Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Starting from DNF

I started training last spring to run the Vermont 100 Endurance Race. Perhaps I had no business thinking I could do such a thing: what with three little kids and a harried husband at home, who has time to train for 100 miles?

But train I did. Lots of long runs early on Saturday mornings, schedule juggling, childcare begging, late night jaunts through town after the kids were in bed, pushing the jogging stroller so many miles that the tread is worn smooth.

Some weeks I got in 50 miles, some weeks 80. Sick kids cut down on mileage, as did end of school year picnics, swim meets, home school meetings, even the proverbial butterflies fluttering their paper thin wings in Madagascar. Who knows why some weeks brought so many miles and other weeks so few?

I loved the training. I loved every minute of it. Long hours out on the roads and trails of Southeastern Connecticut (perhaps not the most ideal training topography for Vermont, but it's all I've got). I never got bored. Never got sick of my own stream of thoughts or those of my running partners. Which tells me that I am either the most dull or the most fascinating person I know. ("Don't you get BORED?" everyone asks me.) No. Surprisingly, no.

So I toed the line at 4 a.m. next to Josie's Field in Vermont, and got unceremoniously pulled from the race at Camp 10 Bear, mile 70, sixteen hours later. Not to put to fine a point on it, I was having diarrhea. I probably went out too fast. Rookie mistake. You can read all about it here.

So I am starting this blog to avenge myself. I hope that a year from now I will be posting about my glorious finish in Vermont.

In the meantime, I have quite a bit of work to do. I need to figure out what I can eat, drink and keep down for the long haul (my stomach is always my biggest bugaboo), strengthen my quads (the downhills killed me), and continue working the hills, hills, hills.

I plan to run a bunch of 50K and 50 mile races this fall, provided the childcare gods smile kindly on my efforts. I need to train my body to run all day without breaking down. And I need to train my brain to stay positive all the way through.

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