When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Am I ready to be a Big Hornie?
This is out-n-back course, imagine starting right to left and then going back.
From the Message Board of Bighorn 100
As for wildlife - wildlife abounds in these mountains. Over the weekend several of us jogged portions of the trail to clear brush and check the general condition of the trail. On Saturday and Sunday combined I saw a dozen moose (one young bull came off of a hill and jumped into the middle of the road not 50 feet in front of us - it was just as startled as we were, but with a little yelling and screaming he decided to clear country), we also saw a couple hundred deer, 20-30 elk, squirrels, marmots, birds, butterflies, and a few bear tracks (a sow and two cubs had traveled through the Dry Fork drainage the night before). Most of our running this weekend was at elevation where it is still a little cooler/wetter right now so we did not see any snakes. However, there is always a possibility of encountering rattle snakes along the trail so you should ALWAYS be on the lookout for them. This summer while training and doing trail work on the course individuals have seen rattlers in the Little Big Horn canyon and all through the Tongue River Canyon. From personal experience I would not recommend using a music player and headphones in these areas. A rattlesnake knows you are to big to eat, therefore it rattles to tell you to go away, however, if it rattles and you don't hear it because you are listening to music blaring in your ears, the rattlesnake might get even more irritated that you are ignoring its warning -- hopefully enough said.
Enough said indeed, I am already shaking. I just hope Rick and I to be on the same pace and have relatively same high's and low's so we can slog together and he would save me from all those things:) Did I tell you this is my first time going at a 100 with no pacre or crew? Well, Wasatch 100 in 2005 was like that, but then again, I had Mike Bushwhacker Burke to team up with and go together from start to finish (we felt good for the first half, then both broke down for different reasons in second, and he basically saved my ass from hypothermia). This is where Rick steps in this year - as with Mike, we have no committment to stick like glued, but we hope we will.
Jeff Browning (2 times winnder and a CR holder) has an awesome report on the run which finally made me excited. That and Sean Meissner talking my ears off how extremely beautiful and hard this course is. I've worked on my proposed pace chart (per usual) with a goal in mind I set up last year when I registered. CR by Kim Giminez is just a touch over 27 hrs. How come if this race bears less elevation change than WS100? First of, it's all goes at altitude. Second, it's mostly on no shade. It is hot out there. Lots of technical track. Did I mention the "no shade" and "hot" will last for 2 days because the race starts at 11 am (instead of "normal" 5 am)? The climbs, while not that steep mostly, are long, and walking them will not make up time as opposed to hiking short steep climbs. The downhills are not "scream down" mostly eihter, what also won't add up speed. But the Ais Stations are plentiful and well stocked/organized.
Lead runners for men's field: Karl Meltzer will break a CR by over 2 hrs and add 17th 100M win to his story book. Josh Brimhall will follow closely and then Mike Wolfe. On the girls' side there is Bethany Patterson (ready to go under 24), then former winner Diane Van Deren, strong Jodi Chase and amazing Van "Pigtails" Phan. Plus a bunch of names that ring a bell but not sure in which ear, so surprises are welcome.
So what's the plan? The plan is to run under 27 hrs. The goal is 26:30. The dream is 25:30. The "survival" is to finish whatever it takes - too expensive emotionally and financially of a trip to justify a DNF and need a WS100 qualifier. Plus I am still dwelling on Leadville DNF in 2005. But life been it is (really, if you only knew why the f$@% I was up all night), anything can happen. In fact, it may so happen I don't even toe the starting line. I can't not only look into tomorrow, I am unsure about next hour. As you guys say: if it rains, it pours. Or as we say: the trouble came - open the gates.
But tears and snot aside, I am getting ready. Hopefully, I'll post something more upbeat before I leave. I want to run this race, I need to run this race, and I have to make it a positive experience. Nobody but myself can do it for me.
p.s. and just to cheer you on - there is a new blog in town: Greg Pressler, a Portland endurance athlete (really, he doesn't like to have any definition to be applied to him - and he's got valid reasons too!), joined our insane community of those who reads thes kind of early morning rantings and even leaves comments - lets show him we do do that:)