A good friend convinced me in a moment of (me) not-really-thinking that running super far would be an excellent idea. So, we signed up for the Superior 100. It's 99% singletrack, point-to-point, with great views of Lake Superior and about 42,000 feet of elevation change along the way. My parents, one of my brothers, and Sophie (their Bernese Mountain dog) will be there to crew. I'm nervous to have my mom see me pushing myself so hard, but I look forward to using Sophie as a pillow after crossing the finish line...
Bella and I spent a lot of time in the front range this summer, exploring new peaks and finding the last remnants of snow. Later, when the rains set in, we shifted to trails on the Kenai.
I did my last significant long run in Michigan when visiting family. I wanted the experience of going through the night alone and seeing what it'd be like running technical trails with a headlamp. It was hard. Once I gave in and pulled out my ipod, Mos Def mixed with Marvin Gaye got me through to dawn.
I'll be sad to be without my training partner. Bella's been on just about every run and I'd love to have her there to pace me through the night. But, I refuse to fly with her and she could probably use a break from all the time on her paws anyway. In the meantime, she's been helping me get ready.
The Actual Event
We start the morning of Friday, September 5th. It's something of an old school race, and there won't be any fancy way to check real-time progress on the intertubes. I kinda doubt there will even be cell service...but maybe? Anyway, I will in all likelihood take a few photos along the way and share them here after finishing.
Well, things didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. The course is certainly challenging: constant elevation change and incredibly technical terrain. It's also super beautiful. The views along the way of Lake Superior and of small inland lakes were fabulous. It was also great having my family crew me. It gave me a huge mental boost to see them at checkpoints. I felt really strong, until I didn't. I foolishly changed my hydration and nutrition for race day, got hypernatremia, and went into full body shut-down. It was ugly. But, I'm so happy I tried! I met so many great people on the course and at the checkpoints. The ultra community is yet another amazing group of people I'm happy to county myself among. And, yeah, I would like to go back and try again. I still have lots of the course to see!