Leadville…that was the last time I ran competitively.
But here we are. Lacing them up tomorrow for another ultramarathon. This will be ultra number 3 for 2010…SJS50, LT100, and now The North Face Endurance Challenge AKA NF50.
As you may have noticed, I have approached this race totally differently than any other ultra in the past. Some of it was by choice and some was not. I tried not to lose respect for the distance, but focus on what I thought was most important given the schedule, resources, and goals I had for the race. The fall is always a difficult time for me and this year was no different. My work gets more intense as projects really fire up post summer. This year was no exception and provided a heavier load than in prior years which I gladly accepted after the flexibility provided to me over the summer. The kids are back in school and it always takes weeks to months to get into the groove. Lots of holidays, travel and we bought the cabin which required a lot of work in order to prepare it for 2011. All of that on top of dropping temperatures makes running harder to get done day to day.
I remained consistent but didn’t shoot for high mileage. I made sure I got out for at least an hour a day, every day. Hit the hills as much as I could and made sure to make those days count with up to 2 hours each time. Didn’t focus on the long run at all. Did only two 20+ mile runs in the build up to the race. I felt like I would be better served saving the damage for race day.
And the sad part about all of it was that was about what my body was limiting me to. I worked through rehab on my hip which migrated to an ankle issue. Hit acupuncture weekly for 2 months. It fixed the hip but not the ankle. It has good days and bad days. However, on those long runs, it always got mad but never made me stop. Hopefully, that remains true.
I tapered by completely stopping running for 9 days prior to the event. Nothing. A 5-7 mile jog isn’t going to do anything for me at this point so I figured I would go for extended rest to give all my muscles and ligaments once nice stretch of fixing time before the day of reckoning occurs. And maybe the ankle would finally get back in gear.
So none of this is textbook stuff but its not crazy either. I am dealing with the parameters I have put myself into. I hope it gives me a solid day on some trails I have never run. No yarn grids this time. No endless planning. I barely know where the trail goes. I hope to just get out there and run every step of this race in a solid time and really just enjoy the run, the pain, the ups and downs, and the essence of what its all about. A co-worker asked me what its like to run 50 miles, I simply said, “its only half as far as my last race”. Never got to say that before!
Natalee is here too! She is putting down here first marathon ever. No slouch. Can’t do a road marathon as her first, she had to come here and run a trail marathon! I signed up first to run the 50 so I can’t watch her. But depending on timing and some luck, we might actually be coming back down the homestretch near each other. Let’s see how that plays out.
Race updates will be posted automatically to Facebook on my profile. They had a service I could sign up for so I did that. Never know if these things will actually work come race day but you have been told. If not, my bib is 118 and Natalee is 1059.
And maybe just maybe, my number will get chosen in the lottery for WS100 that occurs while I am mid-race. Exciting day all around!
Gear will be my usual uniform with arm panties likely coming along. Forecast calls for rain which has me slightly bothered. We don’t often deal with that in Colorado racing. My La Sportivas are here but the MT101s are in the bag too. I am starting to lean toward the later for maximum performance. Hoping to go out cold just deal with the cool 5 AM weather until sunrise. But I have a secret weapon! The beard was transformed into something more manageable for race day. I am hoping the ultra gods will respect my attempt at facial hair and give me that extra boost.
Up at 2 AM. Shuttle at 3:15 AM. Start time is 5 AM Pacific. See you out there!