Monday, June 28, 2010

Performance Anxiety

Nerves. Nerves. Nerves. I am not so much nervous about Badwater itself, I applied, I was accepted and I have trained hard for this race. I am confident that I will go out there and give it my all, and unless something out of my control happens I fully intend to cross that finish line one way or the other. My nerves are on edge because I have begun my taper, I have started to really start thinkng about what I need for the race. This time, two weeks from now I will have been out at Badwater for 6 hours. Hopefully I will be closing in on Stove pipe Wells within a few hours of this time and jumping into an ice bath. From there I will proceed to climb out of Death Valley and into the mountains toward the Panamint mountains. Going into a race like this has been a life changing experience. I have never trained like this before, never have I devoted such time and effort and thought to one single race. As the days draw closer so do the overwhelming feelings of excitement and anxiety. I want to be there so bad I can taste it. I can feel the heat burning the thins of my ears, the suffocating feeling of 120 degrees is all but inches away. Never would I have thought that the desire to put myself through such a test would be so strong.

Tick, Tock.....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Badwater Bound

Badwater. The hottest place on the planet. Last year it was 128 degrees. At that point I stopped looking at the thermometer. It starts there, -282 feet below sea level. For some it starts at 6a.m., for other such as myself it starts at 8a.m. and for the elite runners it starts out even hotter at 10a.m. Regardless of when you start, the race is going to be the hottest, hardest, nastiest, race you will probably ever do. It ends at the Mt. Whitney Portals at 8,360' elevation. There is 13,300' feet of vertical gain over the entire 135 miles. But if you happen to be reading this you already know all of that.

Today was another training day; everyday is a training day, kind of a novel idea for a guy that in the past just waltzed into a race and started going. It can't be this way any longer. If you neglect to train for Badwater you can DNF, you can not buckle, and worse than that you can die. So my running has been consistent, my runs have been different every time. My idea was to keep the schedule open to accommodate a run in the hottest part of the day. In fact some days I ran twice and hit the sauna all in one day. Some days were mixed 2-3hr runs with core in sauna, some days were hill repeats for 7hrs in 96 degree heat, on asphalt with a mix of core thrown in. Some days were cross training bicycle rides of 60+ miles. Some days were "rest" days with only sauna core work. So I am crazy, I choose to suffer, but I am not dumb. In every run that happens, I have my little secrets. I only use Polar Bottles, these keep my drinks/nutrition cold for a long time. I only run in Drymax socks, as a matter of fact I wear them everywhere, everyday, all day. Love em. I highly recommend bot of these products. Highly.

I am tired. My legs want some rest. Even during those training days I found myself helping my in-laws load and unload trucks of furniture, appliances, cabinets and just about everything heavy you can throw on a truck. Some of those days consisted of morning runs with later day trips up to buy fabric in North Carolina. Thing is with that is fabric doesn't take itself back to Georgia. Imagine loading hundreds of 50-60lb bolts of fabric from a warehouse into a truck and having to unload them when back home. Now imagine having to go run.

Badwater I want you. I have never wanted to do a race this badly. Then again, I never put the time and effort into training like I have this race. Less than 4 weeks to the big day. Bring it.