Today, I went to the MCM expo. I got socks, double fisted beer and chocolate soy milk, and I got to hear Bart Yasso, the "Chief Running Officer" of Runner's World talk about all his cool running experiences. He spoke about Badwater 146, 20 years ago when there were only some 8 competitors, and marathons in Africa, Antarctica, and the Arctic circle. They were all amazing stories, but my favorite was his race in Africa, where he raced with all West Africans, and finished in 2:40 to find the finish line closed and the race was over after 2:20. Ha!
His whole theme was that there are no limits to where running can take you. He also gave some pointers re the course, which looked like nothing compared to the 146-mile trek through Death Valley to the top of Mt. Whitney in the middle of July (it averages 135 degrees). His advice was to get a negative split (meaning you run the second half faster than the first), take the hills slow both up and down in the first 8 miles. The rest of the course is pretty flat. That's one bit of advice I never take, and it always works. I just take advantage of the downhill, instead of using up energy to stay slow, and it hasn't hurt me yet.
I still don't know how much time I should give myself on the miles uphill. I'm hoping to only slow down my 8:00 pace by 15 seconds, but we'll see.
Here is a little quote from the Badwater site, by Teddy Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.