Friday, August 23, 2013

This and That

Well, it's almost been two years since I started this blog, and I am still not exactly sure where I am going with it or what I hope to achieve.  I find myself struggling at times to really open up to the blogging world, and I realize that probably doesn't make for very interesting blog material, but that's me.  I guess I can only share so much.  Personality-wise, I tend to be a bit wishy-washy in nature and can't really bring myself to be too gung-ho about anything.  For me, that means I tend to go with the flow a lot - and that is not a bad thing.  But for blogging purposes, you won't see me getting all fired up about a topic and running with it, so to speak.  But maybe that is what blogging is about. I don't know.  I suppose it can be anything I want it to be.

Anyway, I find myself thinking a lot lately about the race that actually started this blog.  My first ever Pikes Peak Ascent two years ago. (Read about that experience here in "Moving Mountains.")

I thought it would make an interesting story and I decided to take a chance and put it out there for everyone to read.  Since then I have had a lot of running adventures, highs and lows, and I have written about many of them.  Lately, I have been in a bit of a lull.  I am not sure what brought that on, but it's been hard to get all excited about the writing.  I have started and stopped a couple of times in that period, randomly sharing posts on different events and happenings, but it's hard to get all into the blog writing thing (at least for me) when you don't have a direction for things.  That, and summer has just been damn busy.

Maybe it's the fact that school will be starting again soon for the kids, but I find myself wanting (yet again) to get back to the writing.  So, here I am.  Again.

So, in thinking back on the first post I ever wrote here, I realize I find myself now thinking ahead to Pikes Peak 2014.  I really want to do the marathon in 2014.  My husband and I have been talking about that for some time.  Originally, the way the conversation played out was that 2014 was to be the year that *possibly* the Leadville 100 and Pikes Peak would be on separate weekends.  Normally, they overlap. I am not exactly sure why my husband is convinced they may not overlap in 2014, but I'll go with that. Also, originally, 2014 would be the last year that I could sign up for the Double, based on my 2011 Ascent qualification.  (Now, granted, I am not sure I want to do both the Ascent on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday, but it's nice to have options.)  Since, at the minimum, I want to do the Pikes Peak Marathon and he wants to do Leadville, if things work out the way we had hoped, this would all be great.

Things have changed a bit since we really discussed this last, though.  Pikes Peak is talking about going from a three-year qualification window to a two-year window.  That sucks for me because then I wouldn't have the option of doing the Double.  Okay, fine. I could still sign up for the marathon...but barely.  You see, to "qualify" for wave 2 of the marathon (the non-elite wave, obviously), you have to have a qualifying marathon time of sub-5:30.  Now I am not a fast marathoner, but at least my 2011 Lakefront Marathon was sub-5 hours, and I was proud of that.  Now, though, I have to use my Disney Marathon time from 2013, where my net time was 5:28:46.  So, you're probably thinking, quit your bitching then. You've got this, right?  And, yes, technically, as long as they take the net time and not the clock time, I guess it still works as a qualifier.  But I would have preferred to have a bit more padding. I am not sure why. Maybe it's just that I am worried that they'll change the qualifying times too and I'll be screwed.  I don't have another marathon in the plan between now and then, and even if I did there is no guarantee I could get a better qualifying time anyway.

So, I wait.

And, this is the part about racing that I hate.

There is a race I want to do, but I can't sign up for it for another SIX to SEVEN months! What's up with that? Don't these people know that there are people chomping at the bit to commit to their race!  Add to that the stress that the last time I signed up I literally had to sit at the computer and wait for registration to open - because it sold out so quickly.  So, I have to wait six or seven months to even find out if I can register in time.  If I can't, what a bummer. :)

Ah well, in the meantime, I have a real-live race that I am signed up for, and it is in two weeks.  It's the Moose Mountain Marathon on the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota.  By all accounts, this event will be harder than the 50K I did on the Ice Age Trail in May.  To say I am a bit nervous about it is an understatement. Just reading their tagline of "rugged, relentless, remote" sends butterflies through my stomach, and I am not sure what to expect.  Have I prepared enough? I'll know in just over two weeks.

I have no idea what a realistic finishing time expectation for me might be, but considering last year's results show almost a third of the field took over seven hours to finish I can expect it will take me a while. With only an aid station every seven miles and a hydration pack that chafed the crap out of my neckline on a fifteen-miler a couple of weeks ago, I have a lot of race day details to work out.

Of course, on the plus side of things, my runs lately - while not fast - have felt strong.  So, there's hope, I guess.

Does anyone take the advice "do what scares you" as seriously as I apparently do?

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