Do I know what I’m getting myself into? Probably not, but that’s the excitement and challenge of it all.
Last month at the corporate challenge race, which is more like a party with a little running/exercise mixed in, I ran into a guy I met at last year’s Finger Lakes 50’s. We’ve been getting together a few times since then to talk about running. He’s still the only person outside the Loop I talk about anything running. On this occasion after discussing this year’s race plans, we both kind of mentioned that it would be neat to run a 100 miler someday, and he seemed like he’d want to train for it with me, but we just left it at that.
I didn’t sleep much that night, which is highly unusual for me. Partly because of the evening run, which I never do, had me wired. But mostly it was the thoughts whizzing through my brain about what I kind of just agreed to do.
Can I do that?
There will be bumps in the road, but how far south do I let training go before shutting down?
How do I approach Mrs NavEng about this?
What’s it going to cost?
Is this just me getting more selfish with the money and time spent on running?
Anyway, this called for a serious sit-down meeting with running buddy and a fine IPA. Maybe I just dreamed the interaction at the corporate challenge.
We met, and we established that we’re both “all-in”. We agreed on the Beast of Burden Winter 2020. If you get bored easily, this one is not for you. You’re staring at the frozen Erie Canal for the duration. Zero elevation change. We discussed the many things that need to be considered, including our race buildup plan. Not only did he want to train with me, but also talked about how to run it together. I don’t want to force him to do that, because he’s 10 years younger and LOTS faster than me. We established that there will be no time goals, just the 30 hr limit. And we discussed ways of running together without the need to be side-by-side and jibber jabber with the same dude nonstop. My #1 message to him that day is that the preparation will have to be 100% complete. I will treat it like a project with a start, finish, and milestones. If an injury or several failed key runs or races delay progress, we cancel and start over.
I left that meeting with a little more clarity. Next step is the talk with the wife. Keeping her reassured that I’m not going to die is one of the top goals for this. I really believe she thinks I will die every time I put on my running shoes. Rule #1 is that she is not allowed to crew. I’ll update her with texts, but it's guaranteed she’d try to convince me to quit at the first sign of discomfort. Not a good quality in a crew member. I guess that’s because she loves me so much. Maybe this is a good thing to help me respect the race and do everything smart.
So I had the wife meeting, and after I was assured no major heart attacks were happening after the 100 word was uttered, I went straight to the most assuring arguments I have:
Running Buddy has his PhD in Kinesiology and is a professor at the local college. I ordered him to keep me from doing anything stupid.
His wife is an ER nurse. She’ll be there to make sure that if I succeed in doing something stupid, she knows what to do.
As I discussed with RB, plans will be scrapped and we’ll re-evaluate if anything goes wrong in the next 18 months.
One of my promises I made when I started running 10 years ago, that I not take away from family time, will be kept. Long runs will still be on weekends while everyone is still sleeping.
I think she’s ok now.
I then went to create a 7-page Excel workbook to start the planning. Things may start getting geeky.
The ego will take a hit
It will suck. Many times.