09 February 2013

Anticipation and Anxiety

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

In this Year of the Ultra, my primary racing season will be from Feb – May with a summer off season and picking up the training again in the fall for a couple more races.  Having an off season in the summer is odd, but this is the prime time to spend Saturdays with the kids and get them out for family adventures.  Unless I happen to pace someone, I’ll be watching the big races online and cheering for my favorites.

I'm happy with the mix of races I have for the year – a 55k, two 50ks, two marathons (one trail, one road) and a 25 miler.  Seemed like a good way to move into ultras without overdoing it.  Some have significant vert and/or technical trails, others, not so much.  I still enjoy marathons, so I'm keeping them on the schedule. My one road race (Chicago) will be the 15th anniversary running of my first marathon there in 1998.  I'm looking forward to bringing my high altitude lungs to the Windy City and besting my 20-something self.

The Red Hot 55k is coming up next Saturday and I’m starting to get the butterflies now.  The past several weeks I’ve run with people who are faster than me and that has affected my confidence.  People keep asking me if I feel ready. How can I feel ready for something I've never done?  I do know that running the full race distance in training isn't necessary, thanks to race-day adrenaline.  I also know that my legs will be hurting well before I hit the halfway point, so I’ll have at least 20 miles of suffering before it’s over.  Finishing and feeling good about the experience is what I’m hoping for.  More specifically, I just hope to stay ahead of the sweeper.  If I happen to come in under 7 hours, I’ll probably pee my pants from excitement.  Just sayin’.

             Montrail                vs                 Scott

Drum roll please... After more than a month of wrestling with my choices, I've decided on the shoes to wear in Moab. As much as I love the stability and traction I get with my Mountain Masochists, the pain in my heels and instep were too much for 34 miles and slickrock.  I saw a review here on the Scott eRide Grip 2 and decided to give them a try.  I’ve been wearing them around the house this week and loving every cushiony step.  Took them out on my 13 miler this morning and the aggressive outsoles performed well in the snow, scree and the technical terrain. Best of all, my feet felt good the entire time.  Glad to have that finally settled.

Speaking of today, I had a funtastic run with new folks hitting some familiar and not-so-familiar trails in Cheyenne CaƱon.   Had great convo with Chelsea and Sheila – Chelsea is an adventure racer (rad!) and Sheila is a 100 mile queen (boss!).  I hope to run with these lovely ladies again when I can.

View from the Columbine Trail
Chelsea, me & Sheila

Selfie with Sheila
Post-run berry-nana-protein smoothie
In honor of my friends in New England who spent the day digging themselves out of Nemo -- Justin McKinney feels your pain (Warning: Language): 

And so, the countdown to Moab begins... T-7!

Happy Trails,


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