I Got to Thinking…

Today’s Run

Time – 33:54 (I think…)
Distance – 3.26 miles (Maybe…)
Pace – 10:24 min/mi (If Math doesn’t break…)
Elevation – No clue

Went out, ran for just the fun of it. I didn’t try to hold a pace or heart rate, which is probably not the best idea after a long run, but it didn’t really hurt, and I listened to the body, so I’m gonna say it’s all good. Get home with a fast pace (for me, anyway) and, lo and behold, the Runkeeper app between the AppleWatch and the iPhone have failed me! Luckily, I got a glance at the distance and the pace, so I think this is right. I’m within a 15 seconds either way. A good run for a warm day.

thinking

So Here’s The Idea

Just so we’re all in agreement here, I’m crazy. Choosing to attempt to run a 100 mile race is a little nuts by any standard, but my longest run in the last 10 years is the 7.83 miles I did on Saturday.

*Insert cricket sounds here*

Prior to that, I’ve got three half marathons under my belt and three sprint-distance triathlons. I’m not a runner by history or by athleticism. This is not my area of expertise.

How am I going to pull off THE GOAL? We’ve discussed that I’m going to be hunting for The Plan (If you would like to contribute thoughts to this particular area, feel free to comment below. Seriously…).

That brings us to the question: What is The Idea? It goes something like this:

The Western States Endurance Run has a specific set of criteria for entry. The process is here. It’s not overly complicated, but it does have a very important prerequisite. In order to qualify to even enter the lottery, you need to have a race result from a qualifying 100 kilometer (about 62 miles) or 100 mile race. This means that, in order for me to run Western States, I’ll need to run a different 100 mile race in the preceding year.

Ok, so, I’ve got to run a 100 mile race, finish it, put in for the WS lottery, be selected in December, AND THEN I get to run the following June. Just for context, there were 4248 lottery participants in 2017, and 369 TOTAL spots for the race, including the Top–10 Men and Women from 2016, the Aid Station selections (each aid station gets to put one runner in the race), and Sponsor selections (pay for the race, get to race…makes sense to me). Odds are pretty small for a first time selection in the lottery. If I don’t get chosen, I have to run a qualifying race the next year, finish it (this is key, by the way…no finish, no result, no entry into the lottery), and then put in for the lottery again. If I don’t get chosen…you get The Idea.

The upside is that, if not selected, and I submit for the lottery the VERY NEXT YEAR, I get to have my name in the hat twice. If I put in consecutively for the three years, I’m in three times. This goes on and on until I am selected. Thus, my odds increase. In the meantime, I’m running at least one 100 mile race a year until I do get in. Lots of training is built into this plan, whether I like it or not.

Here’s the kicker that makes all of this possible with limited travel. There is a race, the Tunnel Hill 100, about 2 1/2 hours from here in Vienna, IL. It’s a 100 mile trail race, and it’s so flat that the second fastest 100 mile run time was done there. Not really helpful for Western States, as the course profile below would seem to indicate…

profile

So, that’s The Idea. I’ll run 100 miles, hope that I can win the lottery (quite literally), and then go to California and do it again on what can only be described as a stupidly harder course. No problem!

Breathing heavily into a paper bag

I’m fine…

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