How times have changed. In my first few years as an ultra runner, I filled this blog with every detail of my pre-race planning. I was meticulous in my preparation. I figured I was doing something special and it was fun to share the journey. Over the years, my enthusiasm for that level of detail has waned. I don’t know exactly why. I guess some part of it boils down to what some of the critics/veterans/etc like to say “ultimately, it is just about running”. I think that is truer now than ever for me.
Going into this race a little blind. Going in with no crew or no pacers. That might seem like I am trying to be “badass”. Maybe there is a bit to that. But there is also some personal freedom in that. A stress reliever. I could have a pacer. I could have a crew. I have people that would show up on request. But they won’t determine my race. Only I do. It is a different mindset when you are out there alone. No one to blame. No one to give you a push. It is all on your shoulders. And this type of situation is exactly what I like. We work on teams everyday. Family works together everyday. But achieving a finish solo, it is a unique proposition. Crews & pacers will return to my future someday, when I need them.
It is a bit weird sitting at my desk 36 hours from the start of the race. My races have primarily been Leadville so I have always been there weeks in advance fretting about every second. Not the case here.
I packed 3 drop bags by basically shoving about everything I could think I needed into a backpack for each location. Lots of warm clothes. Lots of real food. And that is it.
I trained different this year. Less miles. More strength building. I am not a faster runner right now. But this isn’t a fast race. I do feel more solid and recovered on long runs lately. I am really curious to see if this translates to a good finish. I would like to make bold claims in advance but that is silly. Race day can be so unpredictable. This is a long time on my feet. Probably will be the longest time on my feet of any previous ultras.
That’s all I have for words of wisdom I guess. Tomorrow I head to Steamboat. Friday at 8 AM we start. 36 hours to go 100 miles. Lots of up and down. More than Leadville. Less altitude and less heat. I am sure 5 miles in I will have the usual mindfuck — why the hell did I do this again? But if…no!…once I cross the finish line, I get to continue to feel elite for another year. Being healthy and fit enough to run 100 miles. That makes me proud of myself.
Race tracking here. I am #560. Be sure to pick the “Tortoise” category, where you will find me. “Hares” are racing for prize money.