Saturday, June 27, 2009

The start of Western States

Filled with the urge to get a good night's sleep outside (somehow, we always seem to get a great night's sleep in the back of the Toyota), last night Tom and I headed out to the parking lot at Squaw.  This morning, we rolled out after a horrible night's sleep (note to self: omit parking lots from the "good night's sleep" venue list) at around 4:30 am to catch the start of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.  The place was crawling with superfit runners, all looking calm but a little nervous.  I can't imagine what it must feel like to be facing a 100 mile run -- and one so tough as this one. 

It seemed like a great start to the race, the sun was just starting to chase the dark from the sky, it was fairly warm and certainly has turned into a nice day.  We didn't talk to anyone, merely stood around and gawked, then cheered everyone on as the race started.

Of course, I was totally inspired and am now thinking, I can do ultras, can't I? Perhaps I am built for distance, not speed. While a 100 mile run seems kinda unobtainable, a 50k or 50 mile seems, I dunno, do-able, I guess. I mean, 2 years ago I would have never thought I was capable of running a 10k, yet here I am contemplating a oly tri and a marathon for next year. Why stop? I will have to file this away in the back of my mind, and maybe take this idea out for contemplation after I complete a marathon. IT IS NOT OUT OF REACH!

This is where I would be starting (and, hopefully, finishing) such a thing -- firmly in the back of the pack.  I guess today is the day where I can say the idea was hatched -- I could do this.  Indeed.

Back in the present reality, I ran 4 miles yesterday out in Cold Creek Canyon.  I have been coming to the realization that, no matter what, my first 2 miles just suck.  I can't get into a rhythm, my legs ache, my breathing is ragged and all I want to do is turn around and go home.  Once I'm a few miles in, though, things smooth out and these problems just fade and I find myself happily trotting along and feel like I could just keep on going.  This was definitely true yesterday, though a very slight right knee pain followed me the whole way.  I think the albuterol definitely makes a difference, because I was much more plagued with the tiredness in my legs (leftover from the previous day's run, no doubt) than I was with my breathing, which was a notable first.  We shall see.

I'll leave this post with a glimpse of Tom's first brush with fame.  He was asked to do the male voice-over for a radio spot for a local business.  Here he is with K, the female voice, plus the beer used to ply him for his signature line, the hilarious "I wish I was a woman" . . . 

He dressed for inspiration.


Stuart said...

Seriously if you think you can and you want to you most probably can.

Commit to the training, the highs the lows the injuries and the mental and physical pain and before you know it you'll be crossing the start and the finish line!

Formulaic said...

How awesome that you got to see the start.

An crazy of you to get up that early!

I think...I mean I can do it once you put your mind to it. No one started off as a ultra runner, everyone builds up to it. Put your mind to it and you can do it.

I'll be cheering you the whole way!