I normally strive to be a reasonably level-headed guy. I try to avoid doing anything that I’d consider “stupid” if I actually stopped and thought about it, and to avoid making big mistakes that I’m sure to regret and beat myself up over later.
Of course, that good behavior gets a bit tiring, so occasionally I do something completely over my head that’s almost certain to end… not particularly well. Over the past couple years that foolish behavior has taken the form of entering trail races that I wasn’t quite ready for. (I can almost convince myself that they were good “learning experiences” – but jeez, how many times do I have to experience the shame of walking the last couple hours to the finish line before I accept the fact that I REALLY DO have to put in more training miles before I have a respectable race day?)
I was considering the Telluride Mountain Run because…. well, if I have to list the reasons why, then you probably wouldn’t understand them anyway. This particular part of the state is absolutely gorgeous, and I’d love to be able to get my butt kicked on this course.
But now the race organizers have upped the race from 45-ish to 55-ish miles, which increases the total vertical from a million feet to a bazillion feet. Just looking at the numbers, it’s roughly analogous to running up and down Green Mountain in Boulder more than 10 times (from the Gregory Canyon trailhead, using the backside trails), but 5,000+ feet higher in elevation with much more challenging footing and navigation and weather patterns.
So once I saw that notice of the new course I realized that this is not the year for me. The original course would have been a but stretch, but the new course jolts me (just barely) back to the reality of my current fitness. While I’d love to see if I could make the time cutoffs, and I could continue my annual tradition of doing at least one race that’s over my head, I can’t avoid the conclusion (as much as I try) that I’m just not ready for it yet.
DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES OF RATIONALITY AND REASON!
I’m going to try to find a way to volunteer for this year’s event, because I want to do whatever I can to help ensure it’s still around next year (and the years after) so that I can hopefully take my shot when I’m ready.