Exactly one month from today I will run in a 208 mile relay through the Smoky Mountains as part of a 12 (wo)man team. (click on picture for link) 30 days, 20 hours and 31 minutes, to be exact.
My sister Kasey is traveling from Arkansas to take part, which makes everything so much more exciting for me! She has been my running cheerleader, the absolute best. Also part of the team are several of my equally crazy running friends that I've met in the last almost 9 months of living here, who have also supported and encouraged me continually. And some new friends too!
I will run 3 of the 36 legs.
I have been training like my life depends on it. (I really hope I don't die.) ;) It really helps in training when you are thinking that if you fail to do what you know you need to, you're not just letting yourself down, you're letting down the team.
I ran my longest run to date on Saturday - 7 miles. This Saturday I need to do 8. The next, I'll peak at 10. Then back down to 8, then 6. During the week I am working on my pace. On the weekend long runs, distance, obviously. And in the next couple of weeks I need to throw some doubles in there. Run in the am, run again 12 hours later...and also a trial run the week before...3 runs within 24 hours....so my body at least recognizes that when I ask it to do that during the relay.
The hardest part?....NO MUSIC, whatsoever. Lame state laws don't allow it during road races like this. Ahhhhhhhh!!! But, I'm determined to focus on the wild ponies, running streams, beautiful scenery, my new Forerunner GPS watch (yippee!!)...and race-day adrenaline to pull me through!
After weeks of having nightmares about all the things that could go wrong, I'm finally overcoming the fear and looking forward to it! I think it will be one of those events in your life that you can look back on when you're 90 and say, "Yeah, I DID!"