A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vermont 100 - Anticipation!!!


One thing about these really long endurance races is when it's only days away, I'm not sure how to react. There are a variety of emotions that are playing through my head right now. Here are a few:

Relief: After 6 months of training, the race is finally here. It doesn't matter what the outcome is, come next Monday, the race is over.

Anxiety: How am I going to do in a race that has the ability to kill me? This is no ordinary race like a marathon. A lot of people drop out of races like the Vermont 100 because the distance is so damn long and the terrain difficult to boot. When I completed this race 2 years ago a full 45% dropped out of that race primarily due to the heat (91 degrees that day).

Fear: There is a spiritual side to this race. Races like Vermont have the ability of stripping all of your protections and shields, leaving you vulnerable and face-to-face with your limitations. It's how my vulnerable self deals with those so called limitations whether to quit there or fight back and define new limitations for myself. I remember coming face-to-face with this in Vermont 2 years ago and I succeeded. I also came face-to-face with limitations on a more severe course in Leadville. I tried, but couldn't get my butt over Hope Pass in time.

Spirituality: While spirituality is not really an emotion, I will place it on the list anyway because I think it's important. Somehow, these races, along with Ironman triathlons, have the ability of breaking down your soul and building it back up again in a different way. Somehow I've always emerged from these races a different person somehow. Unlike the shorter races, these races are so, just, EPIC, that there is no way you can emerge from the race the same way. In a way, spirituality is getting to know yourself more on a deeper level. And you have to dig VERY deep in order to go far in these long races, so it all makes sense.

There are other emotions going on inside my head right now but they are not as important as the ones listed above.

Unless you want to call the constant irrational screaming inside my head an emotion. If I describe it, you might think I'll need a straight jacket, so I'll conveniently leave it out. ;-)

I travel up with a good crew on Friday. Keep sending those good vibes my way. I'll take any you can offer. :-)

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Wednesday night, the trail run is still on. I myself will only be doing 4 miles due to the 100 mile ultra this weekend, but if you know the trails, you can definitely go longer if you want.

This Saturday, DC will be leading the trails in our absence (I'm taking a couple of good trail running ladies with me to witness my journey through hell this Saturday as part of my crew). I would again thank DC for filling in this Saturday. Anyone who is interested in running trails this weekend would be happy to be in his capable hands.

And don't forget the Full Moon Trail Run. Although my legs might not be working well next week, at least I'll have 2 capable arms painting some bricks gold for that event. The first full moon happens on Wednesday August 1. We will initially set the course at 5k instead of 5 miles because running in sand is very difficult and I want people to get used to the sand (believe me, it's not easy). I will make the course longer in subsequent races.




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