Like about 2,000 other people out there in crazyland, I hope to complete the Pikes Peak Ascent on August 16th. If things go well, I also hope to do the Pikes Peak Marathon the next morning. Nothing unique there - there are 159 of us signed up for both races.
I doubled once before - in 2011. I always thought it was a silly idea. Still do, in fact. I'm not used to the idea of not racing when I'm not at my best. You could say that one way to ensure you're not at your best for a marathon is to do a 13 mile race up 7,800' of mountain the day before. On that weekend, I endured both the lows and highs one would expect from such a challenge. My Ascent goals were dashed by that evil spirit also known as treeline, yet the Marathon, which I had already given up on, went better than any expectation I could have ever had for it.
Since just doubling obviously wasn't hard enough, I thought I would throw in a wrinkle this year. I broke my fifth metatarsal back in October and am still on the long road to regaining my health and fitness. By now, I'm sick of talking about it, but the fact remains that it happened. A year ago at this time, I was running 70-mile weeks and not thinking twice about it. Earlier this week, I went for my first 60-minute run since I broke my foot. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me this summer.
There will be no PRs this year. No overall or age group placing. If things go well, I will finish both races with a smile and no further injury. Heck, if I'm lucky I may end up 1st in the screw-in-his-foot division.
The story I will be sharing this summer is the one of my recovery. Humility. Self-reflection. Perspective. Maybe a little self-degradation peppered in there for good measure. Regardless, I believe my journey is worth sharing. I hope you will agree.