|My next race includes some hurdling.|
So that means it's time to talk about what happened last year. I signed up for the inaugural Gold Rush pretty much as soon as I heard about it. It was perfect timing on my schedule and I was totally amped about running another ultra. Training went really well. I won't say that I was completely prepared, though, because I really didn't pre-scout the course much, but I was doing plenty of mileage and I felt great. The only things I worried about were the time cutoff and the weather. The time cutoff was aggressive, which meant that I was going to have to run my absolute best or miss it, and the weather was predicted to be an unusually blistering 95+ degrees. You know I don't do well in the heat. It's my own fault, of course, since I rarely make myself train in the heat, but still. As is my usual MO, I fretted endlessly and I gotta admit, my confidence was not at an all-time high race morning.
It ended up being the perfect storm of sucking: the weather was brutal, my nerves were stretched too thin, and I went out too fast to try and catch that cutoff. I was crying, dehydrated, puking, and more than just a little delirious from heat exhaustion when I missed the time cutoff at Mile 44. DNF.
So why the hell did I sign up again this year? In a word, redemption. I want this finish. I deserve this finish. And here's how I'm going to get it:
- I recruited UIH to run with me. Company is good when the trail gets lonely, and UIH is the best company ever!
- I trained waaaaaaaay more miles. (Was that even a complete sentence? The grammar is atrocious.) My recovery/cutback/I'm-feeling-lazy base mileage recently is what my super peak training used to be last year. My legs have a whole lot of miles on them and they can totally handle this.
- I... wait for it... actually trained in the heat. I know you're shocked. Believe me, so am I. In fact, I didn't even set out to do heat training, it just sort of happened. Which is why it's been so successful, because you know I wouldn't make myself do that shit if I didn't have to. My schedule is so freakin' crazy lately with lots of clients - this is NOT a complaint! I love being busy! - and I've found myself squeezing in my own training later and later in the day. Plus I have a running client who can only meet in the afternoons and evenings, so I've even been running some doubles. Suddenly, I find myself running comfortably in temperatures above 75 degrees. Who knew that was even possible?
- I trained on the actual course. Nothing beats knowing what's coming on race day. I've seen every single mile of this course, and none of it made me cry. So I got that going for me!
- The Gold Rush RD gave me an extra hour to finish this year. Okay, they actually gave everybody an extra hour. I suspect they were a little disappointed with the 81 finishers out of 250+ starters last year. Ya think?
So far, the weatherman is predicting a high of 85 on Saturday, which means that I am predicting my fifth ultramarathon finish. Woo hoo!