As the end of the year is closing in and most are tallying their 2013 races, miles and accomplishments, I am still staring down one more REALLY.BIG.THING. The Huff 50K is on Saturday, December 28th. Yes, that’s two days away. Yes, I’m scared. Yes, this will be the farthest I’ve ever ran
at one time. Yes, this will probably be the hardest thing I’ve done to date.
I’ve wanted to participate in this race since it was moved to Chain O’Lakes State Park in Albion, Indiana for the 2011 event. This very close to my hometown. It’s very close to where my parents currently live. It’s basically “home” to me and I love any added reason to go home and spend time with the family. However, in 2011, I took most of December off to try to pacify a nasty flare-up of Plantar Fasciitis. Then in 2012, I was in recovery mode. I tore a tendon in my foot (thanks to the Plantar Fasciitis) at the beginning of June and as a result spent all summer rehabbing. By the fall racing season, I wasn’t racing anywhere but happy to begin rebuilding my body and mileage base. Once December rolled around, I was in no way ready to tackle 31 miles, nor was my foot strong enough to make any attempt at a technical trail run.
One year later, I’m very focused on running smart. Listening to my body. Knowing my limits. Enjoying each and every run. It’s been a long year of nice, slow running …. not so much by choice but because my body wouldn’t go fast. I ran smart this year.
As a result of smart running, regular Chiro treatments, a decrease of mileage and the addition of strength work with CrossFit, I am healthy. I am more flexible than I’ve been in years. I am not only regaining my speed but getting a hold of the fact that I’m going to be faster in 2014 than I’ve been in a long time. I have hope. I feel inspired. I feel ready to tackle new challenges. I am ready to tackle the Huff 50K, in a mere 2 days.
What to expect during a 50K trail race in the middle of winter? I have no idea. I imagine it to be hard. Like really hard. I imagine my friend Kasey will want to dump me because I’ll be whining too much. I imagine us walking up all the hills and running the straights and flats. I imagine amazing foods, candy and soups at the aid stations. I’m imagine my tummy will not approve. I imagine beautiful scenery, lots of friends and hills. Lots of hills. Then probably some more hills.
I anticipate mud and fun. I anticipate that someone will be able to help me assemble myself properly and put on the new gaiters which I took out of the package just yesterday. I anticipate my friends all around at the start then us quickly floating apart as we all hit our own stride as the start gets underway. I anticipate cold, wet feet. I anticipate new blisters. I anticipate fatigued legs.
I know that I will be running 31 miles. I know that the race will be “just two loops”. I know the mantra I will use throughout the race. I know that I will have at least one water crossing where my feet will get wet. I know that I’ll have a drop bag at the half way point
although I’m not really sure what to put in it. I know that the trail will be technical. I know the trail may be confusing. I know that I’ll be following the pink/magenta ribbons and arrows. I know that I will finish.
Just two loops and I’ll be done. Just two loops. JUST.TWO.LOOPS.
So on Saturday as you are huffing and puffing thru your run, please whisper into the wind “just two loops” to give me that added push to get thru whatever Huff gives me.
** Just Two Loops ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **