We decided to attempt the Rocky Raccoon 100, a first for all three of us, back in the early summer. It seemed so far away. In late August, we each started our own 6-month training plan, with none of us running exactly the same but each of us running more or less between 50-70 miles a week.
So far our training has gone well. We are an extremely disciplined group. We simply do not show up on race day unprepared. “Winging it” is not something we understand.
To that end, we were just texting about how weird our running reality has become as we increase mileage and back-to-backs. It is clear we take this event very seriously.
I recently found myself telling my husband, “I am just going out for 20 miles. Shouldn’t be gone that long.” We literally run in the middle of the night, our most recent being 10PM-2AM. We run to marathon starts, run the race, and then run a little more. While running the Tucson marathon, Kevin mentioned some of the other runners had just run NY a month ago. I had to remind him we had run a 50K just two weeks ago. Our back-to-backs have become outright ridiculous! This weekend I did a 31-20-16, Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Who does such things?! I write this not to say, “look at how much we run,” but instead because it is only now – with five weeks to go – that I am realizing how much we actually need to run to complete an event at this distance. It really does take 6 months of building up both physically and mentally.
But we tell ourselves, better to keep-on-keeping-on then to show up undertrained. Even my non-running husband has come to understand this, because let’s face it, running is a family affair even if only one family member is a runner. In fact, just yesterday when I didn’t want to head back out for another 3 hours, he reminded me, “Five more weeks. You need to do this run.”
I am confident we will all finish, baring any major injury or illness. But I am equally confident it will be very difficult. I am most worried about nutrition. I don’t know how our bodies will react after 70 miles and it concerns me.
Kim, Kevin and I have run together for over half a decade, completing multiple endurance runs with each other. This has proven super helpful in training, and I am sure it will bare fruit on race day. We know each other’s pace, breathing, strengths, and quirks. We are comfortable enough to allow one another to run their own race, while knowing when we need to stick together. And it doesn’t hurt that we genuinely like each other and have fun on our crazy adventures.
We have a number of incredible friends from SVRC who have raised their hands to travel to Texas and pace us. Allan, Charles, and Craig will all be there. Carrie would have come except for a bad injury that has her sidelined. Kim’s daughter and husband, Kevin’s ultramarathon friend, Robert, and my brother, Mark, will all be there. We didn’t have to ask anyone twice. In fact, with Charles, we didn’t even need to ask! He just said, “I’m coming to pace you guys.” Every member of what we now call “Team 100!!” is sacrificing 3-5 days just to help us out, let alone run with us for 20 miles at 0-dark-thirty. Truly remarkable.
If all goes according to plan we should be done anywhere between 20 hours (if you use Kim’s math) and 26 hours (if you use Julianne’s math). We start at 6:00AM on February 4th. If you have any desire to know more, you can check out the website. http://www.tejastrails.com/Rocky.html