Saturday, June 29, 2013
Back into the fiery furnace. Dances With Dirt 2013
I am ready to go at it again. Round 2 of Dances With Dirt for me. Last year this was my first ultra. I finished with about 5 minutes to spare. I want to finish in 12 hours or less. This race is hot, humid, and not for the timid. There is a serious amount of climbing and decent for not being a mountain race. There is a small amount of bush-whacking, and last year I ran about 40 miles with a bee stinger in my left shoulder from said bush-whacking. I loved every minute of it. I've done a fair amount of conditioning in peak sun to get my body ready for running hot, humid, stagnant-aired conditions. I've run in downpour as well, since anything is possible, and I have faced such situations in the past. I've focused primarily on the section that runs from Parfrey's Glen to Devil's Lake, doing out and backs to get the most out of the climbing. There is some technical trail there as well where you can't move too terribly fast or you twist and/or break your ankle, or other very important body part. The more I run it, the faster I can move over time. This part of the trail takes a ton of concentration. It can be mentally, as well as physically draining in this capacity. That is what makes this the toughest 50 I've ever run. Another aspect of the mental drain comes from having to attend to fluid and intake with far more fine focus than any other race I've run. I can't imagine what the Badwater maniacs have to endure. I'm running a 'fart in the wind' in comparison. I ran a 10 miler Wednesday at 87°, and a 16 miler yesterday, 86° to start, eventually down-pouring very heavy, and clearing to heat up again. I'm moving pretty freely, and with accurate footing. I'm ready. I'm stoked. July 13th will not come fast enough. See you in the dirt.