Yesterday afternoon I received a Facebook message from a friend who will be running Infinitus next weekend, inquiring which distance race I was running. I told her the 48 hour option. She replied with something along the lines of “bummer, I was hoping to win, but you are fast.”
I LLLOL’d. That’s Literally and Loudly Laughed Out Loud. (You can roll your tongue when you pronounce the acronym. Like llama.) In fact, I may have scared some people in the gym with my somewhat maniacal laughter. It was absolutely hilarious to me, though I suppose completely flattering, that someone considered me possible competition at all, never mind a viable candidate for first place.
Me, an ultra virgin who has never run more than a 50K. (Though, I suppose *technically* that counts as an ultra? For all intents and purposes in this case, it does not).
Me, the girl who didn’t even train specifically for this race. (And when do I ever? I sometimes embarrass myself with the level of “Do as I say, not as I do” that comes out of me as a professional.)
I’m not kidding when I say that this is undeniably, hands down, THE stupidest thing I’ve ever attempted.
I wrote back, refraining from using the term “bless your heart” (I’m practicing my Southern, ya’ll) and instead replied that I was barely even in marathon shape, never mind 100 miles (my goal for the 48 hours). Truth be told, I have absolutely no business running an ultra marathon.
Needless to say I am not to be considered a threat….especially considering the friend asking had just finished 100 miles, all by herself, on a 10K loop course, just the month prior. And then expressing my concern in the “I’m gonna die, aren’t I?” sort of way, she replied:
“It’s all a mind game. You know that. 100 (miles) isn’t bad”.
100 miles ISN’T bad. I can’t even wrap my mind around running 50 miles, never mind 100. That’s a long drive in a car, never mind on my feet. I was immediately in awe over this kickass woman who didn’t think running/walking/traversing 100 miles at one time was a big deal at all, and also profoundly aware of the fact that the crowd I hang out with (the endurance community in general) is simply not quite right in the head.
I love it.
(And to the friend I’ve kept anonymous, I truly do appreciate your pep talk and kind words. Can’t wait to see you out there!)
Last night I spent some time seriously contemplating my packing list for the race, and I realized I don’t even know what I’m doing there, either. I’ve got all of the physical running/hiking gear staples (including these sweet
samsquanch Bigfoot gaiters)…
…but I’m kind of clueless as to what I’m going to need or even WANT 24+ hours into this nonsense. “Do you think cold pizza might taste good 73 miles in?” I asked Geoff, who nodded his head in “I can’t believe we are actually going to attempt this” reluctant agreement. Geoff, an experienced adventure racer, at least has the whole racing-without-sleeping thing down, even if his hundreds of miles included bicycles and kayaks. I, on the other hand, am completely and utterly winging this.
So why in the hell am I even attempting this race?
Because I can.
Because I live in this gorgeous state (for 13 more days) with amazing trails, mountains, and views, and I want to see as much of it as I can before I go.
Because I have awe-inspiring friends who not only think it’s fun to line up for such torture, but pay good money and take precious time away from their families to do so. I enjoy every second I get to spend in the presence of these kick ass people.
But mostly, I’m attempting this race because I have these feet, these legs, these lungs, and this heart that say I am capable of doing ridiculous, amazing things.
So why the hell not.
I may only make it 20 miles, or I may even make it more than 100 miles. I’m telling myself I’m going all 100 to earn that buckle simply to avoid giving myself an easy out, but the reality is my mind is simply open for an amazing weekend, whatever that may end up being. I’m going to rely on my ten years of running experience and this ridiculous, stubborn, doesn’t always know what’s best but will try it anyway brain of mine to carry me through.
But for now…will someone please tell me what I should pack?