So I usually post a post (sounds strange, I know; it does to me, too) at any sub-24 hour point before the race. I think this is/might be an exception (and perhaps gives me a chance to get away from school obligations at the moment β€” this feels good once in a while).

The Free State Trail Run takes place this Saturday morning here in Lawrence at the infamous Clinton State Park. Great place to run and camp out. I haven’t done the latter, but I’m just making an observation and sort of expressing a future hope! Anyway, the race offers three race options: 26.2M (~ one loop), 40M (two loops), and a 100k (three loops). Lisa is doing the 26.2-miler and I’m signed up for the 40M. As expected, she’s a bit nervous, but to be honest, for no good reason. We’re all nervous before big races and all feel as if we didn’t train hard enough or long enough. I don’t believe that. I think that kind of thinking is just the jitters before the race. We’re also afraid of failing, so it’s natural to think that way. Anyway, she’ll be fine and she will not quit! I had her promise me she won’t.

I, on the other hand, feel extremely relaxed about this. To be honest, even when I’m consciously thinking about it Saturday, it doesn’t seem real for some reason; as if I don’t believe it’ll be happening. This is not in a bad way, of course, but it’s like it’s almost surreal. And the funny thing about it is that I don’t know why that is. I like to think it’s because I’m ready for the suffering to commence. As those who have been following my progress know, this will be my longest distance yet. Three weeks ago was my first trail marathon length at Kanopolis State Park’s Rockin’ K race. When I had initially signed up for this 40-miler, I was slightly concerned about the down time between Rockin’ K and this Free State race, but it turns out that it was actually perfect. The next weekend following Rockin’ K I was out going long and feeling relatively good. This is when I felt certain that we really don’t need that much time off between races. So, I obviously feel great going into this race. I’m well rested, focused, and just feel mentally prepared to tackle this course and its distance. As far as I know, I’ll be running with Nick the entire time. We run well together and we can push each other if one of us is slightly down. And it so far appears that our pace is relatively equal, so it makes sense to run together. Besides, we’re not looking to win; we’re looking to finish and have a great time in the mud.

In other news, I FINALLY picked up my shoes that I won at the Psycho WyCo Run, Toto, Run race back in February. Yeah, it took a while, but the place is in Overland Park, which is a slight drive from Lawrence. So you really need to plan it out in order to head out there. So I figured no better day than today to pick them up since there was one of two packet pick-ups there today. The one tomorrow actually works better for me since it’s here in Lawrence, but I needed to finally pick them up. And the other news is that I ended up not going with the Salomon XT Wings, but the Vasque Blur SL’s (these were the actual shoes that were being raffled).

The new shoes

The new shoes

They feel pretty good and I’ll give them a warm-up tomorrow (yes, I’m running tomorrow; very nice and easy and short). I’m not sure if it’s very visible in the photo, but the traction appears very aggressive when compared to the Salomon’s (any model). If tomorrow’s warm-up run feels good in them, I’ll give them a try in the race. The Vasque guy at the store said there really isn’t a “break-in” period with shoes, and if you need one, chances are the shoes aren’t a good fit for you. It makes sense and I’ll give it a shot. I’ll also bring other shoes in case, but I’m hoping I won’t have to change shoes. I have not been very happy with the traction in the XT Wings nor the XA Pro 3D Ultra’s with latest mud we’ve been experiencing at Clinton Lake.

XA Pro 3D Ultra's

XA Pro 3D Ultra's

So my hope is that everything falls into place. I have no doubt it will. I just need to maintain my relaxed state both mentally and physically and I should be in great shape.

I hope everyone is well and healthy. If you’re running on Saturday, make sure to stop by and say ‘hi’. I look forward to running with many of you on Saturday.

Advertisements