Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost There

Driving 100 miles on the highway, at 60 miles an hour, takes about an hour and a half. On rural roads, going at about 45mph it can takes well over two hours and it's a fairly long car ride.

As September 11th approaches, the sheer absurdity of running a hundred miles is starting to assert itself. It doesn't matter that I've done it once before. That experience has taken a dream-like quality where all I can remember is relentless, neverending forward motion but without much emotional content, except for a few exhilarating moments which I remember with amazing clarity. I am not certain how that race will help me at Haliburton, except for the fact that it at least proves that I'm crazy enough to do it.

Unexpectedly, I have found people willing to pace me. I still cannot believe it. One of my co-worker, his wife and possibly their son are going to drive all the way from Quebec City, a friggin' long drive, to run with me overnight. They offered spontaneously; I never asked! Unbelievable. They will relay each other, driving from aid station to aid station and resting while one of them runs with me so I will have both a pacer AND a crew!

The fact that it takes 2 or 3 average runners to be able to run 40 miles with me, an average ultrarunner, even after I've already run 60 by myself, really drives home how alien ultrarunning is. Obviously, their fear that I will run too fast for them is hilarious. I keep trying to describe how tired I'm going to be but it has hit home yet. They have never been at an ultra so they are in for a treat when they see my face on Saturday night. Last weekend they bought head-lamps and they are really excited about the whole running-in-the-dark-with-the-bears (and wolves) thing and I think this is going to be an amazing boost to my morale. It almost feels like cheating, but I'll take it.

My clinic at the Running Room is going well. I have a core group of runners who are pretty motivated, show up at most practice runs and probably run on their own when they don't come. Sunday on my long run after the clinic, I actually saw one of "my people" running on the Discovery Trail, after having overslept and missed the practice. I was so proud of her. It's so hard to start running and even harder to keep it up for long enough so that you start identifying as a runner. I really enjoy the fact that it's a beginner's clinic. It's harder in the sense that a lot of people seem to have given up already but on the other hand, the people who still come are really eager and ask a lot of questions.

Next weekend is the Iroquoia Trail Test, a "shorter" 32km race, but a tough one because of the really difficult terrain as well as the fact that people tend to take a wrong turn a leat once for some reason. Probably because one has to keep their eyes on the trail. Derrick wants me to run it fairly strong so I will probably suffer a bit. I've trained on the Rattlesnake Point trails quite a few times and the ITT course uses some of those so this will hopefully help a bit. Wish me luck.


Derrick said...

Ummm.....wasn't it relaxed for the first loop 8km, steady for the next 12km, then strong for the last 12km? Just to clarify;)

JD said...

Steady+strong = fairly strong

chris mcpeake said...

CYA there.
My knee will keep this one very slow for me. I got to get it healthy for Haliburton