Many On The Genny
40 miles in Letchworth State Park
Last year, it was fun, but also taught me how smart I needed to be to finish strong. With limited aid and water, it’s necessary to be on top of nutrition and hydration early and I need to remember to fill my bottles at all aid stations.
I remember vividly last year the 8 mile stretch with no aid. I ran out of water. I got upset. I cried a lot. When I finally got to the next and final aid station, I dove into the ice bucket. Silly mistake that could have been avoided.
I will avoid those this year.
I have thought about what I want to get out of this race. Mostly, I want to feel like I can finish an ultra race feeling strong and prepared. I don’t want anything that I could have foreseen and controlled to get me. Sure, I might fall, I might get sick or tired, but I don’t want things like hydration or improper clothing to hinder my performance. I want to start and finish strong, not hobbling or dying.
A strong, solid race, that’s what I want.
My coach believes I can go sub-7 hours, so that is generally what I will shoot for. Last year, the first 20 miles of the race took my 3 hours, the second half took me over 4 so I want to work on that. Fuel and hydrate early, control the over-heating, don’t let me emotions get to me. Remember why I do this.
Basically I want to practice what I’ve been doing on my lovely Sundays off in a race setting. I don’t really know what racing an ultra is yet. Seriously for me it’s still about finishing. How someone can race for over 8 hours is something I’ve yet to understand. At some point I break and just focus on the next mile, finishing the leg, getting to the next aid station. I need something outside pace, placing or finishing time to focus on to keep me going. Sure, I’m motivated by those things, but not that much.
It’s about my experience, pushing my body, and enjoying the pain and suffering that comes along with it. Pain is really the only thing that has always motivated me to live. It reminds me what it means to make life worth it. Pain brings joy.
That sounds really warped, but I don’t mean it sadistically. I mean that only through pain, suffering and hard times have I fully learned to embrace the happiness and love I get from other areas of my life. Only going through pain will I understand and appreciate all the good I have.
Outside of racing, I am just happy to get back to the Trail Methods, Trails Roc and all my friends up in Rochester. They are the BEST people out there. I do not deserve friends like them. They brought me back to the sport last year when I felt really out of touch. I need them.
Many On The Genny, here I come!