So here we are, two weeks out from Wild Duluth. I signed up for the 100K mostly because that was sort of my plan earlier in the year. I've been a bit nervous since - in not really feeling ready. I haven't raced an ultra at all yet this year (though I have done training runs over 26 miles) since I was focused on Fargo in the spring and then was injured all summer and doubt, doubt, doubt. So I just finished a series of 20ish mile runs - Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday whose purpose was mostly to remind myself that I was going to be okay. Yesterday, my legs were tired during the run but not crazy so and not right from the beginning and I felt pretty good overall. I wasn't sore or tight or overly tired afterwards (well, I was super sleepy but not leg tired). I have a crew (friend from the Cities!), I have a pacer (Marcus!), and now I just have to spend the next two weeks being calm, not being stupid, and getting those calves to be not crazy tight. And get my Nathan back. Have I whined about my Nathan, yet? I finally bought a new hydration pack this summer and then promptly got injured. So I wasn't able to use it all that often. In fact, pacing Marcus was my second time wearing it with water, I believe. It's a mostly great thing - I LOVE having pockets in front and the bladder is much easier for people to fill, both big reasons for switching from my Camelback. Just one problem with mine . . . it leaks. Horribly and instantly. I spent the entire time pacing SOAKED and at the finish I was very excited to change into dry pants. No problem, though, I brought it back to be sent in for a new one. Only, it's on backorder right now. It's due in anytime, though, so as long as I get it back before Friday the 19th, I'm good.
I've had some really pretty runs on the trails lately. The colors on the shore have been just amazing - I wish cameras could capture it better. Yesterday, I came over a hill (by myself at this point) and looking down was a stand of maybe 8 year old maple trees. They were all a beautiful red and since they were younger, they were still sparse and you could see through one tree to the next and it was just gorgeous. It's too bad the leaves will pretty much be gone in two weeks during the race - both for pretty-factor and because that means all those lovely leaves will be filling the trail and hiding rocks/roots/etc.
In other super exciting news - I made it back to Boston!! I was telling myself that it was okay to not get in, that I really wasn't all that excited about it, and there's even another race that weekend that I'd like to do. I even almost convinced myself. Clearly, the way I was haunting the Boston website at 4:00 the Friday registration ended betrayed what I really felt . . . Now follows Boston registration babble so feel free to skip if you aren't interested: So the way the registration works now is that running a Boston Qualifying time doesn't necessarily guarantee you a spot, anymore. A couple years ago, Boston filled up in 8 hours so they revamped the process to not be first come first served - now registration opens the first week on Monday for people who have beat their time by 15 minutes. Then by 10 minutes on Wednesday and 5 minutes on Friday. The next week, anyone else who has qualified can register during. It stays open all week and at the end of the week, if too many people have registered, then they accept the runners from that week based on who beat their BQ time by the most. Last year, you had to beat your time by 1:14 in order to get in. However, this year, they made the qualifying times 5 minutes faster and got rid of the 'grace minute' (ie, you had to run UNDER 3:35, 3:35:xx no longer counts). Anyway, I had no idea when to expect an announcement but then someone pointed out that if they announced that registration would re-open the next week, that had to mean everyone who already registered was in and it didn't fill - right?
END REGISTRATION BABBLE
So the short of it was that registration is STILL open now and I'm heading to Boston again next April! There's actually a pretty decent Duluth contingent going, so that'll be neat. I plan for that to be my last road marathon for a while - what a while means, I'm not sure yet. Just a year? A few years? It doesn't really matter, just that I have some other races to focus on and trying to throw in a road marathon musses with training.
But for now, it's my first 100K time! Which means watching (re: obsessing over) the weather soon, packing/figuring out a bag for my crew to lug around, getting directions for my crew (both driving directions to aid stations and directions about what I'll need), figuring out what I want to wear, etc . . .