Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Diez Vista: D'ya know how hard this is gonna' be?

At 7am, on April 5th, three sleeps from now, I'll be tootling around Sasamat Lake as I begin 50 kilometers of one fancy foot in front of the other. It's Diez Vista time again and this is my first official 50k of four this year. It's an understatement to say I'm feeling unprepared but my friend James Marshall tells me I'm always prepared. I appreciate the confidence, although I'm not certain I've done everything I could've done to be my best on this race day. 

I'm trying to maintain some perspective in the fact that this is one race of many this summer and, knowing my body, I can't handle too much more mileage at this point in the year. I'll work my ass off. That's for sure. I always do but I think I'll be disappointed with a poor placing and slower time. I typically don't discuss my own personal pre-race time predictions so I won't start now but without a doubt, I have some clear expectations of myself

No matter how much we tell ourselves it's mentally unhealthy to compare ourselves to others, it is inevitable. As I have commented so many times before, it is these comparisons in competition that drive me to work harder. Unless you went through elementary school in the last 12 years without the threat of failing and always getting a participant ribbon no matter what you achieved, I think competition has driven most of us. Everything I'm doing in training at this time of year tells me it is what I should be doing to sustain my performance and excitement for the summer, but when I compare my work to some of my competitors I get nervous. What others have done (or say they have done) seems to be what I should've done. I'm just scared the wheels will come off this 40 year old bus before the summer arrives. I maintain that I'm pacing my season.

What's done is done and what is not done is not done. Adding mileage and or speed now is not going to happen. I have to trust that the mileage I have given to myself is adequate. That the rest I have given myself has repaired me. That the food I have eaten has nourished me. That the extraneous training I do has made me stronger. Regretfully I haven't experienced the entire DV course but perhaps that will be a blessing. I'll study the map some more but hope that the old adage "ignorance is bliss" works on the out and back.

Without really getting into details about my feelings, my Salomon Flight Crew teammate, Rene Unser of Kelowna's PACE Sports Fitness, picked up on my stress about this and nailed it when she said:

"Howdy! It's normal to feel that way but Don't underestimate yourself my friend;). If Squamish is your A race then just know what's important for you to get out of this experience and stick to it. Running a successful race has more components to it than speed. Someone can run fast but not finish etc... So just run your own rhythm and set a steady beat for the first half. Then see from there. Let your experience and mental super powers drive you home You'll grit your teeth and have a strong finish like you usually do It's a tough early season ultra and one that will reward you weeks after the race with a huge bump in fitness. I like to call it "the big picture"... LOL Have a good one!!"

To Rene I say, thanks for taking the over-thinking out of it for me, Coach. I'll "keep a steady beat for the first half...and let my experience and mental super powers drive me home". 

Over the next three days, while second guessing dumb stuff like what socks to wear or flip flopping on a bag or a hand held, I'll study the map a little. Like I said, I haven't seen much of the course so I don't even know where half is yet to start driving it home.

Looking forward to a great day in the rain with rad dudes and dudines (official term). To all those racing, GOOD LUCK and LAUGH LOTS! To all those race directing, marshalling, cutting up food, marking the course, checking racers in, THANK YOU!  

Diez Vista...Ya know hard this is gonna' be?


  1. Hi Tom, the out and back will be fine for you. Almost all dirt road and pretty runnable grades. I'll be marshaling at the "Y" junction where you start and end that section. Have a great day out there! -Luke

  2. Thanks, Luke. I'll be looking for a smiling face.

  3. Tom,

    You're going to do amazing this weekend! I just know it deep down in my bones. You've got the base, and when push comes to shove, you've got the mental capacity to dig deep and put all your cards on the table. Jay and I will be right around 28K, and that'll be your sign that your past halfway, and it's time to rely on those super powers to drive you home. Oh, and a little cowbell will help too!

    See you Saturday rockstar!