The 100K is an “urban ultra” called the Pistol Ultra and it’s in Maryville, TN – outside Knoxville where I’m from. I’ll be able to visit my Mom and even take advantage of a running buddy having a sister who lives there so I’m going to actually have someone run the last 20 miles with me. It’s a greenway, so I’ll not have to worry about the ultra shuffle causing me to trip late in the day (trail ultras make me nervous for that reason, tired legs are hard to pick up) and it’s 10’ish mile loops so I’ll be able to set up my own little aid station with everything I might need. It really has everything I’d want out of my first 100K, so much that I’m using this as a trial run for consideration in doing the 100 Miler next year. It’s too perfect not to at least consider it.
I just have to get through the 100K first. And my last big training week is this week. I need to get 77 miles in this week. I’ve not done a great job sticking to training since Thanksgiving. I got my two back-to-back 20 milers in this weekend, but I skipped 2 runs this week and shortened a 3rd so I finished the week about 10 miles too short. I CAN NOT DO THAT THIS WEEK. I have to be very diligent about sticking to the plan. My goal is to do 7-7-10-7-7-23-16 but I’m not sure how easy that will be. It’s hard to get up at 3am every weekday, which is what I have to do to leave the house by 4:45am. I need an hour and 45 minutes to get all my coffee in, do my blogging, minor chores, pack lunches etc. So 3am wakeup 5 days in a row will be ROUGH. This week I’ll actually be sleeping late on the weekends, until maybe 5am! WOO.
I’m telling you all this so that hopefully you can help hold me accountable. My goal is to pop in Sunday evening and say, “I did it! 77 miles in one week! Time to taper!” Which, it’s not EXACTLY A 2-week taper, but I’ll have a big drop to a 1-week taper so if I can just make it through Sunday and get all of my miles in, I’ll have the confidence I need to survive race day.
I’m equal parts terrified and totally zen about it. I did 57 miles in 30+ hours a few weeks ago. Granted I had a night’s sleep in the middle, but I did it and I felt fine so this race is very equivalent. Maybe even easier since there’s hardly any elevation change on this course.
I was telling my friend this weekend – the one who will be running with me at my race – I’m actually pretty zen about the race day itself. I truly believe the journey is the reward. Race day is just the last step in a long challenge and I survived 95% of the challenge before in the training, so big picture? The race itself? Does not need to hold a lot of power over me. I’m confident I’ll finish, after this week I’ll be more confident I’ll finish under 15 hours, but in reality? I’ve already reached very high levels of pride in the weeks of discipline bringing me to this point. I’ve carried a huge burden on top of work/family/life and I’ve not killed anyone or lost my mind completely. I celebrate the training more than I’ll celebrate the victory.
But I promise you, I’ll still celebrate the victory plenty. 62 miles? BRING IT ON.