With the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 miler one week away, I'm less than enthused to report that I've spent the previous couple weeks going through the many stages of denial. Despite all of my focus and planning this winter to arrive at the starting line in stellar racing shape, I find myself hoping beyond hope that a hamstring issue clears up enough for me to even toe the starting line on 5/14.
After initially hurting the hammy the week after the Bull Run 50, I took an easy week to help it heal up. I thought I was in the clear, but a run on the MMT course last weekend brought out a mighty lightning bolt of pain after only 4 miles of running, and I was forced to walk back to my car. As you might imagine, I was a bit displeased.
At this point I've come to peace with the fact that I will have to replace the excitement of trying to track down the likes of Meltzer and Gorman in the final miles with a desperate effort to track down the likes of Budweiser and Aleeve at the aid stations along the way. Quite frankly, I'll be beyond excited if I can finish the course at all. It's tough to hide an injury over 100 miles of running, and MMT is like the Columbo of race courses in exposing any physical weaknesses you may have along the way. Will she chew me up and eat me for lunch? Probably, but I'm willing to give it a shot and hope that it's Mountain Yom Kippur or something next Saturday.
I'm doing all I can to encourage the healing process between now and then, and while I won't do anything stupid if my leg is still hurting out there, I will be ready to fight for 36 hours if needed to get to that finish line. In a way I'm actually looking forward to what will boil down to Me vs. the Course. There's no concern for finishing time or placement on this one, just the pride of gutting out a tough course on under-trained and fragile legs. Don't ask me my revised opinion of this next statement at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, but right now I'm actually looking forward to a little suffering out there. I've missed my weekly long run suffer-fests while dealing with all my issues this Spring, so why not cram in 30+ hours of suffering into one weekend to make up for it?! Also on the bright side: I'll get to see two sunrises while out on the course. Hooray!
For those who are interested, the website will have some updates, and I'm sure there will be a few folks Tweeting as well. The hash tag #MMT100 will probably get you the most up-to-date info on the leaders. There's a ton of talent in the field this year, so I should be a heck of a race to follow!