I realize this page is supposed to be occupied by a race report rather than the above little story that will undoubtedly have some of my friends uttering "wtf?" I wrote the above in the days following the Susitna 100 as way to entertain myself as I tried to organize my thoughts and searched for a theme to my report. I hit on the idea of a series of lessons. Beyond simply being one of the longest and most arduous physical challenges I've yet undertaken, the race was also one of the greatest learning experiences I've had during such an adventure.
Ultimately all learning is self-learning. If we fail to relate and apply a lesson to our own lives then I'm not sure it can really be called a lesson learned. With 8 lessons and less than 40 miles described so far, I think I'm learning something equally important about my writing. While I've still managed to finish every race I've begun, I'm close to posting a DNF on (yet another) race report. I believe the problem lies in my approach. If I've learned anything about finishing 100-milers it's not to try and take on the whole thing in a go. Breaking it into shorter section, at least mentally, makes covering such full distance much more manageable. It also provides points for reflection and adjustment.
One of the reason for taking so long to finish race reports is that I tend to want it all complete, edited and perfected before I share; I'm a bit compulsive that way. However, that's not how the races are run. The other reason is that I like to savor the telling, reliving the journey as I write. Clearly, these two goals, taken together, can work against ever getting the thing done. So, I'm going to meter out this report over the coming weeks starting with the parts I've already written. Either lesson by lesson or section by section, posting it in parts will, I think, work as incentive. Once I hit that "publish" button I'll have to face myself standing there, in the middle of the page, out on some frozen river, waiting to finish.