290 Days Till The Angeles Crest 100

“Hey Summer, look!”  Tommie smiled, as we gazed over the city.  “Beautiful, huh?”

We were just above the mile 75 mark of the Angeles Crest 100, on a helicopter landing area, gazing out over the city.  It was a usual Tuesday night Bastard practice but Tommie was nursing an ankle sprain and I was nursing, well, 100 miles worth of damage on my legs and feet, so we opted for a hike together as the rest of the team ran.

A few minutes into our ‘moment’ together, admiring the city lights, three headlamps came rushing through the dark, met us there, silent besides their huffing and puffing, and without more than two or three words, the group of them (Monya, Tom, and Jack) were back off down the hill to finish their run.  They were the fastest of the bunch that night.

“I like being a part of that group,”  Tommie said.  “It’s a great challenge.”

I smiled and nodded.  I understood.  As much as I loved having another 100 mile finish under my belt, I missed being among the fast people.  As we hiked down the hill I reflected back on last year and prepping for my big race against Eric.  I was the fastest I’d ever been before and I loved it.

Strangely, I came off of this 100 mile race, not swearing off running, but wanting to step back up to the start line of another 100 ASAP!  But my committment to becoming a better version of myself meant letting go of that obsessive side and doing something that I think will be more beneficial overall – taking an ‘off season.’  For me, that means strength and speed work, one end of the year 50k with the team, but no other long distance races till March of next year.

I learned so much from my race at Rio Del Lago, and I’m happy that I have that experience behind me as I prep for the Angeles Crest 100 2013.  Although my time was slower than anticipated, I really didn’t seem to ‘bonk out’ until mile 70 which is new for me.  Usually that happens earlier in the race.  Muscularly, I still had the strength to run, but I ran into issues with my feet that were hard to resolve.  A little taping lesson with my good friend Nancy should help me trouble shoot this in the future, something that will be very helpful to me come next August.

For now I’ll choose some balance in my life… I’m so excited to partner with one of my fastest teammates, Kristin, in our end of the year 50k and I have a feeling that no matter what the end result, it will be a postitive experience for both of us – requiring me to have to work hard to get fast again and her to cross the finish line of her first ultra!  And who knows… on the weekends, instead of going out for a long run to put my week behind me, maybe just maybe I’ll stay out past 10pm with a girlfriend or two (gasp!)

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