I'm coming up on my next attempt at 100 miles. When I signed up the the Graveyard 100 mile in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I love the Outer Banks, I have family there, and the weather is typically nice that time of year. However, I forgot about the training.
I am NOT a cold weather person. I call cold weather my "hard limit." I don't go there and I'm very ok with this! No cold weather races for me. Bring on the heat, humidity, or desert conditions but cold I will not do. As I mentioned, I forgot about this.
I have attempted 100 miles once before and my training for my current race versus the last race have been drastically different. Last summer, I learned HOW to train for a high mileage race. There is an art to this. One typically just can't go run crazy high miles. I do long runs, but they are strategically placed in a training cycle that is balanced with life. I also learned the art of nutrition and hydration. I had to train my body to eat and drink as much as possible while running.
This time around, I trained heavily but I also added the art of recovery. I learned how to sneak in little bits of recovery. I don't have any extra time in my day so anything additional needs to be fit in. I soak and ice my feet after dinner, I wear compression gear under my clothes, I roll out my legs, I make snacks and smoothies in advance, I do yoga while on webinars, etc. I probably spend 2-3 hours a day recovering. But, I am doing other things at the same time. Its the only way I can get it in.
I stressed a LOT about how I was going to get my runs in. I wondered how would I get a 7-8 hour run in when the reservoirs were closed, the roads were down to one lane, and some snow banks were taller than me. I made friends with the treadmill and caught up on a LOT of television. My 14 year old was going to bed one evening and I said, "Honey, I have to run for 5 hours on the treadmill you may hear the noise." His response was, "OK Mom. Goodnight." I was dumbfounded that we have gotten to the point when my odd training behavior doesn't phase him anymore.
I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't nervous about the upcoming race. I am nervous and very excited. Some of my shorter distance triathlons are over in the blink of an eye. However, ultras.... wow... there is a journey here. The journey is scary. I have NO idea what to expect and that's OK. I am engaging in this FOR THE JOURNEY. It scares me. I don't know what will happen. But, I find peace in the challenge to surpass my fears and my humanity and complete this race.
In the meantime, I just put my 3 year old down for a nap and the kids will be home from school soon. I gotta sneak in a treadmill run! Later......
"I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete"
"Incomplete" Alanis Morissette