I'm a big believer in "you get out, what you put in". If you don't put the time and effort into training, your race is not likely going to go as you would like it. My training for Golden Ultra was almost non-existant. When I was training it was very sporatic, not consistent and the worst way to possibly train. I had been off injured since July. I knew my cardio was not where it should be, my legs were not conditioned for the abuse they were about to take for three days and my foot, well my foot was being a jerk. I do however possess one thing that a lot of people struggle with... a mind that will push through everything to keep going and a stubborness that tends to get me in trouble.
I set a goal for myself, knowing this would not be the race I had hoped it would be when I signed up. I would start each day, put my best foot forward, run my heart out and just enjoy the time on the trails. And the big one, listen to my body.
I know they always say that a finish line is only a small part of the journey, it's not everything. I've always tried to believe that, but the finish line is a huge part of it, who are we kidding. Not crossing one tends to lead to disappointment, frustration, anger, you name it. I crossed 2 out of 3 of the finish lines. On Day 2 (60k) I had to make the really tough call to stop. I had no choice. The thing is, not crossing that finish line of Day 2 didn't disappoint or make me angry. There wasn't a single moment of those three days where anything negative crept into my mind. Even when my foot had essentially ceased to work 5km out from Aid Station 2 and it took me 2 hours to get there. I have no feelings of "I wish I did that differently", or "if only I did this or that". I went out, I pushed harder than I had all season, I gave it all I had to give and I left it all out there on the trails of Golden. I did exactly what I had set out to do. The finish line wasn't part of the journey that day. But man,was it one hell of a journey. Nothing but smiles looking back on the amazing weekend spent with old friends, new friends and a bunch of bad ass runners. I may not have put a lot into training, but I got a hell of a lot out of the race.