Final thoughts: ultramarathon edition.

Goals

I have three goals for Gnaw Bone:

  1. Finish in six hours.
  2. Finish in eight hours.
  3. Finish with legs.

I’m going to try for goal #1. If that one doesn’t work out, I’ll go for #2. If that doesn’t work out, I’m going to keep my head up and keep moving forward as strong as I am able.


Where my head at?

Last weekend, Ashley and I went to Brown County State Park, where the race is held, and scouted out the area. It’s incredible! Seeing the terrain didn’t intimidate me, as I thought it might. Seeing the park where I’ll be running rendered me almost uncontainably excited.

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That trip has made this week a little difficult, though. I’m too excited about getting onto the trails and running like a madman through the forest. But I can’t do that all week or I won’t be able to run at all on Saturday. So, I’ve run in Audubon and Angel Mounds, but I’ll spend the next few miles on the road. I’m not looking forward to it, since running on the road is nowhere near as fun as running on trails. But, when I go out to do trails, I push myself too hard, and that isn’t wise. So, it’ll be 4 flat miles tonight and another 4 tomorrow.


Where else my head at?

On one hand, I feel like I’ve captured Saturday’s race with a lasso, and I’m pulling as hard as I can to bring it closer and closer. On the other hand, a lot of my life (personal and professional) has already moved swiftly past this weekend. I have deadlines after May 9, and I’m keenly aware that when I’m hitting those deadlines, I’ll be done with Gnaw Bone, this single event that I’ve been training for for 20 weeks. It’s kind of an odd feeling. It seems like, for all the work I’ve put into it, this 50k should last weeks when it will only last part of a day. I guess the “weeks” I think this 50k should last have already gone. The work is the 553 miles run in 20 weeks. The prize is the 31 run in a day.

So I’ve tried to slow the madness in my mind. The days and hours won’t pause for me to go back and re-experience my first 50k – just like they didn’t wait for me to truly appreciate what I was accomplishing when I struggled through my first 5k.

Gnaw Bone will be difficult and long – but I’m challenging myself to keep my head in a positive space the whole time. This thing is going to hurt, and I’m going to have to keep working hard despite it.


Throw stuff in a bag and run around.

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So anyway. Tonight, I’ll be packing up some stuff for this weekend. I’ll have two drop bags, which will be at some of the aid stations on the course. They’ll have dry socks, new shoes, some nutrition, and some other things I might need. I’ll review the course one more time, making sure I know some of the ins and outs. Ashley will be meeting me at three points during the race, and a few other friends will be there too – which will be a welcome pick-me-up throughout the day.

It sounds a little complicated to put it all into words. But for my first ultra, I think it’s great to be very well prepared – perhaps even a touch overprepared. At the end of the day, I’m going to have a magnificent run in the woods.

Let’s go run!

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