I still remember that weekend clearly.
I remember the Adrenaline. The Excitement. The Energy.
I remember the beautiful weather.
I remember thinking how lucky I was to be there.
Then I remember the severe cramping less than 20 miles in.
That it was way too soon to hurt.
I remember thinking if I’d made a mistake.
Then I remember friends helping. The starry nights. The house-sized boulders.
Oh my god, those boulders.
Now, almost 4 months later, I still remember every emotion that transpired over the 33 hours I was on that trail. Yes, I made it 90.7 miles when it should have been 100, but it was a win in my book.
But it’s not a finish, either.
I vowed I would come back if I got into the Superior Trail 100 Mile lottery again. On January 18, my name was pulled from the lottery for the 2nd time.
I have all sorts of emotions flowing back in. Imagine that?
I wonder if it was just a fluke that I made it that far on my very first try at the 100-mile distance at one of the more difficult trail ultras in the country. I’m thankful to have had tremendous help from my crew, and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Now I have another chance.
The training last year was tough because I knew the race was going to be tough. Now that I know what I’m up against, I can focus my efforts on areas that I know need work.
I was pleasantly surprised that many things went so well that weekend. I won’t change very much when I start training again in a few months, but there are some things I need to work on.
For one, I was stopped dead in my tracks trying to find ways to climb over those giant boulders at some speed. It’s like working through giant puzzles while in motion, always wondering if I had missed a faster way up.
Second, I have to find a better way to tape my feet so it doesn’t come unraveled 5 steps in. My feet mostly came out unscathed at the end of it all, so I was doing something right.
And that cramping situation I had early on was kind of a fluke – and an unwelcome surprise. Part of the beauty of doing these things is dealing with surprises, dealing with the unknown, and knowing how to fix things.
I just hope that when the time comes I know what to do. I’m still new at this 100 mile thing, after all.
I have a lot to learn.
I don’t know what the end result will be this time around, but I know, just like the first time, I’m going to give it my best damn shot.
I’m already preparing myself for failure.
But for now, I can dream…
I can dream of being at that finish line.
In case you missed it: My Superior Trail 100 Mile Race Report: So Close…
Header photo credit: Tettegouche State Park. Credit: Dan LaPlante