It has been a long time since I have posted here. And to tell the truth, there wasn't much to post. I've had some good runs, but nothing awesome and the weekly mileage, vert, and time on the feet has been minuscule. A lot of this has been due to getting used to the new job and coaching the middle school cross country team, but most of it has just been a sheer lack in motivation to get out there on the trails. I obviously feel extremely under-trained for the monumental task that lays before me at the end of the week, but hey, my cross country team is fighting for first place in our conference! This is the second straight year that my Pitchell training has been messed up by a new school year and cross country season, but that is life.
Looking on the positive side of things though, I have had the most successful year of running ever this year and built more of a base this winter, spring, and summer than ever before. Although the past two months have been lack luster, I've had a few good weeks mixed in there to keep the confidence up along with a new 5k PR. I can't discount all of that training and think that it has left me, because it hasn't. The challenge for Pitchell is entirely the UNKNOWN. Do I wish I was more prepared, yes, but it isn't going to matter that much in the long run. And boy is this a long run.
My biggest concern, you could even say fear, is the unknown. I have never run longer than 40 miles or over 10 hours. So the 65 miles and the 18.5 hour cutoff (self imposed) is very daunting. I also do not really have much experience with running at night. The longest night run I have ever done lasted about 2 hours, but luckily was on the Shut In section of the course. But still, running 7 hours through the night, maybe alone the entire time is a bit scary. Another big question I have is how my mind is going to overcome my aching body at the Folk Art Center. Big questions that will undoubtedly be answered come Saturday morning.
But the biggest question of all is, How could you ever be completely ready for a run that is 100% technical singletrack, involves running through 7 hours of darkness, 65 miles, 15,000 ft of vert, and travels from one iconic mountain to an even more iconic mountain?