This is it! I’ve come down to the last couple of days before I toe the line at my first 100 mile race – Javelina Jundred! I think back to a few years ago when I told my friend Tracy that going 100 miles is something I have absolutely no aspirations of ever doing. Never. Nope. Not for me. Funny how a little time can change all that.
Right now there are so many feelings, emotions, and thoughts going on:
I Am Nervous
And I should be nervous because 100 miles is a pretty darn long way to go! As time ticks closer to race day, the nervousness certainly increases, but I know deep down I did the training, both physical and mental. We all know the physical aspect that is necessary going into such a distance, but aside from any catastrophic injuries occurring, this race is going to come down to my mental game. Do I have it? Is it strong enough? I know I have everything I need packed and ready to go, so my body has everything it needs. Does my mind? I’ve meditated on and visualized this race more times than I can count and my mind knows it’s going to be challenged more than it’s ever been challenged before.
I Am Scared
I’m scared of getting severely sick from the heat. Right now the temperature appears to be a blistering hot 92 degrees on Saturday. That’s pretty toasty. When I ran Leona Divide in 2013, temperatures were around there and even got up to 100F and I wasn’t even nearly going to be out there as long as I will be at Javelina, and I DNF’d at Leona that year. The heat scares me. But that’s why I spent a good chunk of time heat training – running during the hottest part of the day, wearing multiply layers of clothes when it was cool, and sitting in a dry sauna anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes in 160 degrees Fahrenheit, a few times each week since August when I wasn’t running in the heat. I know I’m going to be exposed to the beating sun for a majority of the race, so I know staying up on hydration and electrolyte intake, and trying to stay as cool as possible, are going to be key. But I’m still scared.
I’m also scared I’ll get injured. I’m scared I’ll roll an ankle, or my body won’t feel like cooperating and that’ll be the end of my race. I’m scared all my training will go to waste on a short day. I’m scared because of that, my pacer won’t be able to pace me. I’m absolutely terrified of that. I’m not the only person who invested time, energy, and money into this race. Others who are there to support me have also. With that said, I’m scared enough to slow down and be cautious of how I’m feeling and aware of any out-of-sort issues, so none of those fears become a reality.
I Am Excited
This is by far the biggest and baddest events I’ve ever been a part of and I’m deliriously excited about it! I’m excited about running with some friends for a minute or two. I’m excited about meeting my Ultra Ordinary Running Podcast cohost, Melissa and her husband Rob. (Side note: I’m not excited about the fact I don’t get to meet Angela. *sad face*). I’m excited about seeing race director Jamil Coury’s glorious hair (ok this may or may not actually happen). I’m excited about testing my body and seeing how far I can push it and what it can accomplish. I’m excited about finding out what I’m capable of doing. I’m excited about 100 miles in the Arizona desert!
I Am Stronger
I’m not the same runner and person I was a year ago, heck not even a few months ago! When I signed up to go 100 miles, I knew I had to change. I knew I had to do more than what was expected from any other distance I’ve done. Because of that, I demanded more from my body and mind, and really tested myself with the training I did. All those challenging training sessions I had – trekking up and coming down Mt. Baden-Powell and Mt. Baldy, a day on the Backbone Trail, the training runs that made me cry, and the ones that made me question my sanity – were all worth it! Every single training session was worth it! Training when I was tired, hungry, sore, hot, sleep deprived, when I didn’t feel like it…those tough and challenging runs broke me down, built me up and I got through them. And I know I can get through Javelina.
I Am Determined
I don’t think I’ve ever been so focused and determined on a race before in my life! I may have already written this in my previous post, but it’s true. I’ve invested so much time and energy into this race because I wanted to. It’s what I signed up for. I made this race a priority in my life and said no to things that were not. I am determined to finish this race no matter how long it takes, barring any major catastrophic injuries, and by catastrophic I mean, like a bone is sticking out of my leg.
I Am Grateful
When those dark and tough and painful moments occur, because I know they will, I will resort to this very fact of how grateful I am to be able to do this in the first place. Having the opportunity to train, and run, and be a part of this event is something I do not take for granted. I am truly grateful for this huge learning experience and the adventure that awaits me! This year has already been an unbelievable adventure!
I Am Setting Goals
Have fun. Finish. Don’t get lost. Don’t get sick. Don’t get injured. Don’t die. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
I Am Thankful
I may have done the physical work to get here, but I could not have done this race without the help of so many people!! First off, my family has been enormously supportive, encouraging, loving, and understanding. They know what this race means to me, even though they may have thought I was a little batty, and had gone off the deep end once I said I was thinking about 100 miles. I could not have done this without them.
I am truly thankful for the friends who ran with me, trained with me, and offered me so much advice and words of wisdom. I took everything people said to me about how to train, how to run 100 miles, about Javelina, and absorbed every single word. They were so supportive and encouraging and it’s been a wonderful journey this year with them. Thank you John, Melody, Crystal, Mitch, Nancy, Ta’Mara, Dave, and Jim!
I Am Ready
Like all races, this weekend is a celebration. It’s a celebration for all the miles, the hills, early mornings, midday runs, late night runs, double workout days, core work, strength training, the sore feet, achy knees, hours in the “hot box,” and I’m going to enjoy this weekend’s “running party in the desert!” Yeah, I am ready!
Thank you for reading!