Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wasatch 100 - Yikes!

I ran my first marathon when I was 14.  Dumb, I know, but it took me going out way too fast and struggling mightily to finish to recognize that.  When I finished and my mom helped ease me into a chair, I said "Never again."  It took me a long time to break that vow, but I did it a coupla years ago in a local trail marathon.  And now I am about to embark on an outing that's nearly 4 times as long, to really break that vow!

I am not sure why I put my name in the lottery for the Wasatch 100; when I did Speedgoat last year a friend said "Well, you know what you have to do next!" and I said to myself:  No, not really; I don't have to do a hundred miler."  But of course time goes on, and the intrigue mounts, and thus I stand on the precipice.

This year has not been conducive to such an excursion; a sore knee that didn't heal itself over the winter came to the fore again as I started to run in the spring, and through the typical process of ever-increasing treatment efforts and throwing money at it I found I had a torn meniscus, which is not a big deal to fix.  But two fun trips that I had not only precluded my ability to get the surgery, they weren't really "training missions" for running 100 miles at the end of the summer.  I considered letting go of the race, but my opinion sort of changed when the ever-blunt Chad Bracklesberg said "Did you think you were going to win?"  To which I blustered....well, no of course not; I just wannalearn a lot and see how it goes.  And his point was made; I don't have to be in Top Form to go out and make a go of it.

So finally in mid-July I got the surgery and was able to get going shortly thereafter, but then faced the challenge of ramping up quickly without getting hurt otherwise.   I seemed to navigate this mostly successfully (ironically, I jeopardized my health by stupidly doing a bike tour with a saddle that was too high, tweaking my achilles and hamstring; while I got some great treatment at Pinnacle Performance, this could become "real" over the next 24 hours) but the truth is that I have less than 300 miles of training under my belt to run 100 in a day! Ah well, so it goes.

My big concern is heat; it's progged to be 90 tomorrow, and I've ended up on the end of an IV several times by pushing too hard in the heat.  So I'm testifying here that I've Got To Make Sure To Drink More Than I Think I Need.  And struggle against an odd thing; going at a normal pace.  I've done so many 1-4 hour outings where you can pretty much give'er the whole time; even 6 hours is ok pushing hard but just slightly sub-max.  But wow.... 24 hours??? or more???  I don't think I can even go "normal"; I gotta go slower than normal.  And trying to anticipate at hour 5 how I'm going to feel at hour 20, or 25??

I think it has helped me to clarify what my goals are, which also led to why I entered when I barely knew myself:  I want to push myself and try something hard, but I also want to have a nice long outing in the mountains covering a lot of terrain in my backyard I barely or don't know at all, meet some nice folks, get some good quality time with my excellent pacers (Aaron Smith, Colter Leys, and Ari Menitove), give my buddy Ashley a bit of excitement, and have a generally nice adventure that is supported with food and water and would be difficult for me to do otherwise.  But if I feel like death and/or I feel like I'm injuring myself, I'm hoping that my ego is such that I won't be a lesser person if I decide to bail.  Tho I must say I'm a bit determined to lose the pool that Chad said he wanted to start:  "At what mile will Diegel blow up?!"

As someone told me:  "So many things can go wrong" and another said "So many things are different after 50 miles."  And I don't even know.  But I guess that's why I'll be slugging along tomorrow morning, afternoon, night, and the following morning; I'll be finding out.

Here's the link to track my progress:


  1. Tom! I just cruised over to the blog to see if you were pre-race reporting on Wasatch. are! Stoked you're running.

    I just got a last-minute bid into the Bear I feel you on the uncertainty. Go out, enjoy a nice summer/fall day, and have some fun. Maybe I'll see you at Brighton AS while I wait for my runner tomorrow.

  2. Looking forward to part two !!

    Good luck