In case anyone else is counting I am currently less than 9 weeks away from the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 miler. Yup, that’s something like 60 days left for 100 mile training. As in less time than the standard “probationary period” at your new job. Or the same amount of notice you need to give most landlords if you want to move out. Or…not very much freaking time!
*que panic attack*
No, seriously, I’m freaking out over here. But only if I think about it, so I try really hard not to think about it. Which is counterproductive because I need to think about it if I’m going to train for it. My solution to that problem? Think about the race but forget that there is an actual date attached to it…instead I’m focusing on the miles, the trails, the time on my feet and keeping everything “in the moment”.
Last week I sat down at the computer and stared at a spreadsheet until I came up with a 10 week game plan. I added up weekly miles, convinced myself sandwich run weekends [back-to-back-to-back long runs] probably wouldn’t kill me, scheduled out “mountain weekends” and penciled in this funny thing calls “strength training”.
When I finally finished up my color coordinating I realized nearly every weekend in July and August will be spent in the mountains…which lead to a happy dance. Until I scrolled over to the “total weekly miles” column, at which point I threw up a little. Every week tops out with at least 50 miles run, often much more. I still haven’t done the miles to hours math because I know it’s going to scare the crap out of me!
Once again I’m choosing to focus on the exciting part of reality – many, many weekends in the mountains with lots of scenic trail miles. The miles won’t all be magical and my whining may get a little out of control, but at the very least I’ll be able to finish every mountain run with beautiful photos!
It’ll all start this weekend when I head west to Aspen to run the 4 Pass Loop with Logan, Ann and Paula. It’ll be my first go at an unsupported long run in the mountains where elevation, weather and terrain can truly beat a person up. It’s a 25 mile loop, which sounds attainable…however we are going over four mountain passes so the elevation is real. It might kick my butt, but I’ll walk [or hobble] away from the Maroon Bells knowing exactly what I need to work on in the coming weeks! Hopefully the reality check isn’t too painful!
The following weekend I’m venturing north to Rocky Mountain National Park for a 50 mile backpacking trip. I’ll be tagging along with Natalie, Ann, Chris and Andy. This trip is the brain child of Chris, the YouTube’er I work with, and has been modified more than once but I think we’ve come up with a pretty solid, albeit ambitious, route. We’ll be spending quality time in the backcountry, learning all sorts of new things about each other [+ reaffirming things we already knew, like just how much I piss and moan when I’m tired] and come back with good a bunch of great photos and entertaining stories!
If I survive those two trips I will have high hopes for the rest of my 100 mile training! I’m not entirely certain what the other weekends hold but there will be sandwich runs at elevation with a lot of nutrition testing, some backcountry camping and many miles on my trail shoes. At the very least I’ll be doing some quality bonding with the mountain scenery! If all goes well I’ll even get around to running another marathon, this time on the trails of Steamboat Springs!
I’ll be posting just enough photos to make you wish you were suffering with me, I’m nice like that. And I’m sure there will be a story or six about getting lost or face planting on the trail or failing miserably with nutrition – it wouldn’t be legit training if I didn’t make a fool of myself at some point!
If you want to take a peek at my made up training plan it’s all prettied up in a Google Drive doc. You’re welcome to look and I’m open to constructive criticism, but keep in mind…I have no idea what I’m doing so if you’re looking for a legit training plan you may want to look else where. Just saying.