After yesterday’s blog post Dan sat me down and made me watch a youtube video that reminded him of me.
So it’s coming, the big day, as I write this it’s only 12 days away, race day. For the past 22 weeks I’ve been training for this, I have got past injuries, tough training runs, and slogged out many miles. Since the Baker Trail 50 miler, I’ve felt fairly confident, I’ve never even attempted 100 miles before but I was feeling good.
This week the nerves hit, straight up, after I received this in the mail:
It’s awesome! It had me smiling ear to ear for 24 hours and then I it hit me, I’m going to try to run 105.5 miles. Yikes! What the heck possessed me to do this?
I know I’m ready, “the hay is in the barn” there is nothing more I can do. I think some of my nerves stem from the fact that my headlamp that I ordered still hasn’t arrived, my race plan is scribbled out on about 8 different pieces of paper and I still don’t have a pacer for miles 85 to the finish. Again, not much I can do. I have head lamps that will get me through if the fancy one I would prefer doesn’t arrive, Dan has been busy organising my scribbles (thank you!) and I can run 20 miles alone (at least it will be in the daylight). I will be fine, and I WILL do this. Hopefully my nerves will pass as I pack up and pick up my last minute things.
This weeks running has been good, my legs have felt tired but I’m coming off my highest mileage week ever, so that was to be expected. My long run this week was at the cottage, Dan and I ran the rail-trail to the ski hill and back. We passed a flea market:
A Medieval Fair being assembled:
Safely crossed some roads:
And saw a tiny railroad:
Planned Mileage: 64km
Days Run: 5
Excuses: Wimped out over some hamstring cramping at the end of my long run. Close enough.
This weekends running escapades were interesting to say the least.
On Saturday I had originally planned on hitting the trails for my last long run before starting to taper, but the weather had other plans. We had a lot of run Friday overnight and it continued early Saturday morning, so we lazed around instead of running then headed out at 10:30am. The rain had stopped for the moment but the skies were still threatening, so I didn’t bother bringing my camera, of course I would later regret this.
Dan had decided since the weather wasn’t co-operating that this would be a “character building” and took us our to the dreaded Spit. It ended up being a rather pleasant run there as the weather was keeping most (sane) people inside. On our way we saw some men assembling a cargo net obstacle, that seemed weird and then we could see a beer tent in a factory parking lot which just made us thirsty. Turned out there was an urban warrior dash (or something like that) happening on the spit. The event hadn’t started but the volunteers were getting obstacles and aid stations set-up. From chatting to these friendly volunteers we discovered the race was approximately 10km with 8 or so obstacles. Having run our own obstacle course not too long ago, it was interesting to see the set up (much smaller scale, and a much flatter course). While we were out on the Spit we could see that it was raining again downtown and commented that maybe the Spit wasn’t such a bad place to run. However by the time we were heading off the Spit it was raining and the first was of urban warriors were now coming at us. We cheered as we ran against the flow of the race, some people near the end of the wave even asked if we were the first place couple (which we replied yes)! The race had only started about 15 minutes prior, that would’ve been one quick 10km, especially with all the obstacles.
As we started heading northbound on the Don Trail, it stopped raining and the sun was actually trying to come out. Up until now we had had to go around a few bigger puddles but we had expected that down on the waterfront. What we weren’t prepared for was that the Don River had swelled and put the trail under water from Queen St to Riverdale Park (about 1km)! At first I thought this was funny, but we literally had to slog through knee deep (at times)rushing, nasty, dirty river water. Dan left me at Riverdale Park, and watched me (from the overpass bridge) slog through to the bridge that would get me across to the other side of the Don River (where it was a little higher). It was a bit dryer for a couple of km and then I had to go through this tunnel thing (which I don’t like at the best of times) and it was full of water too. There was a man on his bike trying to decided whether or not he wanted to proceed and as he saw my sloshing through water above my knees, he wisely decided to turn around. He asked where I was headed, and told me that I would encounter one more water passing and a section where the water had gone down but had left behind some slick mud. I thanked him for the info and started running again, listening to the squish, squash of my shoes. Sure enough I had one more “river cross” and the slick mud was kind of fun. The rest of the run was uneventful and I made it home wet but in one piece.
Sunday I was up at 5:30 because I had to run 22km to the start of a 5km race (more on that later). I love running early when it’s quiet and there is hardly anyone around…except for the guy run/shuffling through Cedarvale Park talking on his phone on speaker!!! Nice. I said hello really loud to make sure the person he was talking to didn’t think I was ignoring him. I made great time across the Belt Line, because I needed to pee and the next bathroom wasn’t until the cemetery. After my bathroom break I felt sluggish and started to regret my 22km warm-up for a 5km race, but I arrived with a few minutes to spare. The lady at the bag check wanted to know why I was checking my water pack, I explained that I ran 22km to get here, and I could manage 5km without water and fuel (I hoped). Her face when I said 22km, priceless.
Planned Mileage: 99km
For a total of 101km!!!
Days Run: 5
Excuses: None! I nailed it, this being my last big week of mileage I really just wanted to hit the numbers.
We hiked 15km to reach Maggie Lake, we reserved a site on the west side of the lake, basically the sites are first come first serve, we ended up hiking around a good portion of the lake before we found a site that was free and to our liking. This is where things got a little comical with the tent. We have a great tent, but it’s a four person one so that when we are “camping” at the cottage we can use one of those nice blow up double mattresses and still have room to spare, turns out people who backpack typically carry smaller tents (unless I guess you are a group of four), so when Dan was trying to decide where to pitch the tent, there was really only one spot. And the tent still didn’t really fit, guy lines were going into the bushes, a large tree made getting in and out of the tent interesting and weirdest part was to see just how much room we had with only two therma-rests instead of our luxurious mattress (we could fit both packs inside and still had room). I set about the task of sterilizing water using our newly purchased Steri-pen (I had to bring the instructions with me), it was quite easy, but the first few sips of water were tentative to say the least. Thankfully we didn’t catch any dirty water illnesses so I think the pen was a success (so much easier than constantly boiling water)!