Berryman 50 miler or bust. Or should I say the Berryman 50 miler was a bust. Yeah that sounds about right. Bust, broke, shot craps, finished, nothing left in the tank. Theres a thousand different words and phrases to describe my actions at Berryman this time around and believe me I've thought of them all.
What went wrong? That was the question and during the six hour drive home I had time to think about the answer to that question. Let me first start though by apologizing to everyone for the lame ass excuse of having stomach trouble as to why I just quit the race in the fashion that I did. To tell the truth there wasn't a damn thing wrong with me. Sure my stomach was bothering me a bit but not so bad as to just drop like that. My legs were strong. I was hydrating well. I kept good track of my electrolytes. I generally felt good all around. I was even 11 minutes ahead of my goal pace for the first loop and on pace for a sub 7:15 finishing time. So why did I quit?
I don't know I didn't even have any intentions of quiting when I came in. As soon as walked over to my cooler and my wife and son came up to me. The feeling that running on this day was stupid and the thought of not taking one more step came over me. I realized how much I miss my family not just for the three and a half hours that I was out on course but all the time I lost with them over the past couple of years. So without a second thought I grabbed my gear and my cooler. Said goodbye to my friends and headed west.
On the way home a scene from the movie PREFONTAINE kept running through my head. Pres just getting back to the states after having his ass handed to him by Lasse Viren. Bowerman pretty much tells Pre that he looks like shit. Pre sharply replies that he feels like shit. Bowerman proceeds to tell Pre that he wasn't some rube from Coos Bay anymore. That there was no one to warm his milk and wipe his behind for him. Bowerman said this. "If you want to run then run." If you don't then walk away. NOBODY CAN COACH DESIRE PRE...
Thats pretty much where I'm at in my life with this whole running thing. Thats pretty much the way I feel inside. I don't know maybe growing my hair long has turned me into a pacifist. Maybe I lost something out on the trail along the way. Whatever happened though its caused me to not have a desire to compete anymore. I guess I been wrestling with this idea for a couple of years now its just taking that long for me to come to grips with the fact. How I've managed to do so well in races over the past couple of years is a complete mystery to me. Winning the occasional race here and there has only prolonged my realizing that competing doesn't hold the same importance that it once used to in my life.
I love to run. THANK GOD that I still feel that way inside. I just think that for now, for me I'm going to take a break from the competition thing. Like Forrest Gump when he said. I've been running for awhile now. I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home. Who knows this may just be a short phase in my life or it may take several years to hash it all out. What I do know is that right now I could careless if I ever compete again and I'm truly O.K. with that. I've got a lot of soul searching to do. I'd like to think that oneday my desire to compete will return. I hope it does. But when and where its going to happen we'll have to wait and see.
I want to thank everyone whos stood by me and helped me over the past couple of years. If it wasn't for you I doubt I would have made it as far as I did. And to my closest friends and trail comrades. PLEASE don't try to get back onto the racing scene before I'm ready. This is something I've got to figure out on my own --- alone. So until then my friends THANK YOU for understanding and may the trails treat you well.