Saturday, May 18, 2013
Today is May 18, 2013. In 2 weeks time from this moment, I will be well along on my way into my first all-night 100 mile ultramarathon foot race. This is the biggest challenge I face in my life. I have done 3 50 milers, multitudes of smaller races, 6 marathons, 5 half-marathons. I know what to expect. Even with the 50 milers, I know that if I do x, y, and z, I will cross the finish. I am confident I can finish 100 miles in 30 hours. I also know that my life will never be the same, which is why I am referring to this as 'The Game-Changer'. I have no idea what is going to come out the other side of this. I know it is going to be as tough as I allow, which is to say, I know it is going to hurt, but if my mind is in the right place, and as resilient as I know it is capable, 'tough' will be my resolve wavering. I'm prepared to hurt more than I've ever hurt, be more tired than I thought humanly possible, have points where I feel incapable of taking another step, but I will. Here's the real thing that I've come to realize, some will strongly disagree, but I truly believe everyone has it in them to traverse 50 miles in a single day. I will not argue that very few do or desire to, that's where we crazy-assed ultra runners come in. Not everyone has it in them to run 100 miles in one shot. I do. I've done the work. I don't doubt my ability, but I am that much more aware that there is a great change about to take place, and my gut tells me I won't look at the world in the same manner after I cross that finish line. I'm excited, eager, terrified, apprehensive, focused, and ready. This is it, the big rite of passage...the big fucker...The Game-Changer.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I got it done. I averaged about 35 miles a week for this race, so my expectations were pretty low. I didn't put much stress on myself during the race, as I just wanted to finish within the allotted 12 hours. I finished with about 9 minutes to spare. There were some rougher spots. I hit a wall earlier than in previous races, which I expected. I was prepared to hurt on this one. I had to dig deep the last 15, and I turned it on to finish hard. I walked a bit more than usual, about 20%. I got a bit of an adrenaline rush when I knew it was cutting close, and ran at a pretty good clip the back 15, sprinting into the finish. I loved seeing that finish banner. This was an amazing race with people from all over the country. I highly recommend this race. It is challenging, the volunteers are pretty damned amazing, the supportive atmosphere is beyond words. Great race! I took 2 days off, and just ran a 4 at Gov. Nelson last night. Next up is my first 100 miler on June 1, covering some of the same trails, so this race was more of a training/warm-up. The Kettle Moraine 100 is the 'Big Kahuna'. I do this, and my DNA will be altered for good. I'm stoked. See you on the trails!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Ya, I've not written in quite some time. My old ass decided to get uppity and get me a college edumacation. I'm finishing up my first semester, so long story short, I haven't gotten all my mileage in, however, I have 2 50 mile ultras under my belt, and I have gotten about 30 miles on average in. Will I perform at the top of my game? Probably not. Will I finish in under 12 hours? Absolutely. I am thinking right at 12, since when I was fully trained in my last one on this terrain, I finished in just under 11 hours. This is my first race in 7 months, and my first major race in 8 months, as North Face was my last ultra. This is the Ice Age Trail 50. It is my first time running this race, however many of the same trails are being used as in North Face Endurance Challenge, so I have a good idea of what to expect. It starts and ends near LaGrange as opposed to Ottawa Lake, but the trails are still the trails. Three weeks after this weekend's race, I will be running my first 100 miler. The Kettle Moraine 100, again, using similar trails, so it will be like my backyard by this time. I will be fully prepared for that race, as I will have plenty of time to get my runs in, focus on nutrition, etc., since classes won't start until June 10th. I am 'en fuego' stoked for my chance to once and for all cross over to crazy town. I am in elite company for running a 50, though not nearly as elite as you'd think. 100 mile ultra-marathons are a different kind of animal, as am I. ;-) Yee Haw! See you out there!