Why Can Lake?
|August 15, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
In reality, I went on a recovery run last Tuesday, only three days after my 50k, with a pair of rather stiff legs, begging to know why I was torturing them with 5 miles so soon after a race, never mind considering adding another 18.1 miles to the distance they had just conquered. But while shuffling through that run, fatigued, whiny quads and all, I knew that I wanted nothing more than to run a 50 miler this year, so I picked my shuffle up to a slow jog and got home as fast as my tired legs could carry me, so I could logon to active.com and register for the Vermont 50. That’s right, not Can Lake, Vermont, for no other reason than it’s Vermont, my home state (and the best state in the nation), and I assumed only magical things could happen during that race.
One problem: I was so blinded by my overeager desire to register for the race, I forgot a few basic steps that any rational human being should take before committing oneself to a 50 mile race, or anything for that matter. Steps like, checking the date of the race against my calendar to make sure I had no other existing commitments for that same day. Turns out, had I performed this simple task, I would have discovered I have a rather important wedding to attend the evening before the race. And while in a brief moment of insanity, I may have google mapped the distance between the venue in Connecticut and the start line in Vermont, in reality, I am well aware that with this particular group of my best male friends from college, it is highly likely we will still be throwing 20 dollar bills at the DJ, begging him to play “Livin’ on a Prayer” just “ONE MORE TIME” at about the same time runners are checking in for the race.
This is Chris. He wears his sunglasses at night. Also, he is getting married. Probably in a mesh jersey and matching shorts. Next year I am sending out reverse Save the Dates so none of my favorite people get married on my race weekends. I don’t think this is an unreasonable move at all.
With Vermont out of the question, I frantically started to search for a replacement 50, now 100 percent deadest on running the distance this Fall.
As soon as I found Can Lake it was the obvious winner for several reasons:
Taking place in Western, New York, it’s both close (enough) to DC and close to Vermont, allowing my family to still come and cheer me on as I check another huge first off my race list.
They’re kind of the best cheerleaders ever, even though my dad looks confused about whether I just raced an Ironman or committed some heinous crime. This is also the man who warned me 3 minutes before the start of the Ironman that some trucker told him Lake Placid is “hilly” and I should probably keep that in mind on the bike. Gee, thanks Dad. Confusion aside, I’m pumped that at least one or two members of Team Halnon will be on the sidelines on race day.
2) The terrain
As much as I’m trying to run more trails, the majority of my training has been on pavement.
While I was prepared to spend the next two months on a crash trail diet, the fact that this race is all road, works to my advantage. I’m still planning to consistently up my time in the woods, since this is a rather unique race in the world of ultras, and I’m not planning on quitting the sport after October 6th, but it makes the next two months of training a little less stressful, knowing I won’t need to worry about my ability to maneuver tree roots, large boulders and creeks without falling. I mean, we all know I’ll still probably fall, just hopefully a little less frequently without any obstacles in my way.
3) The elevation profile
A lot of 50s out there have you climbing up one mountain, rocketing down another, and then scaling another peak before hobbling the final miles down some screaming ascent to the finish. While this may be my kind of race soon enough, for my legs that are currently on a break from their relationship with hills, I wanted to find a race with a slightly gentler elevation profile. Can Lake fit this desire quite well. With 3500 feet of elevation change and four climbs described as “killer” by the race director, it will challenge me to finally get my ass in gear with hill training, without offering me a one way ticket on the fast train to death by ascents.
4) The timing
While I’m sure some of you were all “holy shit, two months to train for a 50 miler? Good luck with that girlfriend, I WON’T see you at the finish,” with a solid base of 65-90 miles/week, it’s actually not at all unreasonable for me to consider tackling this distance in a mere 8 weeks. Slightly terrifying, sure, but mostly just exciting. And with a very full late Fall of races and other fun stuff, I wanted to get my 50 miler over and done with so I can still rock some other races this year. And really, I’m not a very patient person, and the thought of waiting another few months to partake in 50 miles of fun and running was just not working for me.
5) The other stuff.
I don’t know about you guys, but I kind of dig lakes, and scenic views, and races that seem to have their shit together. And Can Lake has all of the above covered. I’m expecting nothing but (insert large number) hours of fun and nonstop sweat on October 6th.