Thursday, March 4, 2010

26.2+ 5=50K or What's Another Five Miles Anyway?

I had a plan. Determine how I felt about trail racing at Hagg Lake 25K. Do an 18-20 mile trail run at elevation with my husband during spring break. If I survived and felt good about that training run, I would register for Siskiyou Out Back 50 (ominously referred to S.O.B. Sumbitch? Sob, I'm so miserable I'm crying?). This seemed to be the next logical step but I wasn't yet ready to make the plunge. I needed that extra assurance that, yes, I could indeed do this. Registration opened March 1st. My trip to Bend was scheduled for March 20th-28th. I had plenty of time to warm up to this idea.

I was informed that there were already 100 runners who signed up for S.O.B on the first day of registration. There is a field limit of 225 runners. Last year the race filled by June 1st. Shall I closely monitor the number of entrants on ultrasignup and postpone registration as long as I could? Would I have time to stick with "my plan". God, I hate it when "my plan" is messed with! I kept thinking of training for my first marathon. One of my reoccurring thoughts was "This seemed like a good idea at the time." During my first marathon I saw my husband and daughters around mile 22, put on a brave face, accepted a fresh water bottle of Gu2O and firmly told them "NEVER AGAIN". At the time I figured that this distance running business was just a fluke. A small, random blip in my tendency to pick up bizarre time consuming, wallet-draining hobbies. Marathons were the gateway drug. From there I moved to trails and now to trail ultras or so I hoped. A 50K in July. A 50 miler in the fall. Next thing I know I'll be surgically removing my toenails! First things first, I needed to take the plunge into the unknown. Voices in my head kept telling me that if I wasn't convinced that it was a good plan now that it's likely that I wouldn't think it was at the peak of my training or worse yet at mile 27 of the actual race.

I didn't know what to do. I scoured the S.O.B website collecting as much data as I could. I grilled my husband about his experience with this race, his knowledge of me and my training and then I took a leap of faith, charged the paltry 44 dollar entry fee (are you kidding me? I'll eat at least that much worth at the aid stations alone!) to my debit card and registered for the event before it filled up or I chickened out, whichever came first. So much for the best laid plans. That John Lennon knew what he was talking about when he said "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."


  1. As that hubby who handed you a bottle of Gu2o and offered my experience and advice, I've got more advice and encouragement.

    When you began the distance runner journey less than 2 years ago you were working out at the gym occasionally, unhappy with many little things in your life and ready for change. Then you decided to put an incredibly large challenge in front of yourself - completing a marathon. In less than 5 months you went from running 3 miles to running a marathon.

    You jumped back into it and ran another one 8 months later and more than a minute per mile faster. Each time you have placed a goal in front of yourself it has been difficult, challenging, attainable, and accomplished it.

    You can run 50K in July at elevation, and have the time of your life, because you want to make it happen. If you chose to run 50 or 100 miles (removing toenails is optional), you would accomplish that is well.

    Some people choose the easy path in life and find little of value and purpose in it. You have done otherwise. To quote one of our favorites from Robert Frost:

    "Two paths diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

    You can and will make it, because you believe you can.

  2. You can so do this! I also have watched you over these last few years. You have evolved into a woman who knows herself, more confident, stronger (mentally & physically), and happier.......There are many wonderful things in life waiting for you to accomplish!

    You are the captain of your ship! I am so proud of you!