Sunday, October 6, 2013

Grindstone suspended

"The 2013 Grindstone 100 has been suspended due to the government shutdown."

I've never invested so much time and energy into a single event, and I felt dazed for hours after I read this. I walked around in a cloud all afternoon, checking e-mails from my phone every two minutes to see if anything had changed.

There were plenty of bumps on the road to Grindstone, from a diagnosis of Lyme's disease early in the summer to the subsequent joint inflammation that slowed my runs to a crawl to a sprained ankle three weeks before the race, which forced a cold wet night on the Appalachin Trail.

But, by the time that this e-mail came I felt ready to go.

I felt ready for the 6pm start on Friday night, ready for bright starts under the cool black sky in VA and ready for the hot, dusty and long day of trail running that would follow. Despite an extended taper from the ankle sprain I felt about as ready for "the hardest 100 miler on the east coast" as ready gets.

Now that the race is off I'm taking stock of what I've gained over the past several months, and figuring out what to do next.

I have some new running gear that's begging to be used. Black Diamond Z poles for long days in the White's, an excellent pack from UltraSpire and some Inov-8's and Hoka's that need serious mileage put on them. I'm feeling fitter and stronger than I have in a long time. And, I'm catching a fire for the sport like never felt before.

I'm planning on some big runs over the next several weeks and have a new goal race in sight. Here's a hint: it's like the opposite of Grindstone. And it goes down in January.

Endless thanks to everyone who's supported me on the journey to the Grindstone 100 and to race director Clark Zealand and the rest of the Grindstone crew who got dealt a crazy hand and played it well. I hope to run Grindstone 2014 and I'll keep on posting as plans for the next race develop.

Run strong and run long,


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