Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Reality Check

The pain of the recently concluded Starlight Ultra is still very fresh in my mind, which has resulted in me downgrading my entry for the Putrajaya 100 Miles 100km category to the 52km category. I thought about it long and hard, a whole 3 seconds to be exact, before making the decision to write to the organizers, went down on my hands and knees to beg them to downgrade my entry.

They so graciously accepted my pleas and downgraded my entry to the 52km category. No, I didn't chicken out. I'm simply being realistic. I'm not ultra material. Period! Yes, there's a 30 hour cut off for the event and I could crawl on all fours around Putrajaya and still make it back within the 30 hour cutoff but what's the point? It would only prolong the suffering and I still wouldn't be ultra material, not by a long shot.

As much as I would love to delve into different aspects of running, I've got to stick to what I'm capable of. Running an ultra requires a dozen lorry loads of dedication and commitment, both of which is beyond me. Running around my neighbourhood a few hours a week is not what one constitutes as training for something like an ultra. I'm only setting myself up for disappointment. Personally, I'm still suffering minor depression from my horrible Starlight outing. 

Taken from Google Images

So I decided that I best put a stop to my delusions that I could play around in the backyard of the big boys of ultra-marathoning. Might as well save myself the heartache and pain and stick to something I can do a little better, just plain old marathoning, the 42.195km kind. I'm a pretty competitive (with myself) person and my failures hit me harder than I'd care to admit. 

I put a lot of effort (sometimes to the point of being fanatical) in my training and failing to achieve what I set out for does weigh heavily on me. I was pretty depressed after the Starlight Ultra that even had the wife worried. Even though she thinks I should do the P100, she's been a pillar of strength for me and supports my decision to quit ultras. For now anyway. Maybe when I'm done chasing my marathon dreams, I might just be brave enough to try ultra-marathoning again.

On a different note, my training post Starlight has taken a huge beating. I'm nursing a busted knee, which I suspect is ITB and probably caused by my persistent need to not 'dnf' the Starlight Ultra. The pain is pretty bad that in my last long (if you can call a 15km run long, that is) with the GC gang on National day, I had to limp and walk back half the route. I've been in sort of a rehab mode since then with very short 4-5km slow runs to nurse the knee back to good health. 


My fitness has taken a huge dive south and it's going to be a long, slow road back to my pre-Gold Coast fitness level. It's not something I'm happy about but patience is the key to a good recovery or so I've heard. Unfortunately patience is something I'm very short of but for now, a regime of stretching, icing and strengthening of the hips are high on my priority list. The last two sessions has seen some positive signs and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that what I'm doing is contributing to it. I can't wait to get back to regular running again.

And speaking of regular running, the MPIB run clinic will be making a return somewhere mid-October. I for one am hoping to recover in time and join in the clinic again, and based on last year was nothing but fun. Aside from the fun, you get to learn lots of interesting tidbits and tips about running from a host of experienced runners. First hand tips and sharings like these are something you can never find in any running books. Don't just sign up for the clinic only though, make sure you sign up for the race as well. What better way to start the year than with a run!

2 comments:

  1. Even Scott Jurek said after he ran his first ultra, it was the hardest thing he ever done, and never again. But he kept going back.

    You can see the video here
    Running with Ultramarathon Legend Scott Jurek: http://youtu.be/wwHfcqkm5TE

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    1. Hahaha, I'm no where near the class of Scott Jurek la ... hahaha ... but like I said, maybe when I'm done chasing my marathon dreams, I'll come back to ultras.

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