Well, I made it. My next adventure awaits this weekend, November 5th. I will be tackling my 7th 100 mile race at the Pinhoti 100. It is considered our "home" race, since it is just a couple of hours away and is in Alabama. My husband and I have crewed two friends at this race, so it isn't our first time to experience it. These two friends just so happen to be returning the favor and will be joining my husband in crewing me! This course also uses many of the same trails that I have run at both the Mt Cheaha 50k, and the Georgia Jewel. So, I feel pretty good about the trails. Are they tough? Of course they are! I love technical trails and these will definitely not let me down.
I am so thankful to have friends who will give up an entire weekend to take care of me and help me reach my goal. If you have ever considered running a 100-miler, I highly recommend that you be a part of a crew for one first. You will see the race from the other side and get a good appreciation of what is required of both the runner and the crew. You will see your runner go through all the highs and lows that are involved. You will take care of blistered feet, crying, vomiting, mental and physical breakdowns, and everything in between. At times, you will wonder why in the world anyone would want to do this. Then, when you are part of them crossing the finish line, you completely understand why we do what we do. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing something that has broken you down in so many ways. It builds character. It makes you tougher. It makes you appreciate good friends. In a nutshell, it makes you feel like you can do anything that you set your mind to. You may break down and cry like a baby. Trust me, I have done that on more than one occasion. And all the pain and suffering is worth it.
I wanted to share with you some of the difference in my training this time compared to the previous six races:
1. I continue to strength train 4-5x per week. Typically, I drop down to 2x week while I'm in training. I truly believe this is why I don't feel burnt out with my running. I love being in the weight room and I am so happy that I've continued to do it as much as I have. I also feel like it has kept me strong and helped me prevent injury.
2. I have not run any 100+ mile weeks. I topped out around 86 miles, doing this for a couple of weeks. My longest training run was 38 miles. This past week, I covered approximately 65 miles. This week, I will run very short distances, with some quality speed work thrown in.
In a nutshell, I am excited. Am I a little nervous? Of course I am! It's 100 miles for goodness sake! If you aren't a little scared, something is wrong. Respect the distance and trust in your training. I will post the link on my Facebook page for tracking during the race so that you can see where we all are on the course. Thanks for caring!