Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Retrospect

"Hindsight is 20/20", or so they say. At mile 75 of the Wasatch 100 I was spot on the splits to go sub-24 hours if I could complete the last 25 miles in under 6 hrs 20 min. These splits were generated by someone, someplace, based on years of finishing times and the law of averages. My personal splits I had created said I needed to be to Brighton (mile 75) at least a half hour earlier, giving me a full 7 hours to finish. While I came into Brighton feeling amazing, I left feeling not-so-great and within 100 yards had consigned myself to a sub-25 hour finish. I was physically moving forward, not super fast, but well enough. I was in a decent mood and optimistic, but mentally I just didn't feel the motivation to push myself harder to try and get under 24 hours. It was my first Wasatch and I had told myself anything under 26 hours would be great, so I was actually very happy with how I was doing.

Of course, now I am kicking myself wondering why I didn't find that extra 'umph' to push myself 25 minutes faster over 25 miles. I mean, pain is temporary, the Cheetah club is eternal. I look back now and it seems so simple, so easy to find that extra motivation that could have propelled me just a little bit faster on the not-so-steep climbs, to run a little stronger on the flats, and to try harder the last 5 miles pushing the downhill. I tell myself Matt could have pushed me harder, that he could have jumped out front and started leading at a running pace in an effort to try and get me moving quicker. I could have eaten more, taken a few more gels, or found something that would have sparked the psych I needed to get after it. Brian Beckstead, at Brighton, sure tried. He tried again passing us to Catherine Pass, to no avail.

Heading up to Dog Lake, mile 63

In hindsight it all seems so simple, so easy. The reality is not so clear. I was tired, really tired. I had been pushing hard the previous six hours up to Brighton, so much so that I had  recovered an hour on my splits. An hour over 22 miles and most of it uphill. That is huge. But it also took its toll. That hour didn't necessarily put me back on target to go under 24 hours, but instead allowed me to have a big cushion to go under 25. And Matt was everything he should have been. He motivated when he needed to and shut up when he knew he should. He had been at it hours and for miles on end himself. He was, for only the second time, running the farthest distance he ever had, but this time with 99% more vert than the first time, and likely under-trained. Yet, he never gave any inclination that he may have been tired or hurting. He likely wouldn't admit it to this day, if it were true. He's that good of a pacer.

So yeah, hindsight is 20/20. I guess what that really means is that now the fire is back to try again, to finally get that coveted Cheetah buckle. But it's not enough to get me to put in for next year, I really want to focus on something else, likely out of state. I want an adventure, somewhere I can prove myself on a course that isn't in my backyard. That is the real draw for me and it makes me more excited than the thought of returning to Wasatch. We'll have our day again, soon, but not too soon. Until then I'll relish my 24:25 and be satisfied with the fact that I did something not often done in a first encounter with the Wasatch 100.


1 comment:

Matt said...

Interesting, I had a lot of the same thoughts - "I could have pushed him harder here, or there..." and I'm sure I could have. I guess that's why we do it. You learn a lot and it keeps you hungry for more. Remember, at Millcreek we were gunning for 26 hours...
Thanks for having me along, something I know I will never forget!