Streaks Of Insanity
The Starlight Ultra is just nine days away and is set to become my first ever under-trained race. I was shaking in fear daily about how in heaven's name was I going to get through it. But up to a week or so ago, I simply gave up worrying about it since I know it's going to be an uphill task for me. No amount of extra mileage or training would help at this point and I'm resigned to the fact that I'll be at the tail end of the pack struggling to make it before the cut off.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not making excuses to justify my expected horrible outing. I'm just being a realist. When you don't train enough and then try to undertake something as crazy as circumventing Penang island for a distance of 84 kilometers, then you're simply setting yourself up for failure. No two ways about it.
Trust me, I could come up with a dozen excuses or justifications for not doing well. I'm there for the fun of it, I'm there to sight-see, etc, etc. But no, it all boils down to I'm simply not ready and not trained enough for this. But I won't back out of it. Not my style. Besides I promised the wife, I'll try to do this for her. I need a reason not to back out and that's about as good as any that I can think of.
I'm totally under trained for this. All my training prior to this has been geared towards a marathon plan. Any runner worth his salt would know how totally different a marathon plan is compared to an ultra. Prior to GCAM, I've been hitting close to 280-300km a month, sufficient mileage for a marathon but not nearly enough for something of an ultra scale. Post GCAM has seen the monthly mileage drop considerably due to various factors such as work, injury layoff, family stuff and simply lack of motivation.
Back then, the marathon, especially GCAM was a priority and I made the decision to skewer my training towards that. Yeah, there were the occasional heat training in Putrajaya, the slightly longer than normal LSD's, the midnight runs but hardly any incline training, hardly any time on feet sessions. Most of my weekday runs were customized marathon training sessions. Weekends were reserved for 20-30k LSD's. I thought they would be enough to see me through but I was horribly mistaken.
I guess you reap what you sow. I'm going to give it my all though. I've got a strategy brewing in my mind to see me through. It might or might not work but it's worth the shot. Anything is worth a shot if I can ease the pain of being on my feet for 84kms even a little bit.
At this point of time, I really wish I didn't sign up for this. It seemed like a good idea back then though. But the wife can vouch for the number of times my good ideas turn out to be anything but good. I'm not cut out to be mingling in the ultra world. I know my abilities and limitations and ultra running is not one of them. I'll leave ultra running to the professionals and the people who really deserve it. Me, I'm just a total fake and not even a wannabe in the world of ultra running.
I'll just stick to something simpler like marathons after this. At least, in a marathon, the suffering lasts for about 4 hours or so. Not so bad la. Besides, with family life and work, I can't afford investing in the training time needed to run ultras. It's just too demanding on the body and drains you physically, not forgetting mentally. The risk of being thrown out the house for spending too much time outside training on weekends is also another reason. My wife is a runner and though she pretty much understands my constant need to train, there are limits to her patience too.
Come what may, I'll be at the start line next Saturday night, under-trained or not, to take on the Starlight 84k Ultra. It's going to be a long race and the most important thing for me is to keep myself injury free and cross that finish line the next morning in one piece with my head held high. As long as I can keep myself ahead of the sweeper bus, I'll be more than happy :D
I swear, I'm giving up ultras after this!