With five weeks to go until my first 100 mile race and the panic and paranoia is starting to set in.
It’s the prequel to the ultimate taper tantrum that often includes buying shit you don’t need, over analysing your training, foam rolling (because you literally have never used the thing) and research into all the other 1% er changes you can make prior to race day, I’m looking at you strides, strength training and “eating clean”.
Yesterday I made the mistake of clicking on a race report / vlog on YouTube. I say mistake because this guy had a tough day and it made my head swirl with possibilities of my own race, training and inadequacies. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the ghost of algorithms past came to visit and fed me up a whole list of videos of the same race.
Not gunna lie, it spooked me a little but it got me thinking, are you the type of runner that likes to be prepared or the type that likes to be surprised?
Do you do all the research, read the blogs, watch the videos, recce the course in the lead up or are you the blissful ignorance type who other than making sure you have the right gear, shoes up completely unaware of what the next day is about to bring?
I’m not sure how I feel or where I fit. With these types of decisions my poor brain defaults to “but can’t I be both”.
I admittedly do obsess over itineraries and gear. Part of this is due to the travel component of racing and the races having no place to stock up if you forget something you need to do the race (hence why I always pack all my race gear in carry on!) but I’m not a huge researcher of the course and terrain etc.
After watching some of these videos, I think maybe I should be.
I think watching these type of videos can help me plan mentally for what is coming and visualise and plan how I’m going to deal with it if it comes up. It also gives you some tips and tricks that you can steal and bring into your own arsenal. So go ahead algorithm, do your worst, I’m going to be ready and take notes!
Then just when I thought I was over the prequel panic, I open twitter this morning to get the whole UTMB issue bouncing around in my brain again.
I desperately want to complete this race, the Tarawera 100 mile because it is special to me and it’s unfinished or frankly unstarted business.
Tarawera was my first 100k race back in 2017 and it opened my eyes to what trail running is all about. What Paul Charteris and Tim Day created at that race was something special and I’d never been a part of anything like it. So when they announced they were adding a 100 mile event I jumped on board and signed up for the inaugural event. Then I got I injured and there was a bit of a pandemic.
During that time, Ironman bought Tarawera.
Then Ironman partnered with UTMB.
And then the shit started to hit the fan and all of a sudden the race that reflected my values and everything I loved about trail running, maybe didn’t anymore.
I’m trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, unlike UTA, I haven’t heard anything negative about Tarawera since the take over and the UTMB group being pretty knobbish over the past few weeks probably doesn’t have anything to do with the Tarawera team and their race preparations.
I’m actively blocking out the noise and focussing on that pounamu.
This was about the time I broke last time preparing for this race. But I’m still here, still strong. 35 days to go.