It's been a long wait for Caleb and I can really appreciate what he accomplished despite the fact that it was my record that he broke. Sort of a code amongst thieves if you will. I knew weeks before the race that he would win and do so in record style. Though you can't tell Caleb that. His modesty abounds and though he deserves the spotlight he never feels like he has to be the center of attention.
For myself this was never really a race. Since Heartland my right foot had been hurting a bit. Not sure from what. Whether I turned it just right on one of the huge chunks of flint rock that are strewn along the roads of the Heartland course. Or if it's just and overuse injury from all the road training I had done leading up to Heartland this year that caused the pain. It's all just yesterdays news now as I am eagerly looking forward to some long over due family time.
Caleb and I ran together for I guess the first 10km only because he was holding back. My foot started to bark at me around that point. So I decided to give the reigns to Caleb and let him reel in the guy that was around a minute or so up the trail in first. Stepping to the side of the trail on a small uphill. Caleb dropped it into overdrive and was gone in a matter of seconds. I got to say this about Caleb and not to sound like a suck ass but watching him run. The way he makes it look easy is a true joy. I'm thankful for every mile I get to race against this smiling little trail assassin. I say smiling because that's the last thing you see before he proceeds to leave you choking in a cloud of dust, rocks and broken branches. Though I haven't given up the dream. That one day I will be able to give him the race I know I have in me. To really go head to head without the thoughts of resigning myself to a second place finish. I'm content with watching him do his thing which is becoming I think the best young hope we have as far as ultra running in the area.
The next 13 miles or so for me were spent debating whether I should struggle on to the finish or drop and start my off season early. Reaching the aide station at mile 20.2 I decided to call it a day knowing hopefully there will be plenty of chances in the future. To forgo pain and struggle on. In pursuit of that cutoff, that buckle, finish or whatever it is that drives some of you to the brink of existence as human beings. I'm not at that point in my life where just finishing the race is as good as putting in a solid performance. So I took my 6TH D.N.F. with a smile and a cold beer. Next season will be here before too long and I want to start that one healthy and injury free.
Looking back. This season wasn't as bad as I thought and I had a really great fall campaign. finishing 4 out of 5 races. Tallying up two 3RD' places a 2ND and a 1ST along the way. Spring was a wash. At times I had started to show some signs of my old self but it was riddled with injury. So I never really got it together. I cut way back and took some family time over the summer. Which I think helped me put my life in perspective. When I started training for the fall season. I felt like I had a renewed sense of drive and determination not to fail. There were a couple of races where late I felt I was going to finish off the podium. Causing me to take a gut check and forcing me to find that anger or purpose to not yield one more inch to the guy behind. All in all it was a sweet ride. I'm happy and hopefully next season will be my best. Again I'm not the greatest runner in the world or even the Midwest. If sometimes I come off as arrogant or cocky or whatever then you must not know me on a personal level. Those that know me know I have pretty high standards. Sometimes lofty and unrealistic. True. About as crazy as Columbus thinking the world was round. Still you have to try. Like momma always said. "Shoot for the Moon and if you Fall Short. You'll Still be Amongst the Stars."
What's up next? Well as some of you know Jessica and I are expecting our second child sometime around the first of the year. So the next couple of months will be solely dedicated to making her as comfortable as possible. I'm still going to get some running in but for the next six weeks it's going to be all easy stuff. I have to let my foot heel and I want to be good and sure it's ready before I start to destroy my body all over again in the spring. There is some trail work I want to do out at the Governors mansion trails. So this is a good time of the year to get that done since the woods aren't overtaken by spiders anymore.
I'll start cranking it up again around the first of the year. We'll see how things are on the home front at that time. I'll try and make it over to K.C. for the Psycho Wyco 50km in February. Though I'm not going to be in shape to run it hard. I say that but the truth is no matter what shape I'm in that course is always hard. I don't think it likes me too much.
March I'm going to be heading out to the Pacific Northwest to visit my buddy Ryne Melcher and hopefully get into the Chuckanut 50km. Then in April Ryne's coming back down here to run the Freestate 40 miler. After that family time. August will find me pacing friend Willie Lambert to another Leadville 100 mile finish. Starting off the fall I'm not sure what I want to do. Either Flatlanders 6hr or Patriots Run a 9hr and 11 minute timed ultra on 9/11. Probably Heartland 50 again I want that sub 6:45 and I know I can do that there. Then maybe finish it off with the Nathaniels 6hr if its around if not then I'm not sure what. Of course this is all subject to change.
Well I guess that's it for now. No new news to speak of. I'll post back time to time just so you all know I'm still alive. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and that everyone stays safe out there if I don't see anyone this winter. Take care and may the forest be with you.