This Saturday marks my return to Hinson Lake for the 24-hour Ultra Running Classic. Last year I ran 62 miles in 16 1/2 hours on the mile and a half loop course. I also ended the night in tears, as last year's race recap documents.
This year I have, as always, 3 goals:
- Stretch Goal: 50 laps/76 miles
- Moderate Goal: Anything over 62 miles is a win
- Things Went Horribly Wrong Goal: Don't cause any lasting damage to my body
Here's the good news: With perhaps one exception, physically I'm in great shape. My running has never been faster and stronger. I've been doing some biking to cross-train and my abs are tuned up from Crossfit. (Never underestiamte the importance of a strong core for running!)
Here's the not-bad-but-causing-some-concern-news. My ankles have been hurting for the past month or two, on and off my runs. My ankles are what took me out last year at Hinson and the year before at Crooked Road and that was when they felt fine going into the races. I'm not sure what to expect if my ankles are already sore before the first lap.
At this point, there's nothing to be done about it. My plan this year is to start slow, take several extended (up to an hour or two) breaks, prop my feet up the wall often to pool blood away from my ankles and change shoes at least three times. That, and to eat. The best part of running ultras is the food. Lots and lots and lots of food.
I'm most excited because my friend Cindy will be running Hinson as well this year. And hubby Blair Harris makes a return appearance as crew member extraordinaire.
A few people (bless you) have mentioned showing up to pace me on some laps. What I'd recommend is checking my Facebook page first, to make sure I'm still moving. Blair will post updates on my progress there.
Of course, I'll have a full race recap for you next week. Until then... SLOW, STEADY and 75 MILES!!!