Friday, July 17, 2015

The Big One Elizabeth

Eleanor Roosevelt said to, "Do something every day that scares you". 

In less than 24 hours, I will be toeing the line of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile trail race. I would like to say I am totally prepared, because usually I am good at planning and setting goals and executing those goals. However, this time, that has not been the case. I can make all kinds of excuses, but the bottom line really is the fact that I re-prioritized my free time and running took second seat to several other things in my life. 

I am scared, Eleanor. 

Flume Trail in Winter

Marlette Lake in Winter

When I signed up for this race last December, I was in my running prime. I had just placed in both a 50 mile race and a 50k race. I was ramping up my training and I was running up the hills with gusto! I had thoughts in my mind that I may try to place in a very important 100k in March and that maybe I would even get a sub 28 hour at TRT. 

Then I got injured, ramped up my hours at work, bought a house and started drinking heavily. Okay, that last part is a joke, but seriously, I started eating worse, exercising less and in no time at all, it was July and I had not even completed half of my necessary training.

What will this mean for me tomorrow? 

To start off, I am going into this with the thought in my mind that it is just a really long two day hike. The cutoff time to finish this race is 35 hours. Even the very fast guys do it in no less than 18. To finish in 35 hours, I would need to keep my pace just under 3 miles an hour. So, I could walk a lot of it and still finish in time. 

I may be walking a lot of it. 

I plan to start off at a run and see how far I get. There are a few gradual downhills which I know I can jog no matter what (even during the 2nd 50 miles). There are a couple steep uphills (think 1.5 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing) where I will barely make 1 - 2 miles per hour. 

What worries me the most? 

Of course I am competitive and I would like to do well, but I have mostly thrown that out the window. I just want to finish. However, the part which will be the most difficult will be the night portion. During the night, there is a loop called the Red House Loop, which is a 6 mile loop with about a 2 mile steep downhill (loss of about 1,000 feet) and then a 4 mile gradual to steep uphill. This loop is not fun in the daytime and it will be even less fun at night. 

The race motto is, "A Glimpse of Heaven; a Taste of Hell". The Red House Loop is the taste of Hell. 

On the other hand, there are many Glimpses of Heaven. So I will enjoy those and not think too much about the tastes of Hell. 

If you want to follow me, I will be running from Saturday at 5 am PST to Sunday around Noon (*cutoff is at 4 pm). The live tracker is HERE. Also, my brother will be pacing me and should be tweeting when possible (the service in the mountains is not great). You can find his twitter feed HERE Otherwise, just send good juju my way this weekend because I will need it! 

What are you up to this weekend? 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Looking Back: June

June was a whirlwind of a month full of good friends and some travel and lots of money hemorrhaging! Yup, you heard me right. June was not a happy month for my pocketbook, but it was a good month for friends. 

Running: I would like to say that my training was going well and that I am totally ready for my 100 mile race in a couple of weeks, but I would be lying. June was not a great training month, although I did try to step it up a little in order to feel semi ready for the big day. In June I had no races, but I did end up running 136 miles in the end. 

Reading: While I was not running, I did read a few (four, to be exact) books. None of them were that great. They were, in order of best to worst: 

- At Home by Bill Bryson (I did not finish this one -- it was good but there were a lot of facts and I was in the mood for a more frivolous book - 3 stars)
- The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (3 stars)
- Mother Daughter Me by Katie Hafner (2 stars)
- Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch (2 stars)

Travel: I did a lot of travel in June and much of it was in cars with other people, hence the reason I did not read as much, I think. At the beginning of June, I went to San Diego to crew/pace for a friend who was running a 100 mile race. I paced him in from mile 79 to the finish and he ended up getting 10th place! The next weekend was spent in South Lake Tahoe, doing trail work and a training run. I had a chest cold and the altitude really exacerbated that fact. It was really hard to run! The weekend after that I drove up to my parents' house to get some things from storage. It was a fun weekend with a lot of swimming and a run, but too soon it was time to load up the car and head home. The last weekend in June was spent crewing for a friend who ran the Western States 100M. He was such a champ and it was so inspiring (and daunting, thinking of myself doing the same thing in July) to see him push through and cross the finish line with pride. 

SD100


On top of that, my new category should be titled Home and Garden because there has not been a day that I have come home from work and just relaxed. There is always something to shovel, or to weed or to plant. There are things to be hung and cleaned and sorted. There is never an end to the things that need to be assembled or moved or painted. Basically I have been going to bed around 10 every night and getting up again at 4. There have been multiple trips to Costco and Home Depot and Target. I am a frequent flyer at Amazon.com. It's been busy! 

So....how was the month of June for you? What was your favorite weekend? Have you read any good books lately?