Monday, May 7, 2012

Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Preview

Well...this weekend is yet another race that I'm signed up to run.  And it's a beast.  The Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 (MMT100) is notorious for being rocky, gnarly, feisty, and just plain tough.  It's also apparently 103.7 miles, not 100.  I'm used to playing around on rocks with my training here in Rothrock St. Forest, but frankly I'm still pretty beat up.  I don't know that I've truly recovered from my self-destruction at the Barkley (and then Hyner 50k).  I've tried to maintain a decent training schedule since, but have been a bit behind in the miles.  I have no doubt that I could finish the MMT, but finish it competitively?  That's a different story.

Kind of not sure what to do here.  I have a lot of work and studying to do on preparation for my PhD comprehensive exam, which is in just a few short week.  Perhaps it's not the most responsible thing to head out of town for 3 days right now either.  Add to all of this is that the soles of my feet are still a bit sensitive following all the skin re-growth after Barkley AND I've been having some moderate heal pain now too.  Of course there's the cranky toe that still acts up from time-to-time too, but I rarely notice it anymore.  Frankly, I've been asking a lot of my poor body as of late.

Is there a way to truly "take it easy" on a hundred miler?  If so, then I'll go and do it.  If not, well perhaps I should sit this one out.  Just not sure.  I kind of feel like I did last year before Oil Creek.  Not really sure if I wanna do it, but with a kind of, "Hey, lets give it go and see what happens" attitude.  Although it's unlikely I'll get a 5th place finish again.

Right now, I'm still leaning towards heading down and giving it a go.  Yes...I am stubborn, but I'm also a realist when it comes to potential injuries and won't push it.  I will see how I feel on Thursday and if all AOK, I will drive down and go for it.  I really do enjoy running along the dirt (and rock) paths through the mountains.  It's a place where I truly feel in alignment.  I don't want to miss out on that.

I will be running in the "solo division".  This means I will have no crew, no pacer, no aid other than approved aid stations.  I also will not be allowed ipods, or other luxuries.  Keeping it simple....the way I like it.

On a somewhat happy side note, I did come to the realization today that with my Barkley finish, I've already qualified again for the Hardrock Lottery next year!  I wonder how many applicants use Barkley as their qualifying run?  Kind of weird.

There will be live tracking at the MMT 100 event, so for anyone who wants to see how I'm doing, I'll be trackable here:

The race starts Saturday morning at 4:00 AM.

Elevation Profile


ultracassie said...

Only you know the answer about whether or not to run. Just ask the question and listen for the answer with an open mind. :-)

Good luck on your PhD exam! I should be starting my dissertation this year. Woohoo! Hm.

Steve McAninch said...

It is supposed to be fun. Even when it hurts. Enjoy !

phil said...

Nice finish John, hope it was fun, no crew/pacer? Your new name should be the One Man Wolfpack.

Unknown said...

I've hiked all of these trails from my time in military school in the 80s, my time with NOAA, and my time teaching in DC early in the century. It's a great place to go because all the people are in Shenandoah NP. I can't imagine running through there. Kudos to you. J. DeVaney