Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Finishing what I started: Bighorn 100: Part I

Long ago and far away, I decided to run a 100 miler every other year until I hit 60 (years old, not 60 races). I completed the Leadville Trail. 100 when I was 52, 54 and 56 years old. When I was 58 years old, I was recovering from heel surgery, so I decided to postpone the next 100 miler for a couple of years.

In 2014, I set my sights on the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic  race. I gave it an honest try and dropped out at the 33 mile mark. In 2015 (I know, I was 61, not 60) I went back and dropped out at the 48 mile mark.

I swore I was done; I had passed the 60 year mark. But when registration opened again in the fall I was like a drunk at the liquor store. I went in just to look, not to buy. I walked out with my registration. I didn't tell anyone for a couple of weeks, until I finally admitted it to Cheryl who, for some odd reason, was very glad. She had gone as a pacer in 2015. She never got to pace and she was still waiting for her chance. Totally bizarre, if you ask me.

Slowly I admitted to other friends that I had registered, but was not yet open with Mary Ann (my spouse and crew) or Ranie (my pacer from the previous two years). I knew that they were a bit upset with my previous lack of performance and persistence at beating my head against a wall. When I finally admitted it, they both came on board, initially somewhat reluctant but then fully engaged and supportive. Another local runner, 31 year old Rachel, told me she had signed up for Wasatch. I told her she should pace me at Bighorn to get a feel for what a 100 is like. She readily agreed. My team was now complete.

Training was good. No injuries, no problems, no melt downs. I experimented with nutrition. I did heat training. I was in great spirits. This year there would be no excuses.

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