Skip to main content

Mind games #6: Let the race come to you

Here's a take-off on "If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed."

But with a twist for ultrarunners everywhere.

Roy Heger (at right) is an accomplished 100-mile runner from northern Ohio. He's a savvy character who knows how to make good time at races like Massanutten Mountain in Virginia - for those who enjoy running on sharp rocks for 24 hours or so.

Prior to each year's Mohican 100 mile, we'd have training runs on the course. One of my favorites was the night run, which covered the final 25 miles on what was the old course, mostly country roads under the moonlight.

Roy offered important input, like "let those feet work" which was about have some play inside one's shoes, so that feet can feel the terrain (not swell and bruise as mine have done).

Another epic piece of advice Roy gave me was "let the race come to you."

I have pondered this many times since that run. We sometimes let the clock, the terrain or other competitors get the best of us. We'll push hard to conquer when the timing isn't right. But when using Roy's philosophy, I can take my time, go well within my own pace, and wait to see what the race delivers. I may gain strength along the way, the competitors may slow, or a climate change may play to my advantage.

This master competitor is looking for a finish and anything better than that is a bonus. With a 50K this coming Saturday and a 50 mile two weeks later, there are no lofty goals. On both occasions I'll wait to see what each race delivers.

The race will bring me what it intends to. That will be my gift in this wonderful life of endurance sport.


  1. sounds just like a different variation of what that UF kid was talking about (a previous post)

  2. In my little bit of experience, letting the race come to you is the best way to run a race.It's hard to let let your competitor's go sometimes.
    Good luck with your races in the next few weeks.

  3. Tom, I know you'll take what your course and body give and bide your time. Plus, those two races are good experiences for you, I remember a couple of years ago at Guana, I whopped up on everybody on that last lap, no one passed me... except you! Now that's taking what the course offers!

    See you Saturday and at the almost full, just a couple of spots left Croom Run.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…