We are speaking of human endeavor and delusional systems. Everyone likes to think they have their own little corner, it can be anything; needlepoint, lawn bowling, whatever. Some guy may gratify himself by thinking he’s the best goddamned fruit and vegetable manager the A&P every had, which is fine. It gives people a sense of worth in a crowded world where everyone feels like part of the scenery. But then mostly they are spared of any harrowing glimpses into their own mediocrity, Pillsbury Bake-Off notwithstanding, we’ll never really know who makes the best artichoke souffle in the world, will we? Thing is, we are sometimes painfully and constantly aware of how we stack up. Lots of people can’t take that kind of pressure, the ego withers in the face of evidence
John L. Parker – Once A Runner
What if I pulled a Quenton Cassidy? What if, for the 12 months following the Mendon 50K, I did nothing but train? Train to get faster, train to get stronger. Train to win a race? The quote above, it talks about how runners know EXACTLY where they stand in the historical context of the sport. Best basketball player? Best QB? Best goalie? All debatable...Fastest Miler? We can look that up. We know where we stand.
What if I did not race, and went “off the grid” in a sense, and just worked my tail off? Would I find the value in it? Would I miss racing? Would I break mentally? Would I find what I was looking for?
I think I would like it. It would mean saving money on a years worth of racing. I could come back at the Dirt Cheap Stage race next year and wow the local running scene…
It would be a wonderful story wouldn’t it? Just work with the TrailsROC crew, run my butt off, and show up next year ready to race. Running up front, people thinking “who is this guy"
I wonder how it would go down, would people support me and think it was a nifty little venture, or would they whisper, roll their eyes, and talk about me behind my back? I can see the things they would say. Talk about how it is not worth it, talk about who cares about a little race in little Rochester, talk about how I could better spend my time, talk about how I am not that good anyway… All the while as they ate ice cream and sat on the couch for hours and hours a day. I can almost hear it.
Would it get it me? Would I even notice? I am seriously considering it. I know I can run as much as I do now once we have kids. I am not sure however that I will ever again be able to give it 100 percent. Is it now or never time? Then just maintain and really run for the love of running after? It might be. It can’t hurt to try.
I have some time to think about it, I am sure some miles out in the woods will help set me in the right direction!