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Into a New Unknown

NavEng

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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.

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But, why?

I know - challenging goals can be inspiring... I think a beautiful mountain race would entice me more than a frozen canal. But good luck!

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3 minutes ago, BANGLE said:

But, why?

I know - challenging goals can be inspiring... I think a beautiful mountain race would entice me more than a frozen canal. But good luck!

Good point and something I'm thinking about and will write about. Something along the lines of the journey vs the event.

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I'm not one to call anyone crazy, but frozen Erie for your first 100 miler? Go for it.

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Sounds like you definitely thought it through! The good thing about something like this is that if things start to go south, or you change your mind, you can always change your goal. I think it will be super helpful to have someone else doing this alongside you. I see a training partner for this kind of race being incredibly helpful. Best of luck to you! 

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Congrats on convincing the wife! Mine is at the point she just asks me to double check that the life insurance is paid up.

Good luck with the training!

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1 hour ago, Dave said:

I'm not one to call anyone crazy, but frozen Erie for your first 100 miler? Go for it.

even crazier is the other half of the series - the same course in August

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52 minutes ago, NCAthlete said:

Sounds like you definitely thought it through! The good thing about something like this is that if things start to go south, or you change your mind, you can always change your goal. I think it will be super helpful to have someone else doing this alongside you. I see a training partner for this kind of race being incredibly helpful. Best of luck to you! 

thanks. I think I kind of got lucky in that (so far) we've agreed on everything from strategy to preparation from now til then.

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YESSSSSSSSS! I think that's awesome. Glad to know I'm not the only one that has to put together an excellent sales pitch for my spouse. :)

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Any time I mention a running idea to DH, he just says "ok". Very supportive and understands the crazy. But I haven't come close to 100 miler crazy! 

Also, I love spreadsheets. Looking forward to reading about your training!

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same here. She'll always say ok and supports me 100%, but deep down knows I'm going to die.😊

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Sounds like an epic adventure. Not sure how you plan on the training runs not cutting into family time. I need sleep but maybe you are one of those people who don't?

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Wishing you success along the entire journey. The great thing is that your attempting something you realized you wanted to do. Many people say they have goals but thats as far as it goes.

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16 hours ago, ocrunnergirl said:

Sounds like an epic adventure. Not sure how you plan on the training runs not cutting into family time. I need sleep but maybe you are one of those people who don't?

Usually 6 hours is enough for me. For a Saturday long run, I could go out for 3-4 hours and be home before there's much activity going on here.

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Well, this is an exciting piece of news. If there's one thing I know, it's that you have the focus and discipline to do this (not to mention the spreadsheet prowess). Good luck!

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On 7/21/2018 at 11:27 AM, NavEng said:

Usually 6 hours is enough for me. For a Saturday long run, I could go out for 3-4 hours and be home before there's much activity going on here.

that's what I did when kids were smaller.. all long workouts started at 4-5am on weekend days, home by 8-9 to get on with the family day. All other workouts had to fit into a lunchtime at work. It's not optimal training but it gets it done.. 

The legendary Tim Twietmeyer (an engineer) won Western States 100 on this kind of schedule, 

93043494_timtwietmeyertraining.thumb.jpg.e67d97c17a1fbb65af61e136d918fcd2.jpg

there's a Springsteen/Seeger song about the Eire Canal, I'd have that earworm the whole way.. 
I've got a mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She's a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
 

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I like the way he thinks. Makes you appreciate Excel, though. We sang that song in elementary school, although I never paid much attention in music class.

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