This weekend I’m planning another attempt to run the Mason Dixon Trail. Or walk/crawl/shuffle as the case may be. I made it almost halfway the first time I tried it. And not quite as far the second time. I’m going into this attempt with a slightly different mindset.

The first time I was 100% focused on setting a Fastest Known Time on the route. I was tracking my splits as I went along and started getting frustrated with how hard I was working to maintain a relatively slow pace. The second time I tried to focus less on my paces and more on just enjoying myself on the trail. This time I’m completely leaning into the fun aspects of this adventure. I’ve started using mantras in races this year and my mantra for this run will be FTF: For The Fun. Not FKT or DNF or WTF. Just FTF with maybe a little LOL thrown in for good measure.

My brother in law referred to this run as my white whale, however I don’t think I’m quite at that level of obsession. Yet. This is definitely a project I have sunk a lot of time and effort into over the past five years, but it’s not been the focus of my year. It’s been a full year since my last attempt and five months since the last time I was out on the trail. So it’s not like every waking moment has been focused on redeeming my prior failures.

Prior failures.

That statement is 100% accurate and yet completely lacking in context. Mostly because my reasons for running the MDT have morphed over the years. It started out to test my limits at a new distance and to set a FKT. Now it’s more to have another adventure out on the trail. It’s more the process than the result. I’m still hoping for a result, but my focus has shifted. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m damn well going to have a blast doing it. On Friday, I’m heading out just For The Fun of it.