Friday, January 8, 2010

100 Miler Limbo

In September 2009 I threw my hat into the ring, deciding to enter the Umstead 100 Miler on 27 March 2010, near Raleigh, NC. I have only attempted (and finished) one other 100 mile trail run, that at Massanutten, VA back in 1998. So I figured that if I ever was going to run another 100 I’d better do it soon, frankly, before I was too old and slow.

As some or many of you may know, Umstead is a popular race that fills virtually immediately. On-line registration opened at noon and the race was filled less than 10 minutes later. In consideration of the fact that not all prospective entrants have Internet access, a number of slots were held open for snail-mailers, so when I didn’t make it thru the narrow on-line window I immediately mailed off a hard copy entry form.

That route proved problematic as well. My app did not make it in time to snag a guaranteed entry, but I was placed on a waiting list. The waiting list is being used to feed entrants into the race as official registrants drop for various reasons.

Disclaimer: All of the above is simply to state the facts as I know them, and NOT to complain in any way about the entry procedures put in place by the race director. Believe me, I am awe of and grateful to all those RDs out there who sacrifice so much to put on a race. This is the free market at work—the RD can set up any rules desired for his/her race, and if one wishes not to be governed by same, then you take your entry application elsewhere.

No, the point of this post is just to comment upon the psychological state in which I find myself. I am WAY down on the wait list; in fact, I started out as # 51 of 53, so I am by no means guaranteed a slot. Due to some wait listers already getting entry and others dropping, looks like I am currently 30th in line. Based upon prior years, I’d guess that my chance of entry is in the 50-75% range. So if I am serious I need to commit to some serious training.

And there’s the rub—I had a real good race at the JFK 50 miler back on 21 Nov 2009, but my training since then has been marginal. I credit (or is debit a better term since I’m being negative?) this to the fact that here in the Keystone State we have had pretty crappy weather the past several weeks in terms of snow, cold temperatures, and a bunch of some seriously windy days. Now I am NOT a treadmill guy—they are a tool of Lucifer as far as I am concerned—so running outdoors is my venue. It’s just been tough to get in those weekend 10 to 20 milers to maintain my long-distance threshold.

My plan to is to get out this weekend for a 20, then on the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday do a 30 or so. Looks like I may just have to run on local roads, depending whether the C&O Canal towpath and the Appalachian trail remain seriously snow-covered. I don’t mind running in some snow, but what remains down right now is iced over, packed down, and refrozen multiple times, not the kind of tread that I’d like to tackle for several hours of running.

More to come later. The refund deadline at Umstead for entrants to get their money back if they drop is 1 Feb. Hopefully the picture will clarify some at that point as to my chances for entry.

1 comment:

  1. Just added you as a favorite after reading your reply on the ULTRA email list. Great blog. JFK 2009 was my first ultra...and hooked me. It's all they say it is. So, that led me to tell my always-ready-for-a-new-adventure running partner that we were going to do a 100-miler in 2010. We really wanted Umstead, but as you stated, it's near impossible. So, then we looked at MTT. Again, we looked too late to realistically get a spot (They at 125+ on the wait list). So, now we're shooting for Big Horn. Looks like a great adventure. Look into it...maybe we'll see you there. Keep blogging. Love it.