Between CMMM and Bear 100 a lot happened, even thought maybe not too much running....
My first 100 miler, the culminating endpoint to my First Ultra-marathoning season. Every run, every post, every thing I've given of myself for athletic purpose was spent with the intention of successfully completing my first 100 mile run within the year. And now I have.
As many of you know, I race a lot, more than most runners or ultra-runners, though I rarely "race" at maximal effort, utilizing these races as training runs. Nonetheless there are limits, temporarily of course. Limits can be met and pushed but with very little doubt in my mind I was overtrained for the last 2 to 3 months pre: Bear 100, give or take as my training varied from rest to training to race to rest and so on. But by the beginning of September, my drive to run, to train had begun to decrease, conveniently I was also beginning my taper so I hoped it would balance out.
The first week of September I was prepped for my first triathalon in D.C, Nations TRI.... needless to say, as there was no posting about this accomplishment, it failed, or rather it never even began. Too much stress involved in a sport that I lack so much information and skill. And as it turned out I was left to figure it out alone. The frustration and the flat tire culminated in my having a very pleasant panic attack and crying to friends on the phone as drove home from the check-in to the race feeling very defeated. I'd never failed to do well, but this was even worse, I failed to even begin. And the worst part of it all, I was more upset that I wasn't upset.
So I got past this little bump in the road but continued for whatever reason to experience a great deal of stress. Being 25 and confused about your life, your career and your entire "self" is Not so profound, Im sure nearly everyone can relate, nonetheless at given moments here and there it can seem like a massive problem. And so, I took on the beginnings of re-designing my future. Many discussions, ideas, emails all flying about my little universe. So I wasn't coping with everything as well I'd like to.
Then it was Off to Ohio for The Air Force marathon with Frank. The trip was short and pleasant. Getting my friend to his first 4hr marathon goal was wonderful, except I honestly spent a riduculous portion of the 26.2 miles in my head thinking "oh no, my feet hurt, my knees ache, I can't possibly run 100 miles" and "Wow, this course is not that exciting to me, and I really wouldnt mind if I wasn't running right now." Perhaps needless to say, this is not my normal attitude Re: running any distance.
Now I was beginnining to freak out with only 2 weeks to go I had no more time contemplate my training. It was done, it was time to really taper, cut milage and try to relax and mentally prepare.
I celebrated my 26th birthday @ work by getting my required flu shot the day prior and after work during a very delicious dinner with friends I suddenly felt quite sick, viral... a slight fever, burning eyes, heavy fatigue, headache, slight nausea and sore throat. I thought it would pass over night like most of my "colds" do but instead the migraine-like symptoms continued for the following 5 days. Between the race nearing and feeling awful I wasn't myself and feared everyone could tell.
Everyone I spoke to, said it was alright and to be expected before a race such as Bear 100, but my inability to cope with my anxiety was an embarrassment to me which of course only created more anxiety... Yes, I have a few things to work on. Anyway I think I worried a few people, drove a couple nuts, but for the most part I was comoforted by a great deal of love and support that I only hope I can return.
So I was clamer, I knew what, when and where I was going, just not HOW to run 100 miles, but that was TBD. So after a nice run with Back on my Feet and gift of some amazing muffins I was on my way to Salt Lake City Utah where I would meet Collin and finish my preparation for Bear 100.
Upon arrival to SLC, after some time @ the University of Utah where Collin had a class he needed to attend, we drove up to Brighton Ski area and went for short 4-5mi jog/ hike to let me see how 10,000' felt. And it felt like death. My lungs burning, my heart throbbing, my throat sore from sucking wind , but my legs still moving steadily @ just about 4mph. It was do-able... and my race only peaked at 9, 040' so nothing to worry about right? Except maybe that I could notice the struggling effort begin somewhere around 8,200'. Well, I could only do my best, and the only goal was to finish.
Thursday before the race, we attended the race meeting, check-in and I ate a bagel with peanut butter and an apple for dinner ( A LOT of peanut butter ;) ). And then we proceeded to set up camp and after final preparations for myself, and my crew, I was in bed by 8pm.