Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I had my first true test this weekend as I did a training run out in George Washington National Forest with a few from the VHTRC. In prep for the MMT 100 in May, there are 5 organized runs on sections of the course. This was the 3rd and the first I was able to make it to.

This past week, the area got a few inches of snow along with some ice. The temp hasn't been much over freezing, either. I wasn't sure what to expect in the mountains - terrain wise and weather wise.

After a comfy 4 hrs of sleep, we were up and at 'em and out the door by 4:40am for the 2+ hour drive to the mountains. Temp in the car registered at 26 degrees outside. Perfect!

The crew of about 15-20 runners assembled then carpooled over to Moreland Gap where the run started. Having never been on the trails before, I didn't know what to expect. I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Never the less, we were off at 8am. More appropriately, they were off and I was left to bring up the rear.

Long day short, it was quite the adventure. I covered the 24 or so miles (with 8 of them only being on the actual course) in 7 hours including 2 aid station stops, 'scaling' my way around an icy patch of trail, and sliding off the trail ribs first into a tree. I was wearing my RimRunner Camelbak and had a water bottle in one of the side pockets, so that took the brunt of the impact as evident by the huge dent in it. My nutrition was okay except the valve to my Camelbak kept freezing, so I had to take the bite valve off to get water. Most of the time I ran alone, which was fine, but negative thoughts creeped into my mind, and they got in there early.

"If I'm at the back of 20 people, will I be bringing up the rear of 160?"

"How to I expect to make the aid station cut offs when all I'm doing is walking?"

"Not only am I walking, but I'm just walking"

"Do I really think I can do this in 3 months?"

Three months.

I was running with two other people the last 8+ miles - one was an experienced ultra runner and the other was doing MMT as her first 100 just like me. He talked the whole time, which was fine as he metioned specific mileage of the section of trail we'd be on, possible weather conditions, what time of day it would be, how we might be feeling, etc. I mentioned that I wasn't in MMT shape and he was quick to correct me.

"You've never done MMT, so you don't know what it's like to be in MMT shape. If you've done it before, you'd know what shape you need to be in to finish."

I may not know what MMT shape is, but I have three months to get there.

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time"

MMT is my elephant. I need to break it down into manageable, bite size pieces.

Have I bitten off more than I can chew?


At 5:14 PM, Blogger The Mule said...

It is a mouthful...but you are doing the right thing by getting out to see the course piece by delicious piece.

You can worry about race day in three months from now. Until then, focus on being positive.

"Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider yourself defeated again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life's blueprint. Smile!” - Og Mandino


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