I am sitting on an airplane traveling to the Minneapolis – St. Paul airport. Soon I’ll be driving an Avis car up I35 towards Duluth, then on to Two Harbors for packet pickup for tomorrow’s Superior 100. I just spent 20 minutes reviewing the course profile and trail map, studying the aid station locations and landmarks. I reviewed the schedule in the online race document and only have one question, “Is there spaghetti dinner on Thursday night?!” Time will tell. In fact, time will tell a lot about this trip and my 5th attempt at 100 miles. (I’m wearing my Brazos Bend buckle for good luck).
I have not posted on my blog in a very long time. The last post was only 3 weeks into my Habanero 100 training schedule. I had just gotten over a leg injury, but little did I know how busy my life was about to get. Between work, family, a church committee commitment, race training and increased HATR commitments, my blog reporting took a back burner. So far back it wasn’t even on the stove.
Training went well. I kept my weekly mileage up in the low 40miles per week. This is not what I wanted. I would have preferred to reach 50 or higher, but I focused on hard 3+ hour runs on Saturday with the HATRs and weekly morning runs. I’d fit in noon runs in the Houston heat if they fit my work schedule. I felt really good about heat training.
In early May I ran my first race of the year, a half marathon at Bastrop State Park. The Wildflower Half was a wonderfully run race by TROT and the course was beautiful with new growth emerging from the fire scared forest. Got to even witness Luis’s first trail race first hand! I ran okay, but my focus was not right leading up to it given all the distractions I mentioned above that were truly more important.
Habanero 100 was just 3 weeks ago. Again, so much was going on in my life that my focus and mental preparation was non-existent. Between work budget planning, school starting and my son’s broken arm, I simply “made it” to race day. My mom traveled down from Wisconsin which was a joy and at the completion of each 6+ mile loop, she was there with refilled water bottles and Skratch portables. I managed the heat perfectly. My daughter sewed a ice bandana that worked wonders and Skratch Labs hydration mix kept me cool and sweating throughout the afternoon and into evening. However, once darkness fell on the course, a light rain began to fall. At that moment, my will to race fell as well. I found myself in a lonely, depressed state very quickly. Those low points are expected in Ultras, but I was only a 50K into this race. The thought of 60 more miles in rain and darkness was too much for my fragile mental state. I dropped at the end of 6 loops. In the morning I felt at peace with my early exit. I took comfort in my performance through the heat which to me was the real challenge. I also knew that Superior 100 was just around the corner and dropping early saved my soft feet from a certain thrashing in the wet conditions.
So here I am. My plane is about to land. My adventure is underway and only time will tell. I have a much better mental state. The last two weeks have been a wonderfully easy reprieve from the stress of previous week’s. I found myself excited and actually giddy about his race. I am ready and prepared for this one. Stay tuned! Special shout out to my long time friend from Bismarck, ND, Jeremy who will be running the 50 mile race and attempting to catch me on the course. I hope he does and finds me running, not laying on the side of the trail or chilling with a DNF over my head.
Buckle up. The Real Deal 100 Mile Mark is about to tear up this course! Moose, bear and wolf beware! Representing HATR Nation!