Monday, August 26, 2013

Sawtooth countdown!

Well, I ruined the beautiful symmetry of this post. I started it LAST weekend when it was three weeks after Voyageur and three weeks to Sawtooth. Now it's over a week later. Ooops . . . So at that time - three weeks previous it had been 50 degrees and raining most of the day. Last weekend's run, it was mid-80s and humidish and not a cloud in the bright, hot sky and it's been just gross and even more hot the last few days. What a difference in three weeks! I did a long trail run on the SHT around Duluth and my body was very unhappy with the heat. I'm definitely hoping it cools back down in the next two weeks. I have this horrible feeling that the weather gods are giving us this weather for acclimation purposes . . . No matter, though. If it's hot and humid come race days, I'll do similar to what I did my first Voyageur in humid 90s temperatures - slow down and keep the core temperature under control. Add to that the hope to make up some time when it becomes dark and cooler and making sure to have a complete change of clothes dry and ready for dark (though, that part is really in the plans anyway). I can handle whatever temperature comes our way if I'm smart about it. Less than two weeks, guys. 11 days! Yikes. I vacillate wildly between SuperStrongSamRar! and HolyShitWhatAmIDoing?IHadTroubleAtVoyageur! Already. I am going to be un-liveable in the next two weeks. The 10 day forecast is ready to obsess over very shortly. If you are around me and I've gone quiet and staring into space, that's a good indicator that I'm on the HolyShitWhatAmIDoing end of things. However, I've been feeling more and more excited and ready. Or maybe it's just a SuperStrongSamRar! day! So, yeah. Voyageur did not go the best. But! I finished and didn't injure anything or get sick afterwards so it can always be worse, right? I had a whole laundry list of issues but in the end, my legs just stopped wanting to work. My legs which were dressed in my race shorts (which are thin and short) and probably should have had half tights on. When I drug myself into the last aid station, Lisa put two more long sleeve layers on me (after already literally giving me the shirt off her back several hours ago). I protested that I would get too hot but, lo and behold, I reached a comfortable temperature a mile or so later and never got remotely too warm so I must have been very cold. This is possibly a good indication that I was dressed like a moron and hadn't prepared my drop bags for different weather than was forecast. This will most likely lead to me bringing every piece of comfortable running clothing I own to Sawtooth. However, I stumbled my way in to the finish with help from awesome Wayne, feeling mostly better than a dead weasel, and was laughing shorty after finishing. However, this served to severely freak me out about Sawtooth for a while. What was I doing planning to run a 100 mile when I just had such difficulty with half the distance? This actually started causing some panic while I was still out there and I had to push it away - no thinking about future races when you're in the middle of another race! It took me a bit (and reassurances from some awesome friends) to mentally get over Voyageur and I don't know that my legs have stopped feeling tired yet. I understand now why some people think six weeks is too close to your goal 100 to run a hard 50. However, I've been able to put this fabulous spin on my tired legs - just think of all the great "running long on tired legs" training that I'm getting! Also - I am very proud of never considering dropping. In fact, I was getting super worried coming in to the last aid station that they were going to pull me and I had no desire to stop before being done. Though there was plenty of desire to BE done, that's entirely different. So Voyageur was, if nothing else, a positive on the mental training it provided. I have this giant-ish spreadsheet that I've been working on for Sawtooth prep. Just writing things down that I think I'll need as I think of them, broken into categories like "food/consumables," "stays with crew," "things to do ahead of time." It's getting kind of big and I suppose it's time to start working on gathering things up in one place. Also lists - pace chart with cut-off times, list of things to do at an aid station, list of medical info for my crew just in case, instructions for my crew. Also, apparently there have been stinging insects in vast quantities found on the trail this weekend which reminds me that I need some Benedryl that isn't expired. Much of the next 10 days involves not getting sick and not getting hurt. Running enough to stay bouncy and loose and not grumpy but not so much that I don't get these tired legs rest up. Hopefully, that's leaving some extra time to get things organized!

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