Friday, April 29, 2011

Feeling the Fire!

An ironically appropriate title for a blog post about a race through one of the hottest places on Earth, but in this case the fire I'm referring to has nothing to do with Badwater and everything to do with a feeling inside of me. It's an all consuming feeling of intensity, fear, happiness, commitment and satisfaction that has to become a part of me as I approach a run like this. I can't really say that I choose when the fire will start to burn hot, but it always happens.

My preparation for Badwater has been unconventional to say the least. There have been a number of physical and personal hurdles that have prevented what I would call a typical build up in preparation for the race. But within the last couple weeks a lot of things have begun to come together for me and for Go the Distance and I am finally feeling like this is real and Go the Distance~Badwater has taken hold of me. The fire is beginning to burn hot.

After almost no running while recovering from an Achilles tendon tear for 5 weeks, I've put together a couple good weeks of training with some runs in the 30 mile range. I have been pleasantly surprised to find out that the 20+ hours a week of biking and cross training while injured have maintained a decent fitness base and the legs are beginning to come around. With 11 weeks to go, I'm confident I can get to where I want to be physically. I'm not sure I would have been able to say that a month ago. The intensity of my training will now pick up substantially and everything from my pace to the beat coming from my ipod will pick up tempo.

The annual Franklin School Dinner Auction is this Saturday and we will be presenting Go the Distance~ Badwater to the parents and then to the kids at an Assembly on May 13th. We have been working on a great promo video that has really come together this week and I'm excited for the kids, parents and staff to see it. Link to the video I also just saw the design for the t-shirts that will be made available to everyone and I can't wait to see the kids walking around school with their GTD/ Badwater shirts on. They look really cool! (sneak peek - see pic above!)

This week the starting waves were posted for the race and I found out I'll be starting in the final starting heat at 10am. The significance of this is that they intentionally start the fast guys last. It will be a thrill and an honor to stand at the Badwater starting line with some of the best ultra distance runners in the world. That was the starting wave I'd hoped to be in and the people I felt I should be running with.

As if I needed more things happening this week to help light the fire within me, the Sacramento Bee ran the first of a series of stories they will do on Go the Distance and what it takes to prepare for and finish an extreme race like Badwater. Link to the article here.

I guess I feel like the last few months have all just led up to this. I'm ready to release Go the Distance~ Badwater to the Franklin community and to light the fire within me. The legs and body are feeling stronger and more importantly the head and the heart feel right for the first time in quite a while. I'm ready to make the total commitment to training until July 11th at which time I'll stand at the starting line in Death Valley hoping the fire inside me is burning hotter than the scorching temperatures of Badwater!