OK, here's the deal: I'm heading out to VA to run the Old Dominion 100 miler this weekend. The course overlaps with the Massanutten course, but the overall terrain consists of much better footing and less elevation gain (it only has about 14,000 feet of climbing compared to about 20,000 for Massanutten).
The reason I'm heading out to run this race is quite simple: I have lots of unfinished business out there in the Shenandoah Valley, and even though there's a good chance I'll decide to pull up and call it a day before running the entire 100 miles, I want to finish on MY terms this time. Having an injury force me to stop at Massnutten was more frustrating than I could have imagined. My legs were still strong, and I definitely had 42 more miles left in them. Each day that passed after that DNF brought more and more frustration to deal with. As luck would have it, two things ended up working in my favor to help fix this mental torture:
1) My two week break from running has healed my leg to the point where I'm running pain free again (and yes, my beautiful bride Elizabeth has given me the green light to proceed with caution).
2) Amazingly enough, the Old Dominion 100 Miler is being held this weekend in the same part of the woods where MMT is run - Talk about the perfect place to get rid of that bad taste in my mouth.
My plan is to just head out and take it easy. Elix is coming out with me to crew, and if I feel like I've had enough after covering 20, 50, or 75 miles, I'll call it a day. Between my two weeks off (eating nothing but "honeymoon" food), and a potential injury flair up, I'm ready to stop whenever it feels right to me. If it just ends up being a 50 mile training run for Run 192, so be it. I'm just looking to get back out in those woods and run until I've chased those lingering MMT frustrations out of my head. I'll post a full report either way when I return...in the meantime, don't forget to visit the Run 192 Donation page - $10 and $20 contributions really add up when word spreads through a network of great people like those of us in the ultra running community!!