what you are saying.. just wanted to offer a slightly different point of view. You know if you never ran another ultra again. I'd still think you are just wonderful and a special friend of mine!! and in the end IT's ALL YOU.. It's YOU running over the rocks at MMT all day and night.. and it's YOU coming into forest hills aidstation after a HOT run in the canyons. with still many miles to get to the finish line. SO it's YOU that has to want it. :o) I get that completely :o) no matter how excited I am that you are in the dance..

take care and have a great week!! ((HUG))

hope to see you soon!

jenny

Rick Gray said...

Your feelings are totally ok and understandable. Running is not just about winning and how fast you may run. Competition can be the best thing for you and it can also be the worst. Your mind is now telling you that competition for a place and fast time are not important to you right now. That might change, but who knows and it does not really matter. Use your ultras to enjoy your time out in the woods and to enjoy your friends around you. Do not let this opportunity pass you up to run WS and MMT. Just approach it differently. It is all about Mike enjoying himself and nothing more.

Jess said...

I'm not an ultra runner...yet...but for what it's worth, I think breaks are good for however long you need them. AND that it is WAY cool you got picked for both races - please do train so you can fully enjoy it!