It is less than a week to go until my second 50 Miler, the Superior 50 Mile Fall Trail Race, and I have been doing the usual pre-race “should have, could have” conversations with myself. It’s a familiar pattern where I look back on the past few months of “training” and think about how much more I should have done to prepare for this race. I look at the elevation chart for Superior, and think that with 3800m of climbing (and as much descending) I probably should have hit some of our little Southern Ontario hills a little more often. I feel like I should have done more long runs, and back to back runs. More, more, more.
As I was discussing/lamenting/whining about this with a friend last night, she said “but do you think you could have done anything differently…?” That made me think, I am always considering a lot of hindsight training “should” scenarios, but those rarely reflect the reality of what my life is. My life isn’t running, though that is a part of it. My life is parenting my 2 amazing kids. My life is taking care of (used very loosely) my house. My life is taking care of me. My life is work, family, friends, along with running and cycling. If I spent my days on the couch watching TV or playing video games rather than doing a long run, the concerns of not doing enough would be justified. Instead I am playing with my kids at the beach, at the park, or in the woods, and there’s not a chance in hell I would trade that for any run, anywhere.
So, my friend was right. I have done just enough. I have trained when I had time, and lived my life all the time. I can’t regret that. I can’t wish I had done more. I can only take what I have done to prepare for this tough race and make the most of it. I want to finish (goal 1) knowing that I pushed (goal 4), with a smile on my face (goal 2), and a little energy for a post-race celebration with family and friends (goal 3)… because that’s what its about for me. It will come – the start line, the finish line and everything else in my life.