My best friend told me once that I could do anything if the “right” Lizz showed up on the right day.
I had a moment, a moment of complete insanity. Stemming, (I think), from a desperate need to prove something to myself. In this moment I woke up at the crack of dawn, downloaded an application, filled it out, and waited for the post office to open with my face pressed against the fogged up glass door. I then wrote out a check for over $100 and paid an extra $13 to have the exact time stamped to the front of the envelope. I checked my email everyday for 2 weeks, every 10 seconds.
Then yesterday, I rubbed the unbelief out of my eyes as I read the long awaited email, from someone I have never met, stating that in fact, “You have made it into the 2011 running of the Squaw Peak 50 Mile Trail Run.”
Then in the next sentence I read, “But we are still offering you between now and up to 3 weeks before the race to drop from the race and have $80 of your entry fee rolled over for an opportunity to get into next year’s lottery. This request must be made through email AND addressed to SQUAW PEAK 2011 WITHDRAWEL.” So should I be relieved that there is an out? Or scared out of my pants that there exists only 2 spaces and a period between the congratulations and the withdrawal procedure?
I can honestly say that there aren’t names for the emotions that I have been feeling the last 24 hours since receiving the long awaited, albeit bi-polar-esque, email. Maybe that’s what I am, Bi-polar. “I can do this!” “What the crap was I possibly thinking?” “Wait! I am an Ironman, that scared me silly and I still did it.” “I’m doomed to fail….”
I turn to my good friend, John, who happens to have his own running store, organizes his own races, run the Squaw Peak several times, and in fact has run the Wasatch 100 many times over.
“John, I got in.”
“Hi Lizz! It’s been like months! Got in to what?”
“The Squaw Peak.”
“Oh, well you know that makes Ironman seem like nothing. This is like 10 x harder than Ironman.”
“Ha...ha...um, John why aren’t you laughing?”
“But really the race doesn’t even start until mile 33. Then the next 17 miles are the hardest. My only advice is to save what’s in the tank for the climb at mile 33. It’s 7 miles of hands and knees then 10 miles of downhill.”
He kept talking…
“And don’t worry because you are only running through snow for about 14 or 15 miles, the rest is just plain hot! The sun just beats down on you. But get out early and save something for after mile 33 and you will be alright. If you are in pretty good shape you should be able to finish in 12-13 hours.”
I was getting that nauseous feeling, that slight pounding in the ears; I think my tongue started to swell a little bit. John had more to say.
“As soon as you can start running, get on the mountain and run up and down 3 or so times. And get on the treadmill right away, set it at the highest incline and try to maintain a 4 mile per hour pace.”
I was looking deep into his face, searching to find any glimmer of humor. Was this man joking? Wait was that a tiny twitch on the side of his mouth…nope. Nothing…he was staring right at me and the only thing he found funny was…well…me. Or that was what I was thinking anyway.
Scared, ignorant, and doubtful are the words that describe the bile boiling in my stomach. Especially since I have bruised the bones on the bottom of my left foot and have severe tendonitis. Yes sir, found that out the same day I found out about my acceptance and impending withdrawal from the race.
Truth is, I really want to do an Ultra-marathon. Truth is I’m scared. But I kinda like being a little bit scared. Truth is I knew the Squaw Peak was tough, but truth is I really had no concept of just how tough. But I heal this foot, I train, I prepare, I suck it up, and I just hope and pray that the “right” Lizz shows up on race day.