This Sunday I will be running the 100K at the Green Lakes Endurance Runs in Fayetteville in Central New York State. I wish I was feeling in better shape for it, but I'll give it an honest effort and enjoy the journey.
It looks like the course will be a mixture of groomed walking trails, rougher single track, and grassy fields. The grassy fields are not a favorite running surface for me, that's why you won't catch me back at the Pineland Farms races here in Maine. They kind of remind me of college cross country, which was a good experience, but not something I'm into right now. These days I like to be out among the trees. I like my trails narrow, winding, and hilly. The good news is that at GLER there will be plenty of that type of running as well. Am I becoming a little fussy as I age? I figure it's OK to be fussy. I currently run for the sheer enjoyment of it so why run on a course I don't enjoy?
GLER is a multiple loop course, which presents a challenge to any ultrarunner. We all get to a point in an ultra where we are very tired and just want to stop. Multiple loop courses make stopping too easy! It will be a good lesson in self discipline, running eight 12.5KM loops on tired legs and poor conditioning. Yay! I can't wait! It will actually be very good for me because this is training for the Oil Creek 100 Miler on October 10th, which is a three loop course. Heck, if I can drag myself out of the main aid station eight times at Green Lakes, it should be a cake walk to do it three times at Oil Creek! Plus my conditioning should be better by then.
So how am I feeling about this race? I'd say I'm feeling pretty good. I don't plan on tearing up the course and setting any speed records. I do plan on having a good long run on scenic trails with a bunch of like-minded trail ultra people. I used to start my races with a bunch of nervous energy, thinking about the outcome from the very beginning. Now I find I stay in the moment and enjoy the journey. The outcome just happens and I can accept it for what it is. This isn't the right mind set for a competitive runner, and I was a competitive runner for a lot of years. Something happened to that drive and I don't think I'll ever get it back. I don't really think I want to get it back. But I never say never. That 50+ age group will be upon me in a few short years, and I have seen people pop back into the race scene out of nowhere when they enter a new age group. But don't hold your breath.