Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Second Try

"Failure will only whet the runner's appetite for another attempt." -Gary Cantrell, Barkley Marathons race director

Running isn't easy and that's why I love our sport. We pick goals that challenge us. Goals that we might think are a little beyond our reach. Goals that hurt like hell to achieve. Why? Because running is all about challenging ourselves. It's about pushing our bodies to a place its never been. A place where the unthinkable becomes reality. When that happens, it's one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It's like a drug that we can't get enough of. Once the high from achieving a goal wears off, we immediately find ourselves searching for that next challenge, that next high.

However, something that's never far away from our goals is the fear of failing to reach one. But, that's ok. Fear of not reaching a goal means we've set one that's hard, but realistic. We can't let the risk of failing shy us away from a goal. In fact, it can be used as motivation to achieve it. I believe we have an emotional tie to each goal we set. It might scare us. It might cause anxiety, uncertainty or even excitement. Having those emotions is what drives us to try. To prove our minds wrong. To succeed.

Why am I saying all this? Next week I'm attempting to achieve a goal I fell short of last year; finishing a 100 mile race. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm nervous as hell about the Bryce 100. With a course that boasts 19,000 feet of elevation gain at an elevation that varies between 7,000 to 9,000 feet, I certainly didn't pick an easy race for my second try. However, it's the type of challenge my crazy running mind needs. Am I worried about failing to reach my goal? Yes. But, it's not because of a lack of training or preparation. I fear it because I respect the distance. I know that Bryce will demand my best physical/mental effort to conquer it. 

The hard work is over. Training is behind me. I feel strong and confident. There will be highs and lows during my run, for sure. During those lows I need to remind myself why I'm doing this...because I love our sport.

Bryce Canyon, UT (Photo Credit: Ultra Adventures)

No comments:

Post a Comment