To Western or not to Western, that is the question…


One decision looming over my head is do I put an application in for western States this year or not? Now, I know deciding to do a run isn’t that big of a deal….but I cannot seem to make a decision. I’ve wanted to do it FOREVER, even before I ever ran an ultra, which I am still pretty new at. I first read about it in runner’s world, longer ago than I can remember, and I have always been intrigued. I qualified 3 times now, and everytime have chickened out sending in an entry. I regretted it last year when names were drawn, and went about requalifying at rocky raccoon. so, now I have a qualifier, but it is not good for long. So why wouldn’t I do it? Several reasons: fear of not finishing. those cut offs can get tight on such a hard course. I like to suceed at things..I ain’t spending all that money NOT to finish unless I am dying. and, that is another factor. $295 just to enter….YIKES!!!! I could buy a plane ticket for that. Another factor is it is just not fun for me to drag Mike on a “vacation” to watch my torture and abuse myself. I wouldn’t want to go out alone with no support, so I would probably have to enlist him. Also, that is a lot of training. can’t fake your way through the mountains when you live in texas. As it is, I am working 12 hour days, and that would be a big sacrifice of free time. also, part of me says, we have a 100 miler right here in texas. I can suffer all night here for a lot less money…and less training. so why would I do it? well, it looks beautiful. this picture is from squaw Valley, the one part of the course I’ve been to. Also, I don’t want to look back and regret never doing it. we only get one chance in this world, right? Regret is never a good thing. also, BECAUSE I CAN!! I am healthy, I have nothing holding me back. I really have very few obligations, and who knows if that will last forever. finally, I have a little unfinished business with 100 milers. Yeah, I finished one, but I know I can do better. I learned from my mistakes, and I want to correct them. And, I don’t think I want to do it over and over again, so if I do one more, better do it up right.

It’s really easy to look at all the cool pictures on the Western States website, and watch those movies about it and say, “I want to do that!” It’s a whole different story when I am sweating like a hog, dragging my ass though 20 miles in August in texas. 100 miles doesn’t sound too attractive then. So, what do you say WS veterans? Is it worth it? ( no comments from meredith….I know your answer!! hehe)

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2 Replies to “To Western or not to Western, that is the question…”

  1. Just let me say that I don’t mean to offend anyone by my opinion. It looks like your mind is made up already and if you don’t apply, you’ll second guess yourself until Dec 08 when the next lottery is. And on, and on.Yes, it is a great race. The cutoffs aren’t too bad (you should have NO problems w/ them), there are some tough spots but in general…good times. There are harder and more beautiful courses. The issues that I have w/ WS (and I will go back some day because I know that I can break 24 hrs w/ proper nutrition) are w/ the fees. No race should cost that much to get into. It is crazy. W/ the numbers allowed to run it should be fairly affordable like the other 100s. It lends itself to people from CA only being able to go because they don’t have to rent a car, fly out, etc, etc.Anyhoo…enough blabbing.Go for it Clea!! I’ll come to crew for you and Mer because I KNOW that she is going. 😉

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