Sunday, January 12, 2014

What? Running 100 miles isn't hard enough?

2:53pm, Sunday January 12th:  In about an hour I am going to find out if I have been picked in the lottery to run the Tahoe 200, a 200 mile foot race around Lake Tahoe with almost 40,000 ft of elevation gain and loss.  Ever since I first heard about this race I have been consumed with the idea of running it.  According to their site, the race is the first of its kind in the US.  There are other (very) long distance races of 200 miles or more, but none of them are one continuous trail, as opposed to a loop course.

For the first time in several years, I have that "what if?" and "how the hell can I possibly do this?" feeling again.  I had this feeling when I decided to run my first marathon.  And then again when I did my first 50k and 50 miler.  But it really feels like the first time I decided to enter a 100 mile race.  My first 50 miler was a huge endeavor, I just couldn't imagine how I was going to be able to cover twice that distance.  But the fear of the unknown is a strong motivator.  And after running a bunch of 100 milers my motivation to continue with this sport has been waning.   I'm sort of at a cross roads as far as ultra running is concerned.  I know I can run 100 miles.  I know that I can place pretty good at them.  I know that I love the training.  But, the only thing I can really set my sights upon is getting faster and trying new courses.

When I first got into Ultra running I didn't care what place I came in.  I had two goals.  Finish, and enjoy myself.  On some level I have come to dread racing.  I would love to think that I could just run 70-100 miles a week because I enjoy being outside.  I would love to stop with all the specificity that the training involves and just run.  And more than anything, I want to learn to be patient and enjoy being outside again.

The thought of trying to run 200 miles has rekindled the fire.  Every running step I have taken since hearing about this race has consumed me with the thought of getting ready.  But, really, how the hell do you prepare to do this?  And THAT'S the fun of it!

I will finish writing this post in an hour, after I find out if I got in or not.  There are only 75 spots available and almost 200 people in the lottery.  I've got pretty good odds and a good feeling that I'm going to get in.  I have my fingers crossed!

4:55pm:  WHOO HOOO, I'm in!   Man, that was tense.  They announced the winners of the lottery 6 or 7 names at a time on twitter.  My name was pulled 67th and I had almost given up.  So now, the mystery of how to prepare for this thing begins.  For more info about the race, check out their website, Tahoe 200.  Now I just need to figure out what shoe(s) I'm going to use!

Photo credit: Tahoe 200 website


Steve Pero said...

Nate, good luck with and have fun with the training for this beast!
I'll also be interested in what shoes you'll be wearing, surely there will be more than one pair worn.

George Heywood said...

good luck with your run. 200 miles should be a great challenge