Next race is 9/26/15….Mogollan Monster 100 miler. Until going to Eric’s Mountain Running Academy in July, I had not planned to do (or trained for) a 100 mile race this year. One of my dream races is the Hardrock 100, and watching the race unfold this year just made that desire burn deeper. You have to qualify to get into Hardrock, and there are only a few races left this year that qualify. Not only that, but applicants are chosen by lottery, meaning that even if you have a qualifying race you may not get drawn the first, second or even 5th year you apply. I’m not getting any younger, and my odds of getting in on the first draw are slim to none, so I figured I probably needed to get started by getting a qualifier in. Not just any 100 miler will do either. Hardrock is
one of the most difficult courses to race nationally, and likely internationally as well. The qualifying races are extremely difficult as well.
For weeks I had been stewing about how to approach coach with the idea of adding a 100 miler in to my race schedule this year. I just knew he was going to roll his eyes and say “no way”. We already had my race schedule set, I had not been training for the 100 mile distance, and I am notorious for trying to add too many races to my schedule each year. I was also worried it would make him think I was not desiring or committed to the races we had lined out.
So, day 1 of camp, sitting at the picnic table the conversation turns to the recent Hardrock 100 race. I throw out there something like, “I would love to do that race”. Eric flippantly says something about getting a qualifier in this year. I about fell over backwards. For weeks I had been thinking of 5.2 million different ways to approach him with doing a qualifier this year and he just throws it out there! I had even drafted, and redrafted, and tweaked an email trying to give him all of the good reasons why I should do a qualifier this year, KNOWING he was going to think I was nuts. I never had the guts to click send. I could never come up with a good enough logical reason why. I just wanted it. Well now that I had coach’s nod it took me less than a day to get myself signed up for a 100. I must say, it is pretty cool to be able to “just throw in” a 100 miler. And not just any 100 miler, one that only 3 women have completed. That is where Eric’s coaching has taken me. And what a great way to launch my Mt Running Academy experience.
So, here I am, a little over 3 weeks to race day. Strangely confident that I will finish strong, despite the fact that I have been training for 50-100k distances until the last month. I’m not sure if I am just so naive to what I am about to attempt that I don’t know to be more frightened or I actually just have what I need to accomplish this. Either way, I feel good about this race, better really than any 100 miler I’ve done….which again does not make sense to me knowing how “Monstrous” this race is touted to be.
A little about the race...It starts in Pine, Arizona and goes up and down and all around the Mogollan Rim, a 200 mile long escarpment running from Arizona through New Mexico. The trails are very rocky and rugged, used by early settlers to move cattle up and
down the rim for winter and summer grazing. There will be 25,000+ feet of climbing and the same amount of descending over the 106 mile course…..just in case 100 miles wasn’t quite enough they threw a little 10k there at the end. It will likely take me somewhere between 30-36 hours. The cutoff is 36 hours, gotta beat that. The longest time on my feet so far has been 28 hours. So I will be breaking into new territory as far as time on feet and climbing descending.
The recent training has been intense and I am a little fatigued at this point, but a little rest is coming and soon the big day!