|50 miles in at Umstead and feeling the heat.|
I could have easily walked those 13 miles and have been well under the time needed to get a belt buckle for the event. Yet the exhaustion from the day and the fact I was going to China in twelve days to run a marathon as the guest of a shoe company named Li Ning made me decide that I needed to live to run another day. Did it sting? Absolutely. But this day I know I made the right decision. Ironically, the run in China was marked by food poisoning but one cannot plan for those type of things and I had a blast nonetheless.
|The pain was about to start.|
Some 30 miles into the race I knew continuing on would be folly. My leg was killing me and in less than a month I had to take on the biggest challenge of my life. I wisely made the decision to stop at the 50 mile portion of the course and call it a day. Technically not a DNF as runners had the option to drop to the 50 mile race the decision still left me a little unsettled. The story has a happy ending as I went on to run the 202 miles and did what many never thought possible.
350 miles up the Oregon Coast, I knew I needed something else to keep me focused not only on the training necessary to complete this run but also to take my mind off of it at the same time. The idea to use a 100 miler again as a training run came up and I found one that I felt both gave me ample time to train for and also enough time to recover from in order to have it fit all my needs.
So this Saturday I will be in the Outer Banks in North Carolina taking on the inaugural Graveyard 100. It looks like it will be a race right in my wheelhouse. Cool temperatures, relatively low humidity and 100 miles on mostly flat road. Granted using the exact same muscles for 100 miles can be exhausting but the nature of the course, with next-to-no-thinking involved, allowing runners to zone out, is just what I like.
Now whether the weather fully cooperate, the course actually be what I want and what will occur in 100 miles of running are all questions which can only be answered on Saturday. Yet, I like my odds in this race and am eagerly looking forward to toeing the line. I hopefully will be seeing some friends I have not seen in quite sometime as well as some runners I have talked with for years and have never met. I will also have one of my very best friends along as my crew which will make the race so much more sweet.
Now I just have to survive the taper madness for a few more days.