Finally, I’m down from the will-I or won’t-I run Massanutten fence. And my decision is that I am not going to run it. Western is the focus through June and that means not sacrificing torn quad muscles and critical training weeks that would otherwise occur if I chose to run the race. The irony of running Massanutten, and all the pain that goes with it, is that I really enjoy the race- which is basically why I have been hesitant up until now to relinquish my entry. This event gives me a great deal of pleasure, especially in the weeks post-race while my shredded feet and quads are on the mend. In those weeks my mind constantly swims backstroke, reliving the rocky moments of running 102 miles through the Massanutten Mountains. For now, though, I have decided to assume the role of pleasure delayer through June and patiently wait the days and weeks until Western comes and goes, so I can spend the first few weeks of July reliving that race in my mind as the cherry 100 of 2012.
In the meantime, I will run Promise Land tomorrow. This event comes highly recommended from everyone I know that has run it. This year the field is stacked with competition and comprises the largest number of entrants ever assembled for an ultra in Virginia. Plus, it’s a hard, beautiful course- so I hear and read- and to finish on the podium will require following the route on a red line the entire way. I’m trying not to think about it; when I do my hands start shaking.