Road to Rocky Raccoon
In late August, Ninja (aka Greg) and Drum (aka Michelle) ran the Lean Horse 50-miler in South Dakota. One night, mere days after they returned when Ninja was still on his "high", he started talking about the 100-miler at Rocky Raccoon... and somewhere along the way of that late night Twitter conversation among a few of us, he convinced me that running a 50-miler at Rocky Raccoon was a good idea.
Now, let's be clear about why that commitment was a little out of the blue for me:
- I've never run a race on trails... at all.
- I've never run a race longer than a marathon. No 50Ks yet.
- I'd only even ran on trails maybe 3 times.
- I had a super crazy marathon schedule still left to take care of.
With all of that said, once I commit to something, I stay committed. In the last 5 months of training, I have run 960 miles. My training peaked in January with 245 miles. Also, in that 5 months, I ran 8 runs over 20 miles - including 3 marathons and 1 30-miler. Several of those long runs were also back-to-back with other double digit runs.
I do not question if I've put in the miles. I know I have. I've also been as open as I can to advice and input from people with a lot more trail experience than me (and I feel very indebted to them). But I still know that I have never raced on trails. And I know that I've never raced further than a marathon. And lastly, I know that I have very few hours on trails - not because I didn't want to train on trails, but because I have an atypical situation that results in lack of childcare most of the time... which actually means 80% of my runs are spent on a treadmill - which isn't exactly a good simulation for trails.
I know I will go into this race with a lot of shortcomings... but I'm OK with that. I have the miles on my legs. I have been uninjured the entire time. I feel mentally prepared. And no matter who you are, there's always something you could have done better in your training. I had to train the best I could with my circumstances, which really aren't conducive to hours of outdoor training, especially on trails - despite my desires.
And despite this lovely forecast:
I plan to get there and give my best effort to claw my way to the finish, no matter how long it takes. Although it would be swell if I could finish my 50-miler before Ian Sharman finishes 100-miles (a 7:30 pace for 100 miles is just not right).
Heading out tomorrow at noon so I can make it to Huntsville in time for the trail briefing. Excited!!! And freaked out!!!