It’s Payback Time!

Right now, I’m eating a “superfood” salad from a nearby restaurant while I’m out of town on a business trip. It’s part of my masochistic plan to run my second ultramarathon. The salad is not masochistic, but the running is. My body seems to have made some changes to metabolism since I turned 42 (I’m 43 now), so it has been an uphill battle. But I’ve been maintaining my long runs, and they have actually been enjoyable.

Today, I took a leap. I signed up for my second ultramarathon. But it isn’t just an ordinary ultramarathon. It is a double rematch!

  1. As mentioned above, I’m fighting an uphill battle. I’ve gained more weight over the last year and a half than ever in my life. It bothers me because my lifestyle has not changed. I still run. I still eat relatively healthy and vegan (mostly). I don’t eat fast food, drink sodas, or binge-watch TV. Why is this happening? So I have to prove to myself that I can still do this. 43 is still young. I still have big plans. I love doing long runs. I need to do this.

  2. I signed up for the Crystal Springs Trail Run. And I have history with this run. Back in 2012, I signed up for the Crystal Springs marathon distance. I started having knee pain around mile 9, and it only got worse over time. I pushed through, but at mile 21, I pulled out because I thought I might be doing permanent damage to my knees. It is the only DNF I have ever had. Worse yet, I was wrong about the knees. I recovered very fast. I could have made it another five miles easy. It was a mistake to drop out.

Now, it’s time to bitch-slap the Crystal Springs run. I am not doing the marathon distance. I am doing the 50k this time. And I’m going to finish even if I have to crawl. I love those trails through the tall redwood forest. It stays cool and shaded, and it’s beautiful. It gives me a lot of motivation to go back to these trails five years later to get my payback. This 50k is going down.

This is a strategic selection. It gives me enough time to prepare and gives me enough reason to push through this one. I almost guarantee that I will not be getting any PR on this route, but I don’t care. I have a lot to prove to myself. This is the perfect situation. I have a 20 mile training run tomorrow after driving home for 5 hours. I’ll be running into the night on my home trails in Orcutt. Wish me luck. Updates to follow.

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