Monday, May 14, 2007

The journey of 100 miles begins with 1 step...and a sharp kick to the ass region.

I'm beginning this living record of my training for my first 100 mile race, strangely, on a non-training day. I bet it's symbolic or something like that.

My interest for running a hundred miler was initially sparked after I'd seriously taken up running for only 6 months. I was on the boards at coolrunning and in the "ultramarathon" forum, when I stumbled across a runner's race report from the Western States 100 miler. It was EPIC. I'd never heard of the race, although I had heard of people running distances longer than marathons, and reading his descriptions of his journies, both inner and outer, really spoke to me.

After finishing his report, I said it out loud: "I will run 100 miles someday."

In fact, the first race I'd ever run outside of a single 5k a few years prior, was a 25k (15.7 mile) trailrace in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was INTENSE, and I was hooked. I banged out a summer/fall of 15k-20k trail races, and somewhere around October, signed up for my first ultramarathon, a 50k race, at the Calico Ghost town. It was around mile 20 during this January race that I hooked up with my soon-to-be-bud, Bud, a lanky 59 year old who'd been running 100 milers for 20 + years. He referred to our 31.4 mile offroad race as a "training run". The hell was this guy smoking?

"50ks, those are fine; 50 milers, now you're gettin' somewhere, but 100 miles? That's where it's at!" he grinned at me as we padded along.

I ran the LA Marathon 6 weeks later and continued to train and race throughout the summer, hitting that original 25k race a 2nd year in a row, cutting 30 minutes off my finishing time. I signed up for my first 50 mile race on Catalina Island in January late that summer, and in September, was asked by Bud to run the last marathon distance of a 100 miler with him in October (race report located rightcheer). It was during the overnight portion of this race that I realized: This was the one.

I ran a "training run" 50k in Decemeber and ran my 50 miler in January, placing 42nd out of 160 + finishers. I knew I had it in me to do a 100, although I did manage to strain my IT Band enough that I was exclusively cross-training for 3 months, only in the past 4 weeks getting back to running 35+ miles/week and cycling one day to recover.

So here I go!

Above is me, after an hour + run 9 days ago at Griffith Park. The trees you see behind me have been burned to the ground in the brush fire that started last Wednesday!


Feminist Runner said...

1. You have a running blog!
2. I like that picture.
3. You are going to run 100 miles. Ha. Ha.

I cannot wait until this gets ugly...

Actually, I can't wait until race day when I shall gorge myself on candy waiting for you to cross the finish line. I don't know why I get candy. I just do.

Kate said...

Good luck with your training. I hope to do a 55 mile race in a few years... i look forward to hearing how your journey goes! (