Yesterday marked my final day of full volume training leading up to the Bighorn 100. That puts me in RnR mode for ten days. Its not like I really trained for a 100-mile foot race. I know better than to pretend that I did. The fact is that I am going to need to run a judicious race, walking the steep ascents and holding back on the steep descents. I will also need plenty of luck. And well thought out drop bags. Prayers would help. The ability to remain on my feet most of the time would also help. Did I mention prayers?
I've been practicing the climbing and descending as well as southern Indiana will allow me. Dozens of local people have become accustomed to seeing me running up and down a nearby hill wearing a full Nathan vest. Twelve of those ascents and I have half a mountain of climbing! I've also made several trips to regional trails where I've logged 1K-3K feet of vertical. And, of course, I have traveled as far away as the Smoky Mountains to log ultra runs on REAL mountains. My legs do not have the frequent bouts with vertical that most mountain runners log, so my legs will suffer from the 17.5K ascent and 18K descent presented in the BH100. I am not as physically prepared to meet the demands of the rugged course so must be, in the words of my buddy Jeremy, a mental bad ass. In a phrase, I am prepared to suffer.
Why would a guy who runs 15-20 miles in most weeks of the year choose to enter a 100-mile run? Simple. Completing one is on my list of life goals. It has been on the list since 1991 after I watched a documentary on the Leadville 100. I have twice entered and twice been pulled from that race at the Fish Hatchery - mile 77. I will enter Leadville again when life permits it. For now, I'm going to knock the 100-mile event off of my list by completing another formidable race.
Yesterday I traveled to Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes again to enjoy a relaxed circumnavigation of the Canal Loop. The loop presents some footing challenges, 1100 feet of vertical, and plenty of awesome scenery. Recent rains allowed me to find a moist, lush, and dense forest. A relatively cool (66-74F) morning allowed me to enjoy that forest with minimal dehydration. Here the polarpersonaltrainer.com data for that run.
Later in the day I made a call to my friend, Drew. He asked me to participate in a 40Kish pursuit ride. Because I had planned one more hard ride before the BH100, I decided to turn the pursuit into a Z3 tempo ride. I would like to have gone faster on this hilly course, but a 13mph wind held the pace down while I kept the heart rate in the target zone. I liked the course and the people who rode, so I hope to take another shot at it with an intent to ride hard. Here the Polar data for yesterday's ride.
Three days from now I will leave for Wyoming. Along the way I will explore many national treasures, including Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Devil's Tower, and the Crazy Horse Monument. As usual, I will use this blog to provide verbal and pictorial updates. I am also hoping to arrange for someone to use my Facebook account to give updates on my progress in the BH100, since it doesn't appear that race management will provide live updates.
There is much to pack! Take Care - ST