Exorcising race demons

“Shut up, stop whining and think about Fast Eddy.”

“Shut up, stop whining and think about Fast Eddy.”

That’s the sound advice my coworker Jeff Stokoe, a former ultra runner turned Crossfit geek, shared on Thursday.

Tomorrow I will be at the Lost Soul starting line in Lethbridge to challenge the 54K distance.

Jeff had run the 100-miler in his younger days winning in 2006 and placing second in 2007.

He said in those low moments I should think about Fast Eddy, who just breezed through Central Alberta on his campaign to raise money and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

Fast Eddy runs somewhere between 50K and 190K every single day.

Point taken.

After months of training and driving to Bragg Creek, I will finally run/hike/crawl the race that has haunted me since 2014. You may recall that I finished the race, but I was not happy. Simply put, I was not prepared for the race. The heat did me in, etc.

End of story.

Saturday will bring a new race experience and adventure. Months ago, I had all these delusional time goals that seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.

But as the race day approached and reality sunk in, I became more realistic about my goals. I looked at my training (mostly awesome) and my progress (not too bad). I knew that I had to adjust my goals.

It happens.

Most runners often change goals due to injury or hiccups in training. It’s important to set goals as runners and it is equally important to listen to your body.

Today I have a goal – to finish – (and another secret goal, which I will share with you after the race).

I will join several runners from Red Deer including the brat pack of the Red Deer Runners: Bill Kossmann (100K), Debbie Dyrland (100K) and Ed Vardy (54K) in Lethbridge.

Because the 100K and 100-milers start on Friday and the “baby” ultra race starts on Saturday morning, I don’t actually get to see many of the other racers.

Sunday morning breakfast is one of the biggest draws of the race. You get to thank the volunteers and chat with the other racers (if you recognize them) over breakfast. The race director team also hands out the awards.

Although I only ran the race once, I remember the morning was so much fun.

Everyone was so clean and happy.

Some people were limping (in some cases with exaggeration) and others looked like they did not run 100 miles or 100K just a day earlier.

I think I am looking forward to the morning after coffee more than anything.

COACHING SESSION WITH JOHN STANTON

My pal John Stanton, and Running Room founder will offer a free coaching session at Red Deer’s Running Room on Tuesday. Starting at 6:30 p.m. No fee or registration is required.

25th ANNUAL HARVEST RUN

Cheer on the runners for the 25th annual Harvest Run. The 3K or 8K race runs through the Red Deer trail system. There’s still time to enter. Registration closes today at 6 p.m. Race-day registrations will be accepted, but the price will increase. For more information including volunteer opportunities, find Harvest Run on Facebook.

Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

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