Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 North Face Endurance Challenge ; Looking towards Pine Mountain, GA

If you've read this blog for any time at all, you know how much I love this race. A couple of years ago, it was my virgin ultra and began a long string of epic tales of mishap and fulfillment. I think that's the thing about ultras; some of the best events you can remember are the ones you blew up in completely.  That's just the attraction this race series has on me, and I can't wait for September to get here.

At the inaugural race, I met Dean Karnazes after my 50k finish (abysmal time, so I won't even repeat it) and he told me that the Pine Mountain Trail system was the most technically difficult traiil that the ECS series is run on. That's a pretty impressive statement, but I have no problem whatsoever in believing it. PIne Mountain is a rock and root garden with non-stop ups and downs along some of the most gnarly single track trail you could ever want to run.

I love it.

But on race day, it's a beast. For the 50 miler on that day, it just requires a mental focus that is tough to maintain over a full day. I've had two less than stellar performances in the 50 mile distance and I can't help but wonder if I have the capacity to complete the 50 miler on this course. I want to, I want to really badly. But it is the most unforgiving course I can imagine. For many runners on race day, their initial meeting with Pine Mountain Trail isn't a kind one. Not in the least.

It's because of those reasons that I will, no doubt, be on the starting line again around 5am on race day, looking to push the envelope as far as I possibly can. Last year, the excessive heat took me down hard around Mile 30. This year, I am training harder, WAY harder. I'm also going to begin at least 2 workouts per week on the Pine Mountain Trail itself. I think this will provide big benefits on race day.

But, I could be dead wrong ... :(

No comments:

Post a Comment