The Wasatch 100 is in less than a month. It is the hardest race I've ever entered. And after last weekend I've accepted the reality that the race might kill me.
On Saturday I had my very first experience running a section of the course. We ran Big Mountain to Elbow Fork (around 19 miles). I know those names mean nothing to you. They mean nothing to me too. I don't know anything about the logistics of the race. So when veterans start telling me about certain parts of the course I notice myself zoning out and thinking about how Kenny G gets his hair so curly.
What I CAN tell you is that the section we ran was really, really difficult. And pretty beautiful too.
I was joined by my good friends Jared and Catherine. For the life of me I truly can't understand why, but both of them are eager to pace me at the Wasatch 100. I think they must be wanting to see my inevitable brokenness and trail-side sobbing. Regardless of their reasons, I am infinitely appreciative of their willingness.
My sister Hollie also joined in on the run. This was her longest run in years and she tackled it like a champ. When people see my muscles they often mistake me for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jared has run the Wasatch 100 so I am putting our friendship in his hands with the expectation that he won't get me lost in the middle of the race.
The section we ran was really technical with a heavy dose of steep, relentless climbing. We only hit an occasional section that really felt runnable.
My favorite part of the trail was climbing to the top of a mountain and then having this beautiful single track weave us through aspens down to the bottom.
While on the trail we happened to come across our friends Mike and Francesco. I wanted to punch Mike right in the kisser when I asked how that section of the trail compared to the race course in general. He said "That section is probably a little easier." It took all the self control I possess to not unleash my inner Arnold Schwarzenegger. And Francesco, well, that guy has the cutest kid that has ever been spotted on a trail.
It was like an Altra family reunion out on the trail.
I admit, those 19 miles made me more excited for the race. It helps to get a taste of what I'm in for. Those 19 miles also made me really, really scared.