1. I LOVE signal mountain and like the idea of getting to run another 20 miles on it, before the Stumpjump 50k in October.
2. I LOVE chattanooga and the races put on by Rock/Creek.
3. My friend Theresa twisted my arm to sign up.. (and then AFTER I signed up, I learned she hadn't signed up, so in the end I had to twist her arm).
4. A chance to get to run 22 miles on Lookout mountain (a little preview for the 50 miler there in December, possibly?).
5. But, mainly I signed up because I'm a delusional dumbass who thinks I'm a MUCH better, stronger runner than I really am.
So... yeah... race fees paid, hotel room booked.. it's all happening folks. And I was feeling pretty chill about it. I mean it's a race in the middle of JUNE in the beautiful, rolling hills of
And then last week, I found this in my inbox:
Since we'd like this to be a "run" and not a walk, we would like to see people running more than 50% of the event each day. This equates to about 16 minutes per mile. So here are the cutoff times each day based on 16min/mile:
Day 1 (Raccoon Mountain) - 18 miles in 5 hours
Day 2 (Lookout Mountain) - 22 miles in 6 hours
Day 3 (Signal Mountain) - 20 miles in 6 hours (we will give a little more time here based on the toughest and last day)
If you feel that you are not able to meet these times, please let me know and I will give you a full refund, or transfer your entry to another Rock/Creek race. We would also like to hear from you if you think this is too generous.
Ummm... SERIOUSLY? W.T.F? You're putting time constraints on me now??? You get my money, the hotel gets my money, plans are made with friends and THEN less than a month away you drop this bombshell on me. Arg!!!!
I'm stressing out about this. There is NOTHING enjoyable about running a race when you've got a sweeper on your ass. Trust me, I just found this out for about 30 minutes back in February.
I didn't know I was going to have race this sonofabitch. So, in effort to stay positive.. let's take this one step at a time and review what I do know...
Day 1: Raccoon Mountain (my least favorite of the three trails). I've ran on this trail twice. I ran the half marathon there in 2009 and the full marathon in 2010. Now, my times were as follows:
Half Marathon: 2:19-- 10:41 pace.
Marathon: 5:41-- 13:03 pace.
Both these races felt awful for me. But... based on those times.. it looks like I should be able to finish the first day without getting swept up by the sweeper.
Day 2: Lookout Mountain. Now, I've never ran a race here... I have ran about 10 miles of a trail there (although I'm not sure if I was on part of the trail that the race is on). But.. 22 miles in 6 hours. EEK! That freaks the shit out of me.
Day 3: Signal Mountain. How do I love thee, signal mountain??? Let me count the ways...
Stumpjump 50k in 2010: 9:11-- pace around 17:50.
So, that's a little scary. But, luckily.. I wore my Garmin for that race!!! And looking back at the data it looks like I ran the first 20 miles in 5:35. (Obviously that was on legs that hadn't just ran 40 miles the past two days, so there is that... ugh).
Rivergorge 10.2 miler in 2011-- 2:37.
The was more like a duathlon. Swimming and running. I mean the trails were WET and sloppy.
Anyway, so the point is.. after further research.. I'm not QUITE as scared as I was. It looks doable (on fresh legs and with decent weather, at least).
I'll find out in a couple of weeks, I guess...