I had a plan. A good plan. The minute I was accepted into the Ultra Beast I started formulating it. My racing and training schedule for this event was nearly perfect. I would steadily work on increasing mileage and endurance throughout the season while simultaneously working on leg strength and uphill speed. The other races on my schedule races would not only serve as training, but as a gauge for what I needed to work on. If I did things right, my Ultra training would equip me to be very competitive in all the other events.
Then I got punched in the face. Hard! It staggered me and exposed a self-doubt that I had been able to squelch to that point.
The punch in the face came in the form of a knee injury, quickly followed by a foot injury. The plan was shattered. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump. Biking and swimming only made it worse. Although I still “train” 6 days a week, the sessions are different. I have been limited in what I can do. To make matters worse, what I need to do the most (running) is the one thing I have not been able to do. Now my training feels like I am just flailing around..throwing punches blindly, hoping that one or more will land in the right place. All the while trying to avoid another blow that will take my feet from me and knock me out of the race completely.
The shattered plan has taken a toll mentally. I’ve said it before, but I’m not the type of athlete who can just “show up” on race day and perform well. I win, place well, or lose races before the race ever starts. Any type of success measured in whatever terms you define it is predicated on my training and I feel that the only way I can beat other competitors is to outwork them.
My plan had been to run strong and finish in the upper echelons. Now I just hope to finish and finish without getting hurt. Actually, some days I just hope to be able to start. I won’t be throwing in the towel. I will continue to dance around long enough to stay in the battle and maybe, just maybe I’ll throw a lucky punch – Buster Douglas style!