I have decided to make the jump…
Last year, I completed my first 50 miler and my first official trail 50k (did not make the cutoff for the 50 miler, but that is another story). I was talking to a friend while running one evening, several months after the 50, and she told me I had qualified for the Western States 100 mile race based on my time. I did not believe her and did some research of my own. Sure enough, I had. I began to research the race and had all the registration and lotto times saved into my calendar and set to alarm on my phone.
You can bet I registered the day that registration opened! I then followed the number of lotto entrants closely, checking at least once a week (ok, probably more). When the official vetted list came out with the number of lotto tickets, I swear I checked it at least 3 times for my name. Yup… I was listed with one ticket. I had to work on lotto day. It felt like every time I went to the computer to do documentation, I was pulling up the list on my phone. I was convinced I was going to walk into a patients room beaming and unable to control myself from announcing my great news to everyone. Well, the time came and went for the lotto and despite checking the list 3 or 4 times after it ended, my name did not show up on the list… as if another refresh was going to magically change that.I was bummed, but if you know me at all, you know I am determined. Over the course of the next few days, I plotted ways to get into WS 100. The most obvious, and for me the only way to have another chance was to run another qualifying race. This year, the list has changed and is comprised of mostly 100k’s and 100 milers. I spent time looking at calendars, travel time, race accessibility, entry availability, course profile (for likeness to the WS) and reviews. My first choice was full, my second was a lotto, which I did not want to chance again. I settled on my third choice, the Bighorn 100 miler.
I should preface this next paragraph by saying that I do not wake up easily. I set at least 3 alarms that require me to solve math problems to turn them off. The third one requires me to get my butt out of bed and take a picture of something in the other room. Guess what? I have outsmarted that one and have figured out that if I turn off the phone, the alarm stops. Go me. Anyways, the morning registration opened, I was sick as a dog and had the day off. Ben came in, of course, after being awake for at least an hour, and asked about registration. I do not think I have ever woken up that fast. The house alarm could be going off, sirens in the front yard, dog barking, and I still think I would get up slower to that than I did this morning.
I immediately registered, and of course, went promptly back to sleep. When I did finally wake up for the day, my first thought was “Oh, no! What have I done!” This was then quickly followed by excitement, followed by fear, followed by panic, followed by more excitement, and so the cycle started.I spent my free time the next several days researching training plans and reading tips from experienced runners. One would think I should have done that before signing up, but I do like to just go for it. I ordered a book, created several online bookmarks, and set up an excel spreadsheet with daily and weekly mileage.
I still need to work out a few kinks in my plan, but I am also about to wrap up week 5 into a 20 week plan. My goal is to start to share my experience leading up to my first ever 100 miler with you. In the meantime, I have 130 days between now and then and lots of miles to cover to prep!