The news came as a shock.
Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to compete in the 2015 Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, presented by AdventureCORPS, Inc. You are part of a select group who will participate in what is recognized across the globe as “the world’s toughest footrace.”
Then… PAY NOW!
Shiiiiiiit. Who applies for the baddest of the badass races and forgets about it?! Seriously. I know, I did it “just to see” and figured I had no chance, since I’ve only completed the minimum three 100 milers required to apply. I thought I should start getting my name out there so that the organizers would eventually let me in. In any case, it wasn’t in my race plan, as July was supposed to provide a mid-season break with no racing.
But something happens once you get into a race like Badwater. The “can I do this?” mindset takes over, and since ultra runners tend to have short memories and optimistic outlooks, the answer is invariably “YES I can!”
But… The money. I won’t be prepared for this. It’s only five weeks after TGNY 100. TSP won’t be able to come. I don’t have a crew.
And but… If I turn it down now will they ever let me in again? Couldn’t this be my year of really big races? With the new nighttime start rule it will be cool at night, right? Will I regret it if I don’t go? Am I ever going to be better ultra-trained, with the same motivation and means to do this?
I put off making a decision as long as possible. I kept silent as I watched friends Facebook-announce their intentions to run Badwater to hundreds of likes and unanimous congratulations. When I asked TSP what he would do in my position, his reply displayed an appropriate level of maturity: “I wouldn’t have applied if I wasn’t planning to run it.”
I wrote out a check and put it in an envelope and carried it around for a couple of days. I researched nighttime temperatures in Death Valley in July and was alarmed to find that my guesstimate of, oh, around 50-60F was off by at least 40 degrees. I decided I needed to start re-reading Scott Jurek’s book, which I read so long ago I forgot he started it off by recounting how trashed he got from underestimating the Badwater race.
By Friday morning I’d had enough of self-doubt and took the plunge off the deep end. I dropped my check in the mail, posted something on Facebook, and went to work on preparations for the Millrose Games. By the time I checked in again I had enough offers of help to make at least two crews. Poof! My first big worry– vanished. Next up is the logistical challenge of setting dates for travel and booking hotels, flights and cars. And stuff like reflective vests and sprayers, ideally two I’m told. Oh crap, I just want to run. What did I get myself into this time?
Week in Review 2/9
Monday: AM: 4 miles easy to moderate. PM: 2 miles for running mechanics test
Tuesday: AM: 13 miles intervals, strength workout. PM: 3 miles easy to moderate
Wednesday: 3 miles easy, 45-minute pool running class
Thursday: AM: 10 miles with very short intervals. PM: 4.5 miles easy to moderate, strength workout
Friday: 3 miles easy
Saturday: 10 miles with VO2 max intervals, strength workout
Sunday: 14.5 miles with hills, 1:15 easy yoga