I had a turning point on July 1...actually closer to July 4. This past long holiday weekend (Friday-Monday) saw me running quite a bit in the heat, sun, and humidity of central Illinois, USA. On Monday, July 4th, as our country celebrated its independence from England, I celebrated my independence from laziness and lack of discipline. Not laziness about doing household chores (that still remains), not work-related laziness (that's always been pretty good), I'm talking about running laziness and lack of discipline. On Monday I decided to actually care about a race. I have dedicated the next 6 weeks to REAL training for the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour run on August 13. Now I have 5.5 weeks to go! It's the largest timed ultra in the country and I'm pumped.
What does this mean for me and you? Well, Howl at the Moon is a long race conducted in the typical heat and humidity (with little shade) of a mid-August day in Danville, IL. For me it means serious dedication to running every single day--with double-days when possible. It also means running in the heat. And getting in true "long runs"--like anyone training for an ultramarathon should do. It means inserting walking breaks and keeping my heart rate low so I can finish a scheduled run and be ready to run again that same day...and again tomorrow. It means realizing I am targeting endurance and stamina, not speed. I need high weekly mileage. I need long runs every weekend. Essentially this is still "Summer of Malmo" type training, but without the speedwork. Who needs track workouts and tempo runs if I'm trying to average 10:00 pace for 8 hours?
What does this mean for you, my dear blog reader? Not much unless you are registered for the Howl at the Moon race, then, watch out. I will beat you! I will crush you! I will dominate you! You better bring your diapers, cause you'll be shitting in your pants! I'll be a giant among infants.
If you try and match my training, you'll get injured, and I will beat you. If you don't match my training, you'll be unfit, and I'll beat you. If you try to emulate my heat training, you'll be too fatigued to run for several days, and I'll beat you. If you only run in the cool mornings, the hot race will crush you...and I'll beat you.
Understand? Get the idea? Let me explain...
If your nickname is TC, then you better kick your training into high gear on the Michigan streets, tracks, and trails. I'm gunning for you! Bring your A-game or you're going down!
If your buffalo running name is Democratic Tom, you better bring your bicycle to the race...no way you'll keep up with me stride for stride. Even biking, I'll take you down!
If your name is Glowstick, I'll pass you 4, 5, or 6 times and stomp on your bare toes. It ain't gonna be pretty. Keep your heart rate low, and lift those bare feet fast and furious...still to no avail.
What about that ultrarunning legend known simply as "Legendary"? Didn't you win a free entry into Howl at the last KRR party? Might as well show up since it's free, but you'll need extra Crown Royale to soothe your pains of agony and loss.
Mr Clean better bring extra handiwipes...those tears will be flowing! You're a pretty good photographer...bring a high-speed camera and catch the image of me swooping by you each loop.
Even the real local ultrarunner of fame, Tracy T (Cougar Bait) knew better than to challenge me---she tried to up her training and got injured. No Howl for her...lucky little runner.
I could run with Ellen's new baby strung to my back and still kick her ass...and I'll kick her husband's ass at the same time. Byroni? More like Cryroni!
Cindy Crawford, or whomever that past Wisconsin champion runner is, won't be able to match my determination and persistence. She'll melt like a block of cheddar cheese left on the side of the highway during the Badwater Ultramarathon.
Koooooon Dog? You even coming back from Austin, TX to run this thing? Probably entered in the walker category again? If you walk 30 miles, I'll run 60. Double down!
Science Guy? Are you still running? Haven't seen you in a while. Maybe it's secret Howl training? No worries. Even the craziest science experiment won't help you...bring a magic potion...you'll need it!
Cuz Don? Come on, you're getting old. Shouldn't you be sowing seeds, picking weeds, or some other such farmer nonsense?
Ryan? Wasn't Howl your first ultra last year? You didn't even have the courage to go the full 8 hours. I'll give you 10 hours this year and you'll still not beat me!
Andrea? You're a young newbie...even with your fancy pants "I get the summer off from teaching" so I can run 24 hours a day training you'll still go down hard. (Although I'd like some of your ice cream roll at the end of the race.)
Judy? Smart lady. You made sure a suspicious "hamstring injury" took you out of contention.
Rose and Riddle? Interesting that you didn't even sign up for the race. Guess you two are smarter than I thought. Bring your cameras to the aid station...I'm going to put on quite a show!
Nancy? Tricia? Kelly? You're all too busy with Second Wind Running Club stuff...too many distractions...you might as well just volunteer. Us real runners could use a few good cheerleaders!
Klop and Zimm from Farmdale? Really? Your fat asses won't last 6 hours in the race heat. Clydesdales? Is that the politically correct term for "large" runners that like to drink and eat a lot, but couldn't run a 100 meter dash if their life depended on it?
Any of you SLUGs that venture up from St Louis are wasting your time. Even Brandon, that young stud that won the whole event last year...come on...53 miles? Is that all you got? Save the gas money and stay home.
ScarFace? You're wiser than the rest. Even in retirement you know better than to even do this race. BUT IF YOU DID, I'd beat you too!
And if your self-appointed name is "The Fat Kid" you best bring that Challenge Cup trophy to the race...it'll be coming home with me! You'll be lucky to finish 12 miles...while I rack up 50+ in 8 hours of pure S&M style running. Smack down, brother!
Did I miss anyone? If so, I apologize. I'll take you down too. I'm an equal opportunity "crusher of dreams." Did I mention that I'm already in the Howl at the Moon "Hall of Fame"? Yes, you should be shaking in your running shoes...or in your bare feet.
...BRING IT ON!
PS: When the Kennekuk Road Runners post the race entrant list, I'll post some predictions. I'll tell you who the male and female champions will be, the 20 runners that will likely beat me, and the 280 runners I'll destroy (assuming about 300 entrants).