Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lesson One: Two Wrongs DO NOT Make A Right

After Capitol Peak, I was pretty pissed off at myself for dropping down. Had I stopped and thought about it for two minutes, I think I would have continued on to complete the 50 miler, but I acted on split second panic alone. If how you act when under fire is the true test of character, my character was getting a D-. I am a grade grubber (or at least I was), so this did NOT sit well. I didn't like thinking I was weak, or scared, or too soft. So four days after Capitol Peak, I sent in my application to Angeles Crest 100.

The first day, I was really excited. AC100 works great for my schedule because we will already be in Southern California for my sister-in-laws wedding the weekend before. Plus, I've got the in-laws available to babysit the kids, which leaves Mac free to crew (a complete novelty for me). Plus, I grew up in Arcadia and hiked a ton in nearby Chantry Flats, so the area is somewhat nostalgic.

Two days later, I was in complete panic mode. "What the f*ck did I just do?!?" How am I going to be prepared to run a 100 miler? And what's more, why would I want to?? Sure, I know Chantry Flats and Mt. Wilson, but that is only about 5 miles of the course, what about the other 96?? (yeah, I know, I was even dumb enough to pick a 100 miler that is actually 101 miles!). Not to mention I started looking up all kinds of information on the web about AC100. Finishing times seem about 2 - 2.5 hours slower than Western States for people who have done both courses and in a ranking of "Hardest 100 milers" AC100 was ahead of WS100. Why didn't I at least look for the list of "Easiest 100 milers" and pick the #1?? And I hate being sleep deprived. And do you know how hot it can be in L.A. in September? I read race reports on, and most of them for AC100 are NOT good. Plus, THERE ARE RATTLESNAKES! Normally, I don't mind snakes, but rattlesnakes can strike unseen from the brush, so you'd be miles from civilization with deadly poison rapidly coursing through your vessels and exacerbated by your already high heart rate.

That night I had multiple stress dreams: I forgot my shoes, I kept vomiting, the hotel lost our reservation. I woke up at 4:30 in a complete adrenaline rush panic.

Fortunately, I've calmed down a bit in the last week. Looking back at Capitol Peak, I am still a little disappointed, but I think I've gotten it into perspective: In the grand scheme of things, it is not that big a deal. There will be another day for me to complete a 50 (like July 25th - PCT50!). And while doing a 50 is something that I really want to do, it really doesn't change who I am. Also, I was running really well at Capitol Peak, had awesome fueling and good hill climbing, I enjoyed the course, got a good workout, and still took 4th and won my age group even with 2-3 extra miles. So maybe that is more like a C+?? ;)

100 miles (or 101 miles) still scares me, but it excites me a little, too. Actually, some days more than just a little. The goal is not for the course record or even a victory, just to complete it. 3 mph is all it takes!! Plus, my "shrink" and awesome friend Debbie, helped calm me down by showing me Tim Twietmeyer's training log for his 1996 victory at WS100 (in an old issue of Runner's World) and his highest mileage week was 78 miles. I can do that! Not that I am Tim Tweitmeyer, but if an elite like him doesn't need 100+ mile weeks to be ready, then mere mortals like me should be able to get by on less, too.

So, if you want to know what I'll be doing this summer, it's training like crazy. But not more than 78 miles a week.

1 comment:

Olga said...

AC is a wonderful run:) I plan on coming back one day as I have 0:1 on it, DNFing with injury last year. Pam, it was great to see you on Saturday!