16 July 2009

trying not to fall apart

I am so scared -- I'm running my first 100 miler and I wonder, "Have I trained enough?" I haven't done enough back-to-backs. Did I taper too early -- my longest run was a 100k back in late May. I didn't do a night run. My stomach is full of butterflies, and this week I've tried to rest, not run around too much, eat lots of carbs, hydrate.

When I asked Brad back during the San Francisco North Face Challenge last December why he ran ultras and did adventure races, he barely paused to think. "You reach the highest of highs, the lowest of lows. The intensity of emotion."

He's right. The highs are so amazing -- nothing will match them. I remember during that race, running so fast (well, it felt fast -- it probably was only 7:3o or 8:00 minute miles!) through these beautiful Redwoods, feeling so free, so amazing. I love that free, amazing, absolutely high feeling. If that's what drugs are like, well, addicts, yes, I understand you because I'm addicted to RUNNING!

The lows can break you. It's the worst if you are in pain, but it's also horrendous if you're not in pain -- because then you don't even have an excuse. I can't tell you how many times I've cried during a long run in the woods. The worst was when I was completely lost in poison ivy; I cried and called T, my mom. Instead of doing a long 50 mile straight run, I did an out-and-back run which was quite tough, but at least I wasn't lost. I have to remember when I get to those black holes that it won't last. I have to think about the next aid station. I have to think about the rewards at the end, the sweet victory, that sense of accomplishment.

Right now, I'm overwhelmed with worries about the Vermont 100 Miler -- what if I get lost? What if I get hurt? What if I don't make weigh-ins? What if I get sick? What if --

I have to shut those out of my mind, and think, "What if I have fun?"

Yes, I will have fun. A blast. The greatest day of my life!

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