I’ve hinted to this race…there are links in my sidebar, it’s come up in online conversations, it’s on my calendar…but let’s make this officially internet official! Last month I registered for the Arizona 200M in June. I spent the months after RRR100 eyeballing races trying to figure out what I wanted to do with 2015.
If I learned anything during RRR100 [aside from the fact the pain eventually stops getting worse] it was that I need something more than just a distance to make a race worth it for me. At RRR100 I had the motivation of it being my first hundred…that I was running exactly one year after my first ultra experience at the same race [crewed RRR100 in 2013 for Nick!]. When things got crappy, that helped. No way was I quitting – I couldn’t recreate this scenario next year, it had to go down THIS year, right now!
Run, Rabbit, Run meant something to me, it was more than “just another race”…and that’s what I was searching for when eyeballing races for 2015, something special, something that drew me in. About this time there was a lot of 200 mile talk online. The Lake Tahoe 200M a huge success and that RD was pulling together the Bigfoot 200M, a race from Washington to Oregon that looked stunning. My interest was piqued…
As the weeks went by more 200 mile races popped up, including the Colorado 200M in July and the Arizona 200M in June. While the Bigfoot 200M was along beautiful new-to-me trails and the Colorado 200M was close to home it was the Arizona 200M that sucked me in! I knew the race directors from volunteering at the Silverton Multiday Challenge and loved them. Seriously, they did an incredible job with the organization, the camaraderie, the laidback feel…everything! I know they were experienced with long, unusual ultras and I wholeheartedly trust them to pull off a successful, fun 200M race. So…I signed up!
What exactly does this mean? Well…it means I’m going to be running, a lot. But, on average, not that much more than during my actual RRR100 training [especially if you take into consideration the weeks I took off due to injury]. You can check out my Google Sheets training plan [it’s 110% subject to change]if you’d like – just remember to take it all as a grain of salt, it’s made for me, by me and I’m no expert!
A part of me is really excited for this race – it’s going to be an awesome challenge and I’m going to learn SO much about myself and my body during training and during the race. I’m excited to see what my body can do, but more importantly I’m looking forward to where this race will take my mind. That sounds silly, I know, but it’s true!
Looking out toward Fort Collins from the Horsetooth Rock Trail on a recent do-my-legs-still-work tester run.
I’m also terrified. Absolutely terrified. I am fully aware of how effective a runner’s selective memory is and I know I’m blocking out very important, painful memories from last summer but rather than dig those memories up I’m choosing to focus on the fact I’m a different person and a smarter runner this time around. Hopefully that works out to my advantage, some how.
As for the race itself – I honestly don’t know a lot about it and I knew even less when I registered, that’s how much trust I’m putting in the RD’s – Mark + Sharill! I know it starts in Pine, AZ and finishes in Tusayan, AZ. It covers roughly 219.53 miles with 27,786ft of climbing and 26,486ft of descent. The temperatures could fluctuate anywhere from 28 degrees to 93 degrees, but should average between 50-80 degrees [still a big swing!]. Oh, and while I’ll have crew access throughout the race I won’t actually have a pacer running with me until I cover 100 miles. Somehow I have to cover at least 100 miles by myself, without a pacer handing me food or telling me to drink. In my mind that is, hands down, the most concerning aspect of this race.
Go ahead, read those stats again…then reassure me this is a good decision. It’s okay, you can lie to me. I’ve been lying to myself… [I also plan on getting lost for roughly 0.5 miles, thus the “22 weeks to 220 miles” title of this post.]
My ultimate goal is to survive…not just the race but also the training. It was the training leading up to RRR100 that screwed me and I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid that disaster again. Over the past few months I’ve put a bit of focus on strength training, cross training and yoga – and I plan to keep that focus as my miles increase. This is precisely why my miles never sky rocket during training. I need strength and endurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean running 100+ miles on a weekly basis. I learned last summer that my body needs more than just miles, miles, miles on trails – it needs legitimate recovery weeks and I fully intend to embrace them!
Plus, I’m currently rocking at life with the #DonutADay resolution…considering it was definitely the daily ice cream that got me to the RRR100 start line injury free this crazy donut goal of mine is going to work wonders, right?!
All of that said – as readers, what do you want to hear from me in regards to training and preparation for this race? In the past I’ve just recapped scenic runs on the blog, but I do keep track of weekly mileage, have a pile of cross/strength training workouts and other tidbits of information I never shared during my RRR100 training. Would that be of any interest to you, maybe in a monthly recap post?
More importantly – do you have any questions or curious thoughts you’d like answers to? I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people over the past month and, honestly, answer the questions has been extremely helpful to me. Y’all think about things I haven’t fully considered yet…so ask away! I’ll either have a legit answer or I’ll find one!