Feeling fully recovered from Doha, next week I will be running my first timed event as an ultra marathoner. The Desert Solstice 24hr held on December 13th is an invitational race where 30 runners will circle a 400 meter track from 8am Saturday to 8am Sunday trying to rack up as many miles as possible within that period. This format eliminates most obstacles a runner faces when trying to run as far as possible ie: no hills, fuel and hydration are always close by, washrooms are track side, and the proximity allows you to not have to carry a heavy pack or handheld. All of which add up over time.
My fitness is good and my body is healthy. My single fear entering into this race is my mental push. When trail running in the mountains one is bombarded with distractions but looping a 400 meter track for a day the mind can be a game changer, either pushing you or leave you sitting on your ass contemplating life itself.
My mantra this race will be “Why not me, why not today”. This is specific to this event because I’m attempting on my first 24hr event to break the Canadian open record set by Peter Holubar in 1990 of 242.918 kilometres. Now its out there, I better not wet the bed. Much like a porn star, my definition of long has changed over the years. I find myself no longer intimidated by big distances but rather excited about the new challenges that go with obtaining such feats.
I was up last night watching the biography about Yiannis Kouros called Forever Running. This hour long video highlights Yiannis’s achievements most notably his standing world record of 303K kilometres in 24 hours among other jaw dropping world records. There were three quotes that struck me in this film: “Without patience, you will never conquer endurance.” Secondly, “The verb endure is not a physical verb, its a spiritual one, endure means to withstand.” Lastly, “To run 24, 48 hours, or 6 days. No one completes the race via his body but via his mind.” Needless to say, I got a lot from watching this. His all encompassing strength is admirable and I can only wish to one day have a fraction of his badassness.
I’m also really looking forward to having my Mom and Dad coming out to the race. They live in Southern Arizona and will be driving up to take in the event. Me and my father have drawn close over the last several years and its odd to say that he has never seen me run an ultra. Now if there was ever a time to draw from his strength, this would be the time. I’m a very fortunent dude to have two amazing human beings to call Mom and Dad. Love you guys and see you soon.