Friday, March 18, 2011

Coyote Two Moon: Before the Race

It's 4PM the afternoon of the race, and I'm in my hotel room in Ventura, waiting for my husband (who is also my crew, yeah!) to get here sometime between now and the race start time... and my head is spinning a little.

It's been a long week at work. We launched a website for a new product line - always a lot of work - and I also had my first (and hopefully only) corporate performance review in which the phrase was uttered "I don't want to fight with you - I love you."

Thankfully, I work for a tough yet kind woman whom I am also very fond of, or that might have been really weird...

But, enough about this week... let's look forward to the C2M!

The groups are staggered so that most people will finish in the timeframe from 6AM - 10AM Sunday morning - this means that Race Director Chris Scott, in his ultimate wisdom, had determined that I will most likely take between 33-37 hours to finish.

That seems like an awfully long time.

I was surprised when I first read that estimate - after all, I did the Headlands Hundered in 25 hours and that was my very first one... but, there are some pretty big challenges that are unique to this race, so I guess we'll just have to see how it goes, and respect the distance and the course.

Challenge 1 is the climbing - 27,000 ft of it. There were over 22,000 ft of elevation in the other 100 miler I did, but to compare them is probably silly - I have heard this terrain is very tough and an extra 5,000 ft of elevation is no small deal. It will be fun to see how my body deals with it.

Challenge 2 is the nighttime. This might just be a big one. I entered the C2M specifically because it was a night race, and I did so poorly in the night section of the Headlands Hundreds... and I'd like the opportunity to get better.

In the Marin Headlands of the Headland Hundreds race, I was completely taken off guard by the mist and fog, and allowed it to slow me to as little as 2 miles an hour in some sections. As for my mental state? I was low, man. I don't remember crying, but I did swear a lot as I stumbled along that night section alone, muttering sentiments similar to "Let's finish this bitch," along with other rather rude references to the course...

Sorry, Marin Headlands... it wasn't pretty stuff. You don't deserve that... I love you, I don't want to fight with you.

In the Coyote Two Moon, we'll be running at night not once, but twice... so I'm expecting to be learning a lot about night running out there.

All this is fine, of course - I need to make mistakes; have new experiences in new conditions, and see what works and doesn't work... that's why it would even be a good thing if we get rained on hard tomorrow. I don't get exposure to rainstorms much here in CA - how better to learn to run and race in the rain than to have it happen?

It will be a great race. The Race Director is so organized and on-point, and I have nothing but the utmost confidence that we are in good hands, with a great team of race volunteers who are smart and savvy and not willing to put up with crap, but still kind... these are good folks. I'm glad to have met them and excited to hang out with them more these next few nights.

My goal? To finish - and to finish in 30 hours or less. From looking at the times of people who have done this race and the other 100 miler I did in 25 hours, it seems like it will take me 29-33 hours to finish this one... and let's face it, the longer I'm out there, the uglier it will get, so I'm going to try to stay focused, more forward consistently and smoothly, keep postive, and finish strong!

I'm gonna move through the night with as much focus as I can muster and then hit the day hard (but with steadiness) so I can see how early in the 2nd night I can finish.

I'm ready for my adventure... into the night we go!

Me finishing the Headlands Hundred - I want this feeling again this weekend!

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