Happy New Year! Can you believe 2017 is officially in the books?! A part of me wanted to write up this huge long end-of-year recap but truthfully, there really wasn’t much to recap.
Somehow, I managed to squeak in 1,177 miles for the year which included only one race – Leona Divide 50K in April. It’s amazing how little consistent bites of miles add up and I gotta say I’m surprised I even hit 1,000 miles for the year. Running a mile is a gift so anything above that is a true blessing and I’m thankful for every step.
When I ended 2016, I set my intentions for 2017 to take it easy and take a break. No multiple races. No big mileage. I wasn’t even planning on doing any races at all. While 2016 was called, “The Year of the Ultras,” 2017 was going to be a year of “R and R.” That is, Recovery and Rebuilding. Not sure what 2018 will be called but I sure hope “Epic” is part of it.
The butterflies showed up early on race morning and I wasn’t expecting them. It’s always normal for me to feel a little nervous before a race, but my stomach was in total knots.
So I did what I always do: I took deep breaths and told myself, “One foot in front of the other. That’s all. No pressure. Just relax.”
Prior to last weekend’s Griffith Park Trail Races (GPTR) which consisted of a Half Marathon, Marathon, and newly featured 50K, this was the only Keira Henninger race I have not been involved with in some way, shape, or form. She organizes seven races – that I know of – so I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got to this one. But the GPTR have been the only races where I have not volunteered, nor participated in.
I went into Javelina Jundred — my first 100 mile race — feeling as prepared as I could be. When I started to look at the 10-day forecast, the Phoenix area had a high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and wouldn’t that have been nifty if it actually stayed that way? But as each day passed and inched closer to race day, the temperature also increased. When I arrived on Thursday, there was a record setting temperature of 100 degrees that day, but I didn’t let it phase me. I trained for the heat and I had no control over what it is. All I knew was, Saturday was going to be a hot one, but I didn’t know what I was in for. But isn’t that the whole point of me doing 100 miles? To find out.
This past Monday, on August 22nd, I was reminded by the Facebook that “On This Day” in 2015, I was doing the Bulldog 50K. I remember that day like it was yesterday and this weekend I’d like to make better memories of it and finish what I didn’t do last year.
After only completing the 25K distance in 2012, last year was my first attempt at the 50K distance on the Bulldog course. Not an easy task. Even one loop still isn’t easy. And let’s just put to rest any rumors floating out there about any “easy” ultra distances. If a mountain is involved, you better believe there will be work to do. And those “flat” ultras…there is still distance to contend with.
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have my Miwok 100K race recap! Aha! You thought I was going to say “the facts of life” didn’t you? Actually I understand there may be a generation gap not aware of the old 80’s tv show “The Facts of Life” but trust me, that first sentence definitely applies to the race I just had.
Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, I’m going to share with you what my mom always tells me whenever I feel any ounce of nervousness: Don’t Worry.
And that’s my approach to the Miwok 100K. I’m not going to worry. Even with rain in the forecast.
In a few days I’ll be attempting my longest race distance at the Miwok 100K. In truth I have no idea what to expect, and that’s a scary, yet exciting aspect to running this race, this distance, and ultras in general. Because THIS. This, is all new territory!
There were a couple of great reasons for me to run the Leona Divide 50K. One reason was for me to tie up loose ends, and seek redemption at a race which was supposed to be my first ultra marathon when it turned out to be my first DNF. Another reason had something a little bigger on the line and that is, it served as a training run for my next race, the Miwok 100K. Leona was going to give me a snapshot of what I might be up against when I face my longest race distance yet coming up in a few short weeks, but I’ll get to that in another post because this is all about Leona.
Going into this running year and planning my training for the BIG race, Javelina Jundred, I knew every race I signed up for would have a purpose. No novelty just-for-the-heck-of-it races are on my agenda, so you won’t see me signing up for a “Run for Churros 5K” or a “Taco Taco 10K.” Wait, do those exist?
Unless they’re long distances, forgettaboutit. One race I put at the top of my list was the Leona Divide 50K.