As I sat on the all too familiar ledge of Kings Chair today, I closed my eyes and let the cool breeze do its best to dry the sweat clinging to my shirt.
Like most MUT runners, I’ve found myself feeling some type of way surrounding the mass cancelation of most spring races. Though Cruel Jewel 100 race directors plan to “reevaluate in mid-April,” in my heart I feel like I already know the outcome. Yea, it sucks. Most of us have put in months and months of hard ass training in preparation for these races. This virus has put us all in a position that we’ve never been in before. Protocols and regulations are changing daily and it’s put anyone in authority in tough decision making mode. Most everything I’ve seen on the internets has been positive. Trail runners in general are some of the chillest folks around and I think in these weird times, the authenticity of trail runners is shining through. No, these race directors don’t WANT to cancel or postpone your races… because it’s THEIR races as well. Some of these RD’s depend on these races for their livelihood. It’s been relieving to see such support and compassion for these RD’s over the course of this madness.
So where does that leave everyone? Some races are being postponed to the Fall where others are being canceled completely. I’ve seen where there’s been a big push to do self supported efforts/races and even chase after some FKTs. My heart lies within the self supported adventure seeking world so I can’t help but be a lil bit overjoyed at the push towards these opportunities. Even as I’m writing this, I’m seeing where Ben Feinson just set the new unsupported FKT on the GA Loop!
I had actually planned to tackle a big 55 mile route up in the Nantahala today. CJ100 is about 8 weeks out and this was going to be my last “big” effort in my training schedule. That hussy Corona has obviously changed that. I didn’t want to take the chance where something happens and we get quarantined and I couldn’t make it home. So I stayed home. I’m trying to do my best to follow the requested precautions about social distancing and simply trying to do my little part in helping control this out of control tidal wave of a virus.
While sitting up on Kings Chair, enjoying the fresh air, I noticed 2 birds soaring in the valley below. This isn’t an unfamiliar site, but today I took a little harder look at them and gained a different perspective. They seemed unbothered. These 2 birds seemed to simply be going about their daily lives, unaware of the plague that’s sweeping over the planet. They seemed happy and content having the opportunity to simply keep doing what they do. I took it as a gentle reminder to do just that… keep doing what I do.
Since I started, trail running has remained a major passion of mine. I think the healthy balance of racing and self supported adventures has kept the fire lit in my soul and far from burnout. In the past 6 months, I feel like there’s been a re-birth in my soul for trail running. Maybe it had something to do with checking off a bucket list item I’ve been wanting to do for years or maybe it’s simply that I’m getting older and more content with who/what my life is becoming. Whatever the reason, I’ve re-fallen in love with the art of trail running and mountain movement again.
I’ve put in a solid training block for CJ, probably the best one I’ve ever had, but I know that I can’t keep pushing as hard as I have been. It’s simply not sustainable for me. So what the hell is a fella to do? Today’s spin on the trails was a much needed reminder of why I run trails and what it means to me. I simply enjoy the endurance based self-propelled movement over mountainous terrain. Over the years, I’ve come to find that I actually enjoy the process (training) more than I do the actual event, so the thought of NOT doing CJ doesn’t really bother me. However, I sure as hell don’t want all my effort and training to fall by the wayside! I’m almost to the point where I’m ready to simply pin down a day and put in a hard effort on something fun and self-supported in the next few weeks and just let CJ play out however it does. I truly feel it’ll get canceled, but if it doesn’t, I guess I’ll just pack some pink duct tape and suck-it-up-buttercup. But for the time being, I’m going to dial back the intensity and start looking into something shorter (and hopefully way more fun) than CJ100 to push towards in the next couple of weeks. If that doesn’t work out, I suppose I’ll just keep moving and grooving through the woods like normal… unbothered and happy.