I did it. I signed up for my first 100 mile run.
I'm nervous as hell but excited at the same time. I know I can do it if I put my mind (and body) to it.
The 100 mile run has been something that I've been curious about since I found out there was such a thing. Ever since my first run @ Mohican, I've brushed it off as something that I'd never try; "that's just crazy!"
After my 100 km race last year, I got the bug to go further... As I was approaching the finish line at Oil Creek, I thought to myself that I could have probably gone another loop if I had to. It would have hurt really bad and I would have probably hit a wall that I'd never hit before. However, I could have tried it with no real fear leaving the aid station. After that realization, I went through all the "what if" situations in my head for weeks. I realized that there's no real good reason NOT to try the 100 miler.
A few months ago, I told Jennifer that I was considering it and she was (kind of) supportive by saying:
Whatever, Babe!? You know I don't care...
So that was my approval from her to know that she was on board with my decision if I wanted to do it. Well, I arrived home from Virginia on Friday, and knew that if I was going to do this, I had better just do it. I didn't say anything to her or anybody else about it. I just went to the website and paid the fee. After I did it, I went over and gave her a big hug and told her what I'd done. :) She thought I was crazy, but she's used to that by now...
The organizers have made some huge changes to the race this year and I'm excited to be in the first group of runners to run the new course. For an understanding of what has changed and why they've changed it, visit Mikey P's blog. He lays it all out beautifully and tells what they've changed and why they've changed it. They knew they'd get the good and the bad responses from the veterans. I'm not a veteran by any means; I've ran at Mohican quite a few times, and attempted the 50 miler two years ago. However, I'm still one of the new kids and have crazy respect for the veterans of Mohican. My response to the new course change is very good; I think it's great what they're doing to to welcome the new class of trail runners. The course is much easier to manage, it eliminates a lot of bottle necks, it makes it easy for runners to know where they're going next, and most importantly it makes it easy for aid and crew to do their jobs.
This morning was the first day of my training. I ran a slow 12 miler yesterday and ate a lot of crap food during the Super Bowl. Today I woke up early and began the first day of the P90X program. I did this once and got very strong. The idea is to do it again and get even stronger. I'm going to eat right and run during the program too (of course). I'm really going to try and improve my pace this time. I don't want the cutoffs to beat me for this race. My goal is to loose about 20 lbs of excess weight so that I don't have to lug it around the woods for 24+ hours. My running buddy (Kimba) has dropped an insane amount of weight and she's reaping the rewards with faster times, and stronger finishes. I know that my weight loss from last year helped me finish Oil Creek, and that was only 62 miles. :)
As for running as a minimalist... I don't think I'm going to focus on that for this race. I will absolutely wear my VFF's on my training runs, but won't limit myself to just running in them as I train for this race. Last year, I ran exclusively in them. I didn't wear shoes all summer. However, the Indian Run 60K really put my feet and calves through hell. That run was only 38 miles. (again, :) ). After that run, I began to prepared for the Oil Creek race and switched back to shoes... It paid off and I finished with minimal damage. This race is very important to me and I don't want my feet to be the reason for me to DNF (Did Not Finish). Therefore, I'll use my VFF's for most of my training runs, but will wear shoes for my "longer" long runs and the race itself.
I just have to know if I can do this. My ultra-running friends say I can do it, and I believe I can do it, so the next logical step is to do it. I'm going to give it everything I have to finish this thing so I can get it off my back. After June 19th, I'll know all of the ups and downs of the 100 mile race. I'll run through the morning, day, evening, night, morning, and day to finish it... or black out (whichever comes first).