I must have a little crazy in me. I've never run a race in my life. I'm not sure why. I love to run and have a competitor's drive deep within me. So, you may be asking why I think I'm crazy?
Here is why: I've decided to train for the Pikes Peak Ascent. Why start with a small race when you can go big? Plus if I can make it through this without managing to hurt myself, I will be in tip top shape for hunting season which for me... opening day just happens to be a week after the ascent.
If you are unfamiliar with the Pikes Peak Ascent, let me provide some context. It is a 13.32 mile race with 7815 vertical feet to climb. The goal? Reach the summit of Pikes Peak. Now there are some really hard core runners who will make a marathon out if it and run back down the mountain. (I think I'll pass on that this year.)
You must also qualify for the race. Apparently they don't want people just showing up, attempting to run this thing and end up scattered on the face of the mountain passed out. So, you need to have either already run a half-marathon with a qualified race or participate in the Tripe Crown series and put down qualifying times in the first two 10 Ks. Only if you meet these requirements are you allowed to participated in the final race - Pikes Peak Ascent.
Every morning since I've made this decision, I wake up staring this purple mountain in the face. She dares me to run. She motivates me to train harder. And in the evening there is a little flicker of light on the horizon, pretending to be a star in the fading light. I know better. It is the lone building on the summit reminding me of how far I'll have to run / climb. My constant reminder whether by day or night pushes me to train. So I'll train.
What is your motivation to train in the off season?
Some First Person race accounts (what am I getting myself into?!):
- "It was agonizing. I was delirious from oxygen deprivation"
- "I guess altitude and I are never going to be friends"
- "The race began a constant search for a good "sitting rock."
- "I realized that I would have to qualify for the Boston during another race."
- "I think I'll go back to sport climbing. I suck at that also, but at least it doesn't hurt so much."
- "What the heck was I thinking? This is a stupid idea!"