Thursday, November 6, 2014

321 Mile Journey

Run Rabbit Run 100
Last March Dan and I sat down to look over our race schedule for the year. As we were looking at it Dan remarked how cool it would be to each race 321 miles. In typical Siobhan fashion I was quick to jump on anything that involved any sort of challengeSeveral other RDS runners were also running Chicago which seemed like the perfect end to this challenge. And so we spent the next few days tweaking our schedules and adding in races to equal 321 miles before Chicago. This challenge would be nearly 100 miles more than either of us had ever raced in a year. I knew we were both capable of it, but I also knew it would be a long six months. 


Salida marathon
Our 321 mile challenge proved to be more of a journey than we expected...I guess that's how life often plays out isn't it? It was a rocky start. I was sick for Salida, then rebounded for a huge PR at Quad Rock. Quad Rock was one of the highlights of my season. I felt like things really came together and I had a really solid run. But as the races stacked up I felt like all I was doing was recovering and tapering. There was no training, at least not until after the Leadville marathon. 

Leadville was disappointing. My legs just weren't there. I was over raced and my body was just not ready for the race I had hoped to have. I can come up with a million excuses for that race, a heavy snowpack meant I couldn't get up to train at altitude, it was a new course, still early season...but it all comes down to my legs were over raced and I wasn't ready...well that and I supermanned down Mosquito losing half my elbow in the process. By the time Chase the Moon rolled around a few weeks later my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't get excited about running circles around Highlands Ranch, wasn't looking forward to running in thunderstorms through the night, wasn't looking forward to running through the night and in the end when Dan asked if I'd rather go for an adventure run that day I jumped at the chance. This meant I would have to rework the schedule a bit to make sure I still hit my numbers. 
La Maratona

I ended up finding La Maratona marathon to throw into the mix and that was another highlight. It was an awesome course, even if it was a bit long. And I won my first prize money ever! La Maratona also marked the start of my big training month. One more month of crazy training before the big dance. 

Dan toed the line at Leadville as prepared as he possibly could be this year. Everything was in place for him to have a great run. And a great run indeed! After a rocky first 40 miles he cruised up and over Hope Pass before running solidly back to Leadville! Leadville will always be a special place for us and to see Dan finally get that belt buckle almost had me in tears. He had worked so hard throughout the year and he did it. 

This is what it's all about. This is what I want James to remember. He doesn't need to remember the race, the distance or the time. But I want him to remember what hard work gets you...it may not always be what you thought you'd get or in the time frame you were hoping for, but if you don't give up you will get whatever it is you set out to do. 


Run Rabbit Run 100
Then it was time for Run Rabbit Run. I was more confident in the distance than the previous year, but this year there was more pressure to run well. To push a little harder, to have more success. And RRR is considered more of a graduate level race than Leadville. Was I prepared for that? There was no way to know until I got out there. RRR had its share of highs and lows, but after stumbling up the stairs, hugging the bunny and collecting my second check of the year I was pretty darn pleased with what my hard work had turned into. 

It was the home stretch. We had made it through our 100s, the big dances of this journey. Now it was time to enjoy the last bit. Dan cruised easily through the Bear Chase 50k before we were off to Chicago. I had no idea how Chicago would go. I hadn't trained at all. I recovered and then every time I thought to myself that I should focus on a road run or intervals, speed workout I would find myself pushing up another big hill climb. That's what I love and that's what this was all about. Chicago would turn out the way it was supposed to. 

I can't imagine a better way to have ended our journey. We were surrounded by friends and family and the entire RDS community. Unsure of how the race would go for either of us it was great to both end with huge PRs and great races. 

Overall the last six months of racing has been a challenge no doubt. We raced, we didn't just go out and run or jog any of our races. We truly raced each one, setting out to prove to ourselves just how far we could push ourselves. And the main focus was still family. We never sacrificed family time to get this done. That is maybe the single thing I'm most proud of from this whole experience. I didn't want to do this 321 mile challenge for James if it meant taking so much time away from him. But it was the exact opposite. I think because we knew ahead of time that we had to make the most of every minute we really tried to figure out a way to train and spend time together. And to be honest we were more successful at this than the previous two years. I don't think we'll be running the 321 mile challenge again next year. It's time to take a break...you know go back to just running 100s! But it was an experience I'll cherish for a long time to come. 

Week October 13 - 19

Miles Running: 27
Hours Hiking and Running: 5

Week October 20 - 26

Miles Running: 50
Hours Hiking and Running: 10


Salida marathon


Cheyenne Mountain 50k

Quad Rock 50

Leadville marathon

Leadville marathon

La Maratona 

Leadville 100

Leadville 100

Run Rabbit Run 100
Run Rabbit Run 100

Run Rabbit Run 100

Chicago marathon

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