Sometimes, to better reflect on the affairs of life, I must turn away from it and retreat. Not surrender nor backdown, but find more quiet, more solitude. During a busy week, this may mean simply waking up five minutes early to have a chair and room to myself, or sitting in my car in the driveway at the end of a long day for several minutes in silence. Conversely, this week involves hours of solitude in higher mountain towns and wilderness, for some time away before Leadville 100 this weekend.
These moments alone help me clarify my intentions going in to race day, visualize the worst and best case scenarios, reflect upon the journey that got me here, and embrace the conclusion of this cyclical bout of life. Sure, when race day comes, I could pop in headphones, or in ultramarathons, recruit a talkative and optimistic pacer to help drown out any internal dreadery that may evolve or help embellish any positivity. But, there comes a time in any race, where the loudest voice can never drown out the silent thoughts. The one voice that can serve as a rebuttal to these thoughts is the silent voice in my own head.
So, now is time to give strength to that voice. Let it gain some oratory practice for the likely possibility where it will be called to answer the likely questions. What will respond with when everything feels off…when the hill pushes me back harder than I can push up it…when the body is clicking and a tempting cocky increase in effort is on the table? I have found one of the best arenas for drafting these responses and practicing their delivery is in solitude.
Race week is here. Now is the time to find some amount of quiet and find a retreat.
~Get out and Get after it. Happy Running Ya’ll~