It has been almost two months since my last post just a few days after the Rockin' K 50 Miler and these past eight weeks can be described as nothing other then insane. The impact of a tough economy continues to weigh heavily on our family business, Great Plains Running Co. While we are surviving better then others, it has been tough and tiring work. In addition, our race race season (the ones that we direct) shifted into high gear with three events, three weekends in a row. Somewhere in there the Free State 100K which was intended to be my final tune up race was abruptly ended when lightning and tornadoes forced RD Ben Holmes to pull runners off the course ten miles from the finish. At home, May, which is always a busy month was exceptionally hectic with two Birthdays (Zach & Cassie), Mother's Day, an elementary school graduation (Cassie) and a middle school graduation (Molly). Oh yeah, this is also supposed to be the highest volume training period in my preparation for June 27th's Western States 100. While all of this has somewhat taken a toll on me physically, mentally and spiritually, I am encouraged by the fact that life seems to be getting somewhat back to normal and in a week the heavy training will be over and I can begin tapering.
With April and May then behind us, I can begin to focus on the actual race. As I assess where I am at physically I am feeling surprisingly confident, not just as it relates to Western States but for the other three races that follow. My foot problem appears to be fixed, I have been much more race specific in my training this year, and with parenting challenges becoming less "dire" then a year ago I should have the opportunity to be better prepared mentally as well. And so, as I prepare for the final week of hard training, the list of things I worry about is thankfully short;
- Wildfires: Last year's race was canceled for this reason, a repeat would be a real drag as I now have committed two year's of training to this race.
- My Quads: To quote Rick Mayo after his return from the WS100 training camp, " There is no way in the Midwest to prepare for the intense downhills that can be up to four miles. long".
- Snakes: Rattle snakes are common at Western States, and after two near misses with Copperheads this spring, I'm a little spooked!
- Staying Healthy: This is not the time to get a summer cold.