Sunday, March 1, 2015

Because in Texas, Four 100-milers Just isn’t Enough for a Grand Slam (pt 3)

From October 2014 through February 2015 (3 ½ months), I raced 512 miles in just over 100 hours. In addition to that, I ran 670 ‘training’ miles between races. I thought I’d interview myself and let you know a bit about the races, why I did it, how I got ready for it, and how you can do it too. After answering the first question, I decided not to post all of it at once. So I will periodically post new segments. Here are the next two questions.

How prepared was your body to run 100 miles when you had just run a 100 mile race 3-4 weeks earlier? 

Since I began my never-take-another-day-off running streak a couple years ago, I made sure that I would at least get out the very next day and “run” at least a mile. The running more resembled a hobble, but I still would go for a mile. The next two days were less painful, and I either completed the mile quicker or I would run 2-3 miles. By Wednesday (race was Saturday), I was just fine running my ‘short loop’ of 5 miles at a more or less normal training run pace. Thursday through Saturday I could easily run my 9+ mile loops without any problems or worries. For two full years I had proceeded in this fashion after running 100-mile races. So when I decided to run one 100-miler per month from the end of October through the end of January (including a 100k and a 50-miler), I didn’t think it’d be too difficult at all. By the following weekend I had always felt back to normal. And there would be a full 3-4 weeks between all of these races (except for the one week recovery from the final 100-miler to the 50-miler). I felt great going into each race and I don’t think that I would’ve done any better had I not ran any other races and only concentrated on that one. The only one that I didn’t feel great at the start was the 50-miler at the very end. 

What crazy race ideas do you have planned?

I’m sure I’ll do this again this coming fall/winter, unless a certain significant other can convince me otherwise. I really enjoyed the whole thing this past year. Maybe not so much in the later miles of each race, but I was always so happy and feeling like I accomplished something cool when I finished. Plus I have to see if I can do all those races and finish in under 100 hours (It took me 100 hours and 30 minutes this time.).

In 2010, before I was a crazy runner, I put my name on a message board for the TIR (Texas Independence Relay). It’s a relay race for 200 miles with teams of up to 12 runners. I had previously ran a RAGNAR race with some friends (the Texas one that only lasted one year) and had heard about the TIR. I received an email and joined an 8-man team. I didn’t know any of the team, but we all had a really fun time. But what caught my attention was that there were two runners who were going to attempt to run the entire relay race as a solo act. Again, I wasn’t crazy, yet, but I knew right there that that was cool and could see myself doing that one day. I now see myself in a position where I have quite a bit of experience running long ultras and want to know how much farther I can run and how much further I can push myself. In March of 2016 I hope to be running the TIR as a solo entrant.

I don’t know if it was from watching Forrest Gump or if I somehow came up with the idea on my own. But once it was there, I knew it would be the best summer vacation ever. I should run across the entire country. There’s no way I could afford it. Just food and renting an RV for two months would cost a fortune. Luckily I’m a teacher, so I wouldn’t need to take time off from work. That’s all I have to say about that. 

There have recently been some interesting races that have sprouted up. One in Tahoe and another in Colorado, possibly a few others. They feature 200 miles (with no loops) in some beautiful mountains. One of the only downsides is the cost just to enter the race. But it has definitely peaked my interest.

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