Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gettin' my kicks on Route 66

In some ways this Saturday's Mother Road 100 along Route 66 on the west side of Oklahoma City is the end of my year. It will be my fourth 100 (Vermont, Leadville and Arkansas being the other three) and hopefully my third finish. 2008 certainly did not go the way I had hoped. Fires cancelled Western States and after 85 miles, rain, hail, snow and cold eventually ended my day at Leadville. So although my hopes of completing the Grand Slam ended in August, a successful Mother Road will be moral victory and a nice finish to the year.

However in another way this race really marks the beginning of my quest for the 2009 Grand Slam. Finishing three and three quarter 100's will give me great confidence heading into next year.
  • I have a much better understanding of how my body reacts to this sort of stress physically, mentally and emotionally and know that if I stay healthy and keep a positive attitude I can do it.
  • The muscle memory from the four races this year should provide a big advantage next year, especially late in the races.
  • I have now seen the entire length of the Western States Trail as well as the Vermont 100 course, both of which were mysteries to me heading into this year.
  • With friend Dave Wakefield pacing me at Leadville next year I am confident I will break my three year dry spell there.
  • Although each year my body grows older, experience hopefully makes me a little wiser. 2008 taught me a lot about myself and provided me with rich experiences to draw from in the future when the road gets tough.

So although 100 miles of flat Oklahoma asphalt is not as exciting a proposition as some of these other races, for me it represents a turning point. A chance perhaps to put 2008 in the rear view mirror and to look forward to what lies ahead in 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get healed up bro. Relax now for awhile and we'll start doing a lot of long stuff together so we can get a routine down for Leadville. The better I know your running style the better shot we got at breaking that dry spell.