This past weekend I was lucky enough to land myself a spot in my dream race - the Western States 100. This was my 2nd year of entering the lottery system and I really beat the odds by getting a place, as my odds were around the 7% chance. I know people that have entered for 5-6 yrs consecutively and have yet to get in!
If you had spoken with me a couple of weeks ago then I would have probably told you that I didnt' want to get in this year. That's partly because I had my mindset on going for a Sub 3hr time at Barcelona Marathon in March and partly because with a fledgling business, frankly my money is focussed on making sure I can hit my bills every month whilst providing you with great training and information!
Not only that but being totally honest I'm wasn't sure that I'm physically or mentally ready for a race of this magnitude. It's a HUGE undertaking and there are elements that I just won't be able to train for.
At the start of last week things changed. With the world in turmoil and being a particularly volatile place at the moment it brought home the fact that none of us really know what the future is going to bring. The only thing we can really do is get on with shit and live for the here and now.
So that brought me to Saturday, the draw and the utter disbelief that I sat in once I saw my name crop up in the draw. It's amazing, thrilling, scary. My emotions are a bit all over the place at the moment and things haven't entirely sunk in yet. Unfortunately much of my focus is on financial issues rather than the prospect of racing at my Dream Event.
I mean, how do I even train for this kind of event? It's about 19,000ft of ascent but the c. 20,000 descent is worse with the constant pounding on my Quads sure to raise issues. Anyone that saw me on the South Downs Way 100 earlier this year will know that the constant ups and downs of the course did not fill me with joy. Not only that but the elevation of the race is way above what we're used to down here at Sea Level. And don't forget the heat - raising up to 120 o F.....
Even writing this and reading it back I can see the barriers being built. I'm putting these 'problems' up so I have some ready made excuses. Finance - tick; Climbers/Descents - tick; Altitude - tick; Heat - tick. I'm sure I'll find some more in the next 7 months.
Do you know what though?
There isn't ever going to be the 'right time' to do this race. The ascents and descents will always be there. Without a huge chance of lifestyle, i'm always going to be living in a relatively flat part of the world so the altitude will always be an issue. Finances I have control of so this is fixable. The heat?I'll get myself in a sauna and start acclimatising.
These aren't things that should stop me toeing the line come the 25th June. These are unique challenges that I will have to overcome, and I can.
Think about this.
There isn't EVER a 'right time' to do anything. It may be losing weight, it may be running your first 5k, it might be taking the plunge and going for that job you've had your eye on. You will always always always find a reason that you can't do it or that you're not ready for it.
This is the absolute truth:
If you always wait for the 'right time' you will ALWAYS be waiting to do it.
Sometimes you just got to stick your neck out and go for it. Stretch the limits of what you think is possible, push yourself and you will grow. Damn it you'll be forced to!! You go for it, you learn from it and you enjoy the experiences you have along the way.
After all, the journey is more exciting than the destination.