When I was a little girl, I would often look in the newspaper to see if this mysterious place called "Death Valley" had made it again as the hottest spot in the United States. I remember seeing that it was 120, 125, 130 degrees and I was always so fascinated by Death Valley. I'd even look it up on maps to check it out. I knew then that someday I would visit. Yea, it's that special.
The Badwater 135 mile Ultramarathon has become my destiny, I feel it in my soul that I will one day run the extreme adventure. It's 135 miles in around 130 degree heat and it goes from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney. I've been coming to terms what I have to do to make my dream come true. Not only do I have to complete the minimum requirements of running 3 100 mile races, 1 being in the previous 12 months from the race, I have to complete and additional extreme sport adventure, such as The Grand Slam. The Grand Slam is completing the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California http://ws100.com/, The Leadville 100 in Colorado http://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run in Vermont http://www.vermont100.com/ and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in Utah http://www.wasatch100.com/. It is to be completed in one calendar year, the same year. For more information about qualifying, go to http://www.badwater.com/reg.html
I have been told that I can run the Badwater course solo and still get a belt buckle. Here is a course profile:
I've got to admit, that I had a slight freak out when I saw that not only did I have meet the minimum requirements, but the much harder additional requirements and that is still not a guarantee you will ever be accepted. Tough standards. I'm good, making plans to make my destiny come true. What is funny, prior to learning of the Grand Slam and that the Leadville 100 was a part of it, I was just telling my husband about Leadville. I told him that it starts at 9800 or so and goes up to 13,000 ft in elevation. I said now honey, I don't want to do it.I am just telling you about it. But you know since I mentioned, I may want to do it someday, just beware. I had said the same thing about Badwater. Now I read its part of the Grand Slam and a part of qualifying for Badwater. Now I have Leadville on my mind. Yes, that will happen. But you know, I don't mind the heat, but something about not breathing bothers me.
Life is about taking risks, adventures. Live it! Go for your dreams.
So to come back down to earth, to reality on where I am at right now. I'm training for my first 100. I didn't get into Western States, but am running my plan of Rio Del Lago, in September, 2012. http://www.desertskyadventures.com/rdl/course-100mi.html
So how is training going? I had a slight set back about 2 weeks ago, noticing a sore spot that wasn't going away on its own on the back of my leg. As a long distance runner for many years now, sore spots either go away on their own or they don't. This one wasn't. After my 16 mile run on 12/11, I felt the discomfort on the back of my leg. It wasn't painful and I didn't feel it until the later part of my run. So, I moped for awhile and decided to not run my 10 the following day and to take a somewhat unscheduled rest week. This week, I've been icing, stretching, running slower, and walking a bit. It really seems to have paid off. I feel good.
I've also did something I haven't been doing, I asked for advice from other, more experienced runners than I. As a runner, you should never quit learning. I learned a lot. I learned, it would be beneficial to only run 4 days, combining a run with another, learned cross training is great, learned it will be fine to deviate from my schedule a little, that running a 50 in the 16 weeks leading up to my 100 is more than fine, adding a race for training and combining the two long runs should happen every now and then, it's a good idea to just not run if you are hurting-bodies need to heal-REST is not a bad 4 letter word, Pacific Rim is not boring, if I can't run between the hours of 3AM-6AM, run when exhausted, it's better to show up on race day a little under trained than over, that Rio Del Lago is hot and I should either spend time in a sauna 14 days prior or dress in layers in the warmest part of the day and doing a lot of walking in between some of my races is a great way to recover.
Speaking of races, this is what I want to do this year (so far) Pacific Rim 65 mi 3/17/2012 http://www.runningnetwork.com/RN_calendar/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=3525, Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 4/15/2012 http://www.petersonridgerumble.com/, Siskiyou Out Back 50K 7/14 http://www.siskiyououtback.com/index.html and Mt. Hood 50, a second time 7/28 http://www.mthood50.com/ I was told to do some of them as a training run in which I replied, I do that anyway, I get in when I get in and nobody is allowed to rush me.
Happy trail running!