Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Captivated By 100

It all started with curiosity and intrigue. I have been enjoying ultra running for several years now and have become comfortable with the 50-mile distance. I started training for a 100 miler in the winter of 2008, but then got sick and injured. This past winter, I ran the Bandera 100k in Texas and won a spot into this year’s Western States 100. After much thought and discussion, I declined the entry although I promised myself that I would try the 100-mile distance in a race closer to my Vermont home.

Preparation and Pre-Race
In the end, I decided that it made the most sense for me to train for the Vermont 100. I felt that I needed some guidance with training, because I wanted to be prepared and to be honest I wanted to suffer as little as possible. I turned to iRunFar.com’s Bryon Powell to help guide me along my journey. From the start, it was apparent that our personalities would work well together. He listened and tailored my regime taking into account my personal life, work schedule and training style. This was wonderful because it gave me one less thing to worry about.

Worry. That is what I do, so running is a double-edged sword for me. Running can calm me down and bring a smile to my face, but it can also produce a lot of anxiety within me. Three weeks before the race, things started to fall apart. I got giardia and leptospirosis and missed a solid week of training, my left knee hurt every time I ran, and my go to pacer informed me that he had a work conflict arise with the race date. I like predictability in my life and there seemed to be none of that.

As the race date got closer, I got more and more nervous. Five days out from the race, I recall my husband asking “Is it going to be like this all week?” I responded, “It is only going to get worse.”