Mar 12, 2010

Umstead preview #1: I recognize this feeling

This is the same feeling I had two weeks before Rocky Raccoon.

Which must mean it's two weeks 'til we travel to Raleigh to run in the Umstead 100 mile endurance run. It'll be my second attempt at the 100-mile distance.

The first attempt was a year ago, in Huntsville, Texas, where I ran in the Rocky Raccoon 100, and dropped out of the race at 11:10pm, having completed 60 miles. Miles 40-60 took me almost 7 hours, the vast majority of that 7 hours being miles 50-60. My reasoning at the time was that another 7 hour lap would have me miss the 6am cutoff - they figure if you haven't gone 80 miles in 24 hours, you won't be going 100 miles in 30 hours.

My feelings at the time were of course different, but in retrospect I really wish I had gone out on that fourth lap - just to experience running all night long. Countless what-ifs have run through my head this year, and one way to get them answered is Umstead.

So, that is going to color my experience on Palm Sunday weekend when I go to Raleigh and make another run at 100 miles. In this case, the cutoff is 87.5 miles at 8am, after the sun comes up.

And yes, the nervous anticipation is indeed building. It's the same as last year. I feel like I think about the race almost every minute of the day. It's the same as before my first marathon. My first 50K, and my first two 50-milers. It peaks a week or so before the race, and then goes away completely days before as I get busy in preparations. I don't get that feeling anymore for events less than 50 miles, and since I don't describe "nervous anticipation" as pleasant, I don't mind having lost the feeling. I hope that one day I'll lose it for 100 milers, too - but, frankly, I doubt it - even after I complete a couple, the distance will still be intimidating.

One hundred miles
Turns out to be much more than
fifty miles twice.

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