I am so nervous about this race. Just doing this write up makes me feel sick to my stomach.
My lead up to Bighorn has not been ideal, but I’m feeling optimistic because it seems like my mountain fitness has taken a big step up in the last week or two. Every run since my ankle sprain has felt better than the last one, and on yesterday’s run I felt like I finally had my full stride back. 2016 has been a good year for me (so far), with my body responding well to every challenge I throw at it. From a fast (for me) half marathon in the spring, to my race at Diez Vista, to my 7x Prairie Mountain repeats and the FKT on the Glasgow to Banded Traverse. My legs are strong and I feel like my head is in the right place.
Still … my track record at Bighorn is not good and 100 milers are incredibly unpredictable. There are so many factors beyond my control, and I know that ultimately this race is less about fitness and more about how I respond to unexpected challenges when they come up. This is likely the fittest I have been going into a race, and it makes me nervous because I know it could all just blow up in my face..
I’m trying to keep a healthy perspective.
More than anything I need a finish. With two DNFs on this course I feel like I’m overdue for a good race, but maybe I’m just overdue to put my ego aside and shuffle to the finish line. Honestly, I would be okay with a shuffle – I just need to get this monkey off my back. Also, I need a Hardrock qualifier.
In addition to finishing I also have more ambitious goals. I’d love to join the prestigious “Rusty Spurs Club“, a special designation reserved for those individuals who run sub-24hrs at Bighorn. I have broken 24hrs in my last two 100 mile races so I know it’s possible, but running sub-24 at Bighorn is relatively rare for female competitors. 3 ladies managed it last year. No ladies broke the barrier in 2014 or 2015.
My “A” goal is to win Bighorn. Yes, I know that sounds pretentious, but I’m putting it out there anyway. It’s a race, and I want to race as hard as I possibly can. I want to run as fast as possible, and collapse in exhaustion at the finish line. There is a very quality women’s field this year, and I am choosing to count myself among them.
My “A+” goal is 21:14. This would be a new 100 mile personal best for me. It would also be a course record, so I should probably forget about this goal all together. But, I can’t help but think that 21:14 might be possible. When I work out the splits that seem reasonable (assuming no puking and decent weather) they come out to 20:59 … Unfortunately, I’ve never run 100 miles with good weather and no puking so this is probably a goal to aspire to, but not necessarily achieve.
If you want to follow along and watch the carnage unfold, I think you can do so here.
In the meantime, here are a few photos from yesterday’s mountain adventure up Head Mountain! You know it’s a good mountain adventure when it takes 7hrs to cover 22km 🙂