RUNNING 100 MILES IN TAHOE
I registered for a 100-mile running race a week before it started.
There is a lot to be said for training. The typical 100-mile race training plan is in the range of 6 to 18 months. These training plans tend to work, and the people that complete them tend to finish their races. But I’m not much for specific training and I wanted to see if the general fitness that demands so much of my time and energy was sufficient to get me through such a specific activity.
While I’m not a racer, I wanted to know if I could run 100 miles, and I knew I’d probably never do it on my own. So the 2017 Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and it’s ~20,000 feet of climbing seemed like a good way for me to test myself. The catch is that I didn’t find out about it until it was nearly time to head to the starting line. It lined up perfectly with a short film we had to create for Go RVing, so three of us loaded up in an RV and headed west.
It, of course, hurt a lot. But that’s kinda what I was looking for. What I wasn’t looking for was debilitating pain in the bottom of my feet around mile 70. At that point, I was in the top 10% of runners—top 30 or so—and was actually racing. I hadn’t expected that. But when this pain started in the bottom of my feet, I was no longer able to run. I could barely walk. It was beyond my pain threshold. I slept for 45 minutes in the middle of the night and hoped to wake up to more comfortable feet. Instead, I woke up to the same pain. I grabbed some trekking poles and hobbled for the next 30 hours. That’s a lot of pole-walking, and a long time to be going that slowly. I finished in 29 hours, strictly out of stubbornness.