Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Well, I find myself with 2 1/2 days until my 4th 100 miler and the usual sense of peace and anticipation has set in.  Don't get me wrong - I am still filled with jitters and self doubt when I get tangled up in the details of the race, but an overall sense of divine purpose and inevitability has arrived.

Authors note:  For those of you offended by any expression of Faith, 
you might want to stop reading now.
  Should you choose to continue reading and proceed to get your 
panties in a knot, it's not my problem.

Quick background for those of you who aren't familiar with the race I am speaking of...  Friday at noon, I will be starting the Thunder Rock 100 miler in the Cherokee National Forest outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It is a point to point 100 miler, meaning there are no loops and we won't be seeing the same section of the trail twice.  There is 17,000 feet of elevation gain over the 100 miles, and a river crossing at mile 81 just to keep it interesting.

Since this race was first presented to me by Jeff Beck, RD of the Forge Race Series, I have felt drawn to it.  Nevermind that when I first agreed to do it I had no idea the challenge I was in for (still don't - guess I will find out soon enough).  I was honored to be asked to be a part of the Forge Race Team alongside Ed Melancon and AD Marshall - two incredible ultra runners, and since I rarely pass up an opportunity that I am given, I jumped on board.

Once I began to understand what would be required of me just to finish this race under the cutoff time of 30 hours, I knew I would need a badass pacer.  Enter Lane Gremillion.  He is one of the toughest dudes I know, and has agreed to pace me for the last 51 miles of the race.  So with that in place, and the training behind me, I am gathering my race gear and essentials and preparing to hit the road early Thursday.  Randy has graciously agreed to drive us there and crew for us during the race - Thank Goodness!!  I am very happy that he will be there to pick up the pieces when we are done.

I have spent the last couple of days wrapping my brain around what I am about to experience.  Here is what I know:

  • I have no idea what to expect from this course as I have never done anything like this before.
  • I know that this entire race will be prayer/meditation time, offering up my suffering for others along the way.
  • I know that God brought me to this place in my life, and there is a lesson to be learned (probably many lessons)
  • I know that barring missing a cutoff or being pulled from the course for medical reasons, I will finish the task put before me.
  • I know that I have countless people back home cheering for me and sending me their prayers and positive energy to make it through the tough spots.
What more could a girl ask for ?  :)  

Whatever deep insights are gained along the course, I hope I can remember them for my race report.  That will probably be a week or more after the race.  A race report immediately following would be comprised of one word.  "Ouch"

See you guys in 100 miles or so.  I know, I know - you don't even like to drive that far.  :)

Happy Running Y'all