Monday, July 7, 2014

If you want to follow me at Vol State, here you go.



I'm packed and nervous as hell.  Leaving for Tennessee at 4:30 Tuesday morning.

Race starts July 10th at 7:30 am.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Vol State: You may feel a little pressure


Only :27 long so just watch it

This video clip was actually part of my parenting skills, right Zane?  I am using these parenting skillz on myself. 

In the post below, I talk about Vol State suffering.  Everything will hurt.  Everything.  To divert myself from the pain of everything hurting, I ended up hurting my shoulder two weeks prior to the race.  In reality, I didn't do it on purpose but I hurt it and the pain of the shoulder will make me think much less about the pain in my feet and legs during Vol State.

I've trained hard for Vol State. It all started in October of 2013.  I finished my second 100 miler in December, did a 100k in February, finished 116 miles across the state of Florida in March and as what turned out to be my last long run, completed a really difficult 100k trail run in June.  While compared to many who run ultras, what I have recently done is NOTHING.  For me, accomplishing all of this is a real improvement in my performance.  I'm running more and walking less than in the past.  Recovery has been better since I just started taking enough HC to keep me moving and keep recovery going.  I used to say I did a lot of walking and crying.  I'm doing much more running and power walking now and less walking and crying.  I've been sober for nearly a year which has helped my training in many ways.

So here I am with a hurt shoulder.  Do I run on my shoulder?  No.  Can I swing my arm normally while I run?  No.  Do I do Vol State or not?  After talking to three orthopedic doctors, the resounding answer about whether I would worsen my injury was, "No but you won't be comfortable!"  Hence the video!  

As I see it, I can waste nine months of good training, sit home and cry OR I can hit the roads of Tennessee as planned and cry.  My choice is to have one hell of an adventure and cry when needed.  I have been more or less home and running for two weeks with five more on the horizon before surgery.  I'm not cool with that.  I'm tired of crying and feeling useless (I can't do many of the things I want to do/used to be able to do).  I CAN run.  I CAN move forward with the arm strapped down securely.  I have a feeling the arm will be more comfortable not moving all day than attempting to maintain my usual daily activities.

Yes, the shoulder will hurt.  Yes, I will fall on my face.  Yes, I will cry.  It will all be fine because between and during all of those moments there will be adventure, beauty and laughter (even if it's just me laughing at myself).

Many thanks to LB for advice and laughing.  Holli for running with me.  Paul for not stopping me from doing this even though he thinks it's a terrible idea.  Thanks to all of my running friends who think I'm bonkers BUT are not telling me to stay home because they all know how much this race means to my heart and soul and sense of adventure.  I am so looking forward to stepping off the ferry in a sling and eating bacon every chance I get for 300 miles.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Vol State again

This is your prize for finishing 314 miles
That's right, it's time for Vol State again.  It starts on July 10th at 7:30 am in Hickman, Kentucky and about 80 of us have ten days to get to Castle Rock, Georgia.  We can do the 314 miles in any time frame we want as long as it's complete in ten days.  I completed this race in 2012 and DNFed at 208 miles in 2013.  It's hard.  It hurts.  There are people who do it in four days and people who do it in ten.  The suffering of everyone is just that, suffering.  

Tomorrow, I'll post about injury, meds and the challenges I'm going to face in this race.  It will probably be interesting to people with adrenal insufficiency.


Mississippi River seen from the ferry
You might ask, "Why would you want to suffer?"  The answer is simple and not so simple.  Completing 314 miles on foot is an extraordinary accomplishment that makes you feel like nothing else regardless of whether you are at the front or back of the pack.  Seeing Tennessee on foot is amazing.  The kindness and curiosity of strangers is overwhelming and makes you feel like everything is right in the world.  Being around 80 or so other sickos who have trained (you'd hope, right?), thought about this, want to complete this run as badly as you and will share a unique experience is priceless.  To even WANT to do a race like Vol State puts you in a special category of crazy that creates an instant bond. 


True and you know it after a couple of days on hot pavement
                                           
On Tuesday, July 8th, 2014, I will be headed up to Kimball, Tennessee.  I will join a group of people that I consider family and some that will instantly become my family.  Yes, dysfunctional family at times but family none the less.  We will laugh, cry, pee, eat, give advice, sleep on the ground together and share our most inner thoughts over the next week and a half.  Sometimes, we will act as the protector (thanks Brad!) and sometimes we will mother others through their difficult moments.  We will encourage and give shit to each other.  In the end, finish the race or not, we will have a lot to talk about (like Jan and I at Lake to Ocean or Shannon and I at Frozen Head).  No matter how painful any of it was mentally or physically to go through to get to the end, the remembrances will be full of laughter and smiles.  I can't wait.


Paul H, Psyche and our tour guide, John Price
                                         
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 the shuttle leaves from Castle Rock, Georgia and drives us to Union City near the start.  That night we will have what is called The Last Supper at Ryan's and then retire to our rooms to nervously arrange and rearrange our meager gear, tape our feet and probably not sleep.













Clean and spunky.  Joel, Shannon and I at about two miles

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 the buses will drive us from Union City, Tennessee to Hickman, Kentucky where we will ride the ferry from Hickman, Kentucky (this is going to sound really silly), I think we get off the ferry on the other side of the Mississippi at Dorena Landing, Missouri, get back on the ferry and go back to Hickman, Kentucky.  At about 7:30 am, Lazarus Lake will light a cigarette and we will be off running, walking and crawling to Alabama via Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.




If you are interested in following my progress or the race's progress:
  • The race:  Google spreadsheet, make sure you check out the tabs at the bottom which include standings, updates, links, press releases, etc.  Spreadsheet will be updated every twelve hours.
  • My twitter feed:  @notfastsoigofar I will be posting each time I pass a town or something noteworthy.  


Written on the road by Joe Fejes' crew.  My kind of people.
Beautiful
Classic Laz.  Usually has a smoke in his hand too.