This past year has been a crazed whirlwind of pitfalls and detours. When I broke my pelvis in February, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to run again. It took months of physical therapy and grueling effort to get from zero gravity restrictions and aqua jogging back to a return to run plan. I had a very short time to prepare for the Ghost Train 100 miler in October and was not confident that I would be able to complete it.
Thanks to my friends and family members that came to crew and pace me, I ended up finishing it as the first place female in 21:19. I spent the next 24 hours in a state of shock and disbelief. I grinned from ear to ear and felt a deep sense of accomplishment as I scrolled through my Facebook posts. It didn’t last long. Someone finally posed the million dollar question: “What is next?” It hit me like a ton of bricks. Holy crap!! I need to do something harder now!? I love the Ghost Train. I sort of had it in my head that I could spend the rest of my days trying to be the first woman and running the same beginner course with familiar faces and friends. But now that I achieved that goal, I would need to chose a harder race. A tougher course. No one ever warns us about the downside of success. Raising the bar.
I went online and looked up 100 mile courses across the country. I finally realized that I needn’t look any further than my own back yard. The Vermont 100 seems like the next appropriate step for me. Although much of the course isn’t technical, it has elevation changes of 28,000 ft. It is also in the heat of July. Unlike my previous ultras, this race has qualification regulations and medical checks that must be passed throughout the race. New territory. This race is part of the Grand Slam series of ultra-running,so I can be expected to be in the company of elite athletes from around the world. Little fish, big pond.
Preparing for the Ghost Train was hard. This will be even harder. This week I will start working with a personal trainer. Twice a week I will be going to the Rehab 3 Center for athletes and doing a 1.5 hour session of functional training. I have been suffering from various injuries ever since I broke my pelvis and this will help me get things back in balance. I have also drafted up a running plan for myself. I will be using a standard back to back ultra running strategy that is broken down into Lydiard phases. How will I get all of this done while taking clients at my massage therapy practice six days a week? I have no idea. But welcome to my circus.