Friday, August 12, 2011

If Not Now, When?

I sent off my registration for Sawtooth yesterday. Let me emphasize here, I did not do so because I am confident I can finish it. To the contrary, I have absolutely no idea if I can finish or not. Having no experience with a hundred, I don't know what it will take physically, mentally or emotionally. It finally occurred to me that the only way to find out is by taking the plunge.

Last year after the Fall Superior 50 mile trail run, I had planned to do the hundred this year. I put together a beautiful training plan that I was 100% confident in. I knew if I followed my plan I would be able to run and finish Sawtooth in style. As is so often the case with plans, however, life got in the way.

I won't bore you with the details, but by the time April rolled around I was so far NOT on plan, that it was all I could do to just finish the Chippewa 50K. The fact that it took 7 hours to do so does little to tell the story of what a struggle that race was for me. It was then that I realized that I would not be able to run Sawtooth this year, and that I would be happy just to get back into shape enough to do the 50 again.

My thinking was that once I did the 50 again, I could begin my beautiful plan anew and shoot for 2012. Then I realized that life would almost certainly interfere yet again, and I would never be able to go in 100% confident. If I couldn't be 100% confident, what would be required? 90% ? 50%?

Screw it. Excuse the double negative here, but I am not 100% confident that I can't do it either. It's time to find out. If not now, when?


  1. It is about wanting it. That is the only thing that got me through it a few years ago. I REALLY WANTED THAT FINISH.

    People say "It's all mental", but most of those people have never been at the bottom of that well.

    Superior will bring you there, and then you figure out what you are made of.

    It takes guts to show up to the start. Get yourself to Saturday sunrise, and you will probably make it.

    Avoid a second sunset.

  2. Sounds like great advice, Matt. I'll take it to heart.

  3. When I saw this post I was going to jump in with my comments - but it looks like Matt beat me to it. I agree with everything he said - you need to be ready to dig *deep* and above all you need to be determined. Hopefully you have moved past what you put in this post but don't say things like "I don't know if I can finish this" because it will bury you on the SHT. Decide now that you can and want to, need to, and picture yourself doing it. Good luck and I'll see you up there!

  4. Thanks, Scott. Your comment, along with Matt's have caused me to put my motivation into words.

    I will say that this post was meant to be more about getting over my obsessive need to be perfectly prepared before plunging into something, than it was about my motivation. I realized that I could never be perfectly prepared, so I had to go for it.

    That said, I'll admit that I do need to have an answer to that question that will arise Friday night/Saturday morning. Why? Why go on?