Friday, February 24, 2012

Why ITI?

In Anchorage now tending the the final details in preparation for my Iditarod Trail adventure which begins on Sunday afternoon. This is to say, mostly just waiting around here for two more days. All the final details are pretty much taken care of at this point. It is amazing when preparing for something like this though how many times one can pack and repack their kit. Even after packing and repacking it several dozens times at home in the past couple months.

 I came down with a pretty nasty stomach, throat, head illness late last week, but that seems to have moved entirely through my system and I feel as physically ready as I could ever feel for an event like this. I ended up getting in a pretty good bit of "training" in the past 5 or 6 weeks. I didn't run as much this Winter as I would have originally planned to, but I feel like I'm in a great spot both physically and mentally. Does this mean I will definitively have a "successful" race? Most certainly not. But to me this uncertainty is one of the greatest appeals to this event.

In a "typical" single day race I think you can be so prepared that you can just about be certain of your ability to at least finish the race (with the exception of illness or injury). In this event though, I just don't think it matters how prepared you are for the Iditarod Invitational, it's still questionable as to whether you'll be able to make it to the finish. There are some aspects of this dynamic that make this a very intimidating and unappealing thing. At times it seems kind of silly to put so much time and energy into preparing for something which I have such a high chance of not fully accomplishing. At the end of the day though this is precisely why this event is so appealing to me. There is such an elusiveness to it that I really like. I have tried to walk/run to Mcgrath twice before, and yet I have still not been beyond about mile 145 of the route. I have such a curiosity of what lies beyond, in the those remaining 200 miles. Not only a curiosity about those actual 200 miles of trail, but more specifically a curiosity of what my experience of travelling to that point will be. Which things will be unlocked in me that I've never really seen and felt before. And the fact that it's entirely possible that I won't actually make it beyond this distance is somehow really exciting to me. I feel really good about my chances of finishing the full 350 mile route this time around, but I also feel really good and excited about the reality that doing so is going to be really hard, and something which I most certainly can not take for granted.

This race is without question the hardest race I have ever done in terms of the physical strength, persistence. and capability to finish it, but it's the mental and emotional opportunity for self exploration, self questioning, and self confirmation that comes with this kind of challenge that is so exciting and alluring to me. I took two years off from trying this event, not because I didn't want to do it those years, but because I think that was what I needed to do to adequately prepare myself for trying it again. I think now I am in the right place to at least go out there and be brave enough to attempt this thing again. Does that mean that I'm certain to finish? Most certainly not, but I'm as certain as I'll ever be. And it's that lack of certainty that I'm the most looking forward to.

35 comments:

eric said...

good luck geoff... i sincerely hope you finish it this year and look forward to your report.

C.J. Hitz said...

Looking forward to hearing the post-race report Geoff. What an exciting adventure that lies ahead in those 350 miles. There is no failure in the attempt.

Greg said...

Reading this post got me fired up! It makes me want to do the event. Good luck. Enjoy every moment, especially the brutally tough ones. Safe travels.

Vikki said...

I will be thinking of you Geoff, good luck and stay safe. Also looking forward to watching the dogs mush over your footprints.

Take Care,
Vikki Baylis

Ellie Greenwood said...

Have a great adventure out on the trails Geoff, all the best!

Art said...

Best of success, Geoff.

Jared Friesen said...

Sounds fun actually, like a good adventure over a week. Good luck in the race man, I am sure you will finish, what a feat!

Adrian Miles said...

Best of luck Geoff!

Timmy Olson said...

Do it up Geoff!
InJoy the journey, we'll be cheering you on!
Be well,
Timothy

Hoppy said...

Into the unknown,ahhh the adventure. Blaze on that man! .enjoy the journey Geoff, best wishes and aloha all the way .

Sarah Lavender Smith said...

This post gave me goosebumps. If anyone can do it, you can! Looking forward to reading the recap.

coachken said...

Have as much fun as possible, Geoff!! I hope you discover a lot about your self at ITI!!!

All Day!
~Ken

UltraJegi said...

Why indeed Geoff! Why oh why??????

3 more hours ...

Byron Pittam said...

Good luck man!

Burt said...

Up next year the ITI 1000 mile?

Burt said...

Up next year the ITI 1000 mile?

Shailen said...

Congratulations, Goeff! Inspiring effort, very happy for you.

tim white said...

Amazing!! Very inspiraional. I've been following all week long. Made it a hell of a lot easier to get out for my 8 to 10 mile evening runs! Congratulations to you Geoff!

tim white said...

Amazing!! Very inspiraional. I've been following all week long. Made it a hell of a lot easier to get out for my 8 to 10 mile evening runs! Congratulations to you Geoff!

Hoppy said...

Well done geoff!,3rd time a charm !.Raised the bar again.

eigerwand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Grant said...

Great stuff Geoff! You're a proper inspiration to us all! Very much looking forwards to reading your race report.

Tony

Mike B. said...

Congratulations Geoff. Great way to start the year.

shawn said...

Nice job Geoff, we're all so proud of you! Can't wait to hear all about your adventure! Hope your rest is going well.

Bill said...

Just amazing Geoff! Congratulations on an epic race!
It was tough to follow how things were progressing at ITI, particularly for the runners, but anyone in the know shared what they could and you let your finish speak volumes!
Can't wait to read about this one. Enjoy your recovery!

Amanda Compton said...

HE DID IT!!!

Lars said...

excellent, Geoff!

keco said...

Nice Job, Geoff!

John said...

Congratulations on the finish. Sounded like an epic journey. Inspiring stuff from you and all the racers.

Andrew said...

You're the man!!

Marcy said...

Congratulations! And almost winning overall, amazing!

Unknown said...

can't wait for the race write up. congrats geoff!

C.J. Hitz said...

Congrats Geoff, fantastic accomplishment. What a way to begin the year. Those 350 slogging miles will be a great deposit into your base running account

Eric B said...

Grats Geoff on your great finish!!! Way to go!!

JOLUfromMA said...

Congratulations Geoff!