When the weekend arrived I wasn't feeling my usual Black Saturday spirit. It would be my first repeats since Hardrock. We had an awesome 6 party group out on the trail which made it lively. Black Saturday debris was scattered all over the start point. It was sort of neat to see the freeing nature of ultra runners. Leaving their stuff out in to open along side the forest with no a worry. I don't need to go into much explanation about my day because it basically sucked wind. It was hard, slow and sluggish on both the climbs and descents. I just didn't have it. Everyone else rocked passing me right and left. I tried to rub on some of their seemingly boundless energy but not a drop would penetrate. I even found this feather on the trail, put in my headband and tried to pretend to had wings. Clearly it didn't work and I started to resent the bird who dropped it. My hill repeats were the slowest of the season....poop! Despite how slow and pathetic my workout was it was great to have everyone around busting their tail and looking very strong. To deal with my run I decided I would simply lower my expectations and roll with the day and just live with what I felt my body could do. Immediately experiencing relief and a slight weight lifted off my shoulder was great. But....was it? Since I had plenty of time on my hands as I slogged up the 2500+ climb I asked myself the question: "Does lowering your expectations help or hurt you"? Sure I had immediate relief, felt better, had a sense of peace or acceptance in that moment. But since the workout I have been asking myself that question everyday. Not because I need to lower my expectations now but rather SHOULD I lower them to feel better in the moment. For me, NO! I think I would rather keep my expectations high, push to them and if I fail so be it. I can live with that. What I can't seem to grasp is the OKAYness, the sense of just live and let live, everything happens for a reason approach. I am not saying it's a bad thing just not a way I can thrive. Though comforting at the time it's just not me. I am not wired that way and it bugged me that I did it. If you read this and if you think, "Your to hard on yourself"...."Don't beat yourself up" or something like that. Just know I am good with my expectations of myself. I like the pressure and expectations. They feed me. Sure it makes me and others crazy at times but I think we could say that about everything. Since I lowered my expectations and my workout showed it I was more determined to see a better day Sunday.
Micheal and I decided to do a long hard trail run with not a ton of climbing. I had up to 6 hours on my schedule so we hit the Wildwood for the full 30+ miles. It was an awesome run, comfortable, powerful, and relatively easy. I was happy with the effort and felt it somewhat made up for Saturday's performance. Although, I am not going to fool myself. Saturday's poor effort certainly played into the killer run I had on Sunday. I am sort of okay with that but there is still some flogging sessions left from Saturday.
Now in the final Peak week before Cascade Crest. I haven't spent much time thinking about the race yet but I will. I feel like I know the course pretty well since I ran the race in 03 and have paced a couple of times. I need to dig out the cobwebs and pull a race plan together soon.