Questionably Texan

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Zero to 100 in Nine Weeks

It wasn’t much more than a week ago that I was lamenting about the lack of adventure in my life.  Shortly after that post, my wife and I discussed me running the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile ultra in February.  I’ve been signed up for the sold-out race for a few months, but it didn’t look like I was going to be able to run the race for various reasons.  I hadn’t been able to bring myself to actually cancelling my registration (they have a very liberal cancellation policy compared to most races, and I could get the majority of the entry fee back).

Anyways, to make a long story short, we decided that I would run the race.  BUT, my wife won’t be able to make it there to ensure I don’t kill myself, I mean crew for me.  There is no way that I would have made it through my first 100-mile race without her being at every aid station making sure I was eating, drinking, and peeing enough.  So this race will be very different, as I’ll be on my own to take care of myself (minus the aid station workers, but I don’t expect them to force feed me the way my wife had to).  I also had a great pacer at my last 100, and I’ll also be running without his assistance.

Beyond the challenge of running 100 miles without a crew, there’s the small issue of training.  Since I didn’t think I’d be running the race, I haven’t actually been training for it.  With less than 9 weeks to go, I have no idea if I can get in enough training to make my race successful, but I’m sure going to try.  I don’t have a ton of free time to devote to long runs, but I’ll have to make room for some back-to-back 20+ miles runs, and I’ll most certainly be running twice on a lot of days.  I’ve got a base level of fitness from bike commuting and running on my lunch break, but the vast majority of my runs have been 4 to 5 miles long, with only a handful in the past four months being closer to or above 10 miles.

I took the day off of work today, for no reason other than it’s nearing the end of the year and my vacation days don’t carry-over.  Since it’s ‘use it or lose it’, you better believe I’m using it!  I had hoped to clean out the garage today, but all I’ve really gotten done was an 18.5 mile run.  Sadly enough, that is the longest run I’ve had in the last 12 months.  I managed to average 7:36/mile pace, but obviously pace will soon give way to distance as I focus my energy on training for the 100 mile race.

Ice bath, swimming pool in December, same thing

Ice bath, swimming pool in December, same thing

After the run, I hopped into our swimming pool for a pseudo ice bath.  I may or may not have sworn several times as I hopped in, but eventually I got about as used to the cold water as one could expect, and I sat down on the steps.  I threw the thermometer on the step under me, and it read 16C/60F.  It felt a lot colder than that, but evidently the temperature was close to the ideal ice bath temp of 12-15C (at least according to this site).   So, as the temperature outside continues to drop, so will the pool water, and soon enough I’ll have the perfect ice bath at my immediate disposal.  Plus, since we don’t have a pool cover, I’ve been having to clean out all of the leaves that blow into the pool, and there is very little that annoys me more than having to spend time cleaning the pool when I can’t be using it.  Now I have a reason to hop in, but there’s no way I’ll be doing it just for fun!

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