Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

I guess there's no point crying over spilled milk. R&I is not happening in 2010. Time to move on.

I have considered my options carefully. I had already planned on training for the 100 miler at Haliburton next September. That's one of my A races, but it's way out in September. I'm a forward looking guy but I need something closer to get me excited.

My BQ is still good for 2010; I could do that but I find that an A race is about emotion and Boston (and other large marathons) fails to excite me. Actually, this year I DNS (Did Not Start) Boston so I could run a local 52k trail race (Mudpuppies) instead. Didn't regret it (except maybe when a guy I ran with told me he was Flying the next day so he could do both. You can do that?).

For the first time, I'm picking a goal race that I'm not sure I can finish. After discussing it with my coach Derrick, who thinks it's a strech but doable, here it is: I'm going to run the Susitna 100 in Anchorage, Alaska in February.

The Susitna 100 is not a stage race like R&I. You run it in one go, carrying pretty much everything you need. There are 3 divisions: bike, ski, foot. Obviously, I will be running it. The time limit is 48 hours, which means I will have to sleep on the side of the trail somewhere at least once, probably twice. The aid stations are few and far between and offer mainly water. The winning time is well over 24 hours.

My big hangup is the distance. One Hundred Miles. By February. So little time to train. Still, I have built a solid base this year. I feel so strong right now, that emotionally, I am CERTAIN that I can run 100 miles, given the right pace. The memories of total physical exhaustion after Haliburton (hell, after all ultras) are gone. The Cartesian side of my brain tells me that I my odds of finishing are not 100%. There are a lot of moving pieces in that project.

So here's a rough outline of my 2010 races:

February - Susitna 100 miler
May - Sulphur Spring 50 miler
September  Haliburton 100 miler

I will do some of the OUS races as well, or course.

Like Alice, I'm falling down the rabbit hole, with no bottom in sight. I find myself in a strange universe, populated by crazy people doing extraordinary things. Strange thing is, I'm not looking for the way out.


Hone said...

Good deal on the Susitna 100 choice. I ammost likely gunna run this year as well but since it is only 4 weeks after the HURT I might be out there for a while.

I am serious about you Canadians having a place to stay when you come up. It will help you save some cash. My place is small but we can all fit.

David said...

Holy crap, really. That is quite a lot to chew off. Start building that Pulk and sleeping in freezers.

Love it:February offers the most brutal environment an Alaskan winter can summon. Fortunately, near-death experiences in the race are rare, but competitors have and will continue to suffer frostbite and hypothermia, the two principal pre-cursors to tragedy on the course. This fact alone justifies the continuing requirement to carry mandatory gear.

Derrick said...

It's going to be a hell of an adventure for sure! Fun stuff.

Long days ahead.

JD said...

It will be epic.

Evan: I'll be out there long after you.

David: It is exciting. It's not like Yellowknife is a beach destination. Average temperatures are much warmer in Anchorage (-3/-11) in February than in Yellowknife (-13/-24) in March.

I got my tire ready. I'll have my belt and bungee ready by the weekend.

David said...

Sweat management will be Crucial with this one.

Tire? :)

I get to pull mine for the first time tomorrow.

What are you using for a Belt?

Picture of mine

JD said...

Nice setup! I have a few extra fuel belts I could use. I'm hoping the Velcro will be enough to keep it closed. I also have an old rock climbing harness that I need to look at.

Derrick said...

Nope...velcro won't hold.

1.5-2 inch clip/buckle is good. The climbing harness would work, but will drive you nuts getting in and out of it when you want to get things out of your pulk. A substandial waistpack with good size compartment would be best.

Lots to discuss and play with in pulk design.

David said...

I have one of these that I am using - buckles up - putting the rope through the holes in the bottle holders. It would be better to have the rope connections at the outersides/hip area - going to play with that.
Maybe Kim will be out at 6:00am tomorrow for some action shots :)

JD said...

I think that for now at least, my climbing harnest, minus the leg straps, will be fine. There's a solid loop (obviously) where I can snap the rope on and off instead of taking the harness off when I need to get to the pulk.

Something like this:

I've hung in the air wearing that puppy, it's not going letting go without my say-so.

Nature Girl said...

I just looked at some of the photos. Oh man, that's going to be great! Can I come too!?!
So excited for you.