Monday, May 7, 2012

Zion 100- Pre-Race


Well, the time is finally here. The much anticipated Zion 100. Actually, it did sneak up on me- I could use another month to get ready to be honest. The training has been pretty good. I got in some early season longer runs/races to hopefully help. I started Pilates and Power Plate and feel relatively strong. HOWEVER- being this is the first year of the Zion 100, I am a little very nervous. There is nothing to go off far as splits and general times between AS. The heat is looking a little frightening and then there is the course. I have never run in Zion before. There will definitely be a few sleepless nights this week.

On the flip side, the RD seems to have thought of everything! They are shuttling pacers to and from AS, the start/finish is the same location, the buckles for 100 mile finishers (hopefully I will be on the list) are made of materials found in Zion, the race shirts look slick, the course sounds like it will be marked well- they even have helium balloons with lights in them that will float in the air. I really am looking forward to the race and something a bit different to run on. I just hate to see things like this as course info-

Mile 45: The hardest hill of the race climbing to the top of Gooseberry Mesa. You’ll ascend around 1,500 feet in less than a mile. It is rocky and steep, and there is a high probability that your lungs will feel like they are filling with molten lava. I’d plan on hiking this section.

Yippee!!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am for that! The photos and talk of rattle snakes and mountain lions make me feel warm and fuzzy too.

I have entered three 100 mile races: Wasatch 100 (twice)-2 finishes and the SwanCrest 100 (DNF), so my experience isn’t a strong point. My goal is to finish, it’s early in the year and it isn’t my focus race so I want to make sure I do it right. Saying that, I am a little on the competitive side with myself. Not other runners or the course or even time….just me. I expect maybe more than I should from myself. I realize that training is the key and I am solely responsible for that but you never know- ANYTHING can happen during a 100 mile race. Those that have run one know of all the adversity you can encounter but the 2 factors that always have me concerned: stomach issues and heat. I HATE HEAT! I have tried (a couple times) to embrace it but it just sucks. Far as the stomach goes, that is an ongoing battle of wit and luck. Some days I think I have it dialed in and when I do- BAM! - it turns and so does the race. Since I am an old dude though, I am trying to dial in the mental game. I feel like I am a pretty mentally strong person and let’s face it- at the end of the day this could very well be our biggest strength or weakness.

Whatever happens in Zion.... happens. I can control some things and there are things I cannot. I don’t feel ready and even if I had more time to train I am sure I would feel the same way. It is what it is and it is too late now for me to do anything to get ready. So, time to embrace it and hope it embraces me back. I hope by the end of the week there will be another blog post of elation and triumph. I hope to come away with a PR while I am at it (sub 29:46- not stout but a PR is a PR). So whoever reads this post, send me some positive vibes, I am gonna need them.
A few of my favorite race mantras/sayings/whatever you wanna call them:

  • No excuses, No Regrets- Leave Nothing. (Manners)
  • Take chances. (BFish)
  • Today is a crossroad where everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way.
  • I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. -W.E. Henley
  • I am powerful beyond measure.
  • Bring it home empty.
  • This is what you came for.
  • Strength and courage.
  • Be the hero in you own life's story.
  • Take it!
  • I will soar on wings like an eagle, I will run and not grow weary.- Isaiah 40:31
  • I'm all in!
  • Get out there and see who you are.
If you do read this and have a few more....please post them.

Here is a link to the race:

Here is a link that was sent out of some course recon:

Here is a link if you wanna track me- I am bib #563:



Paul said...

Great post, good luck. I will be down there with you. I have the same worries, heat gives me stomach issues.

Quote from Lance Armstrong, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

You may love him or hate him, but he knows a thing or two about pain.

Jon Allen said...

Good luck, Aric.

Mantras: Make it hurt more.
I can walk when I'm dead.
I was born for this.

Mike Place said...

I'll see you down there on Friday morning.

Looks to me like the key to this one is going to be sensible pacing. Going out really fast on those early hills and afternoon heat is going to punish those who push it too hard early on. My theory is that those who have something in the tank after dark are going to move quickly up through the field and finish well. A second day of heat could be brutal, though. Avoiding the oven on Saturday is going to be my mantra to fire up the afterburners once it gets dark and get it done (hopefully before the sun rises again).

Good news is that the forecast for temperatures has been downgraded from "crazy" to just "stupid". Should be a great weekend.

BJ said...

It'll hurt so good. Have fun and enjoy it. You'll do great!

Andee said...

Hope you had a stellar race. The course was challenging, but beautiful at the same time. I battled heat exhaustion from Mile 35-52 where I dropped. Looking forward to reading your race report soon.
Here's mine:

Anonymous said...

DNF...what in the world happened??

Best of luck at timp trail / Chris in Syracuse

Lauraran1 said...

Good job out there. Only those who were there will ever know. I know.
Recover well. Life brings challenges only to make us better