“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
I owe the Rocky Raccoon 100 race big time. Until finishing my first 100 miler I did not know how brave, tenacious, and capable I actually am. I didn't realize I was so mentally and physically strong. I didn't understand that my body and mind were vigorous soulmates. Running my first 100 mile race changed my entire outlook on life. I am damn strong. I can handle just about anything.
Before getting together with friends this evening, I was jotting down some advice that helped me get through Rocky Raccoon, and thought I would post in case it might be helpful to others. So take it for what its worth, because everyone's experiences are different...but this is what works for me.
1. Expect to finish. Period
2. Start off easy. This course is pretty flat and runnable except for the roots, and that is what tends to get to you after mile 60. Take regular walk breaks if that is what you practiced. If you would walk it on loops 4 and 5, walk it on loop one. Run your own race.
3. Take it one loop at a time in loops one and two, one aid station at a time in loops 3 and 4 and one step at a time in loop 5.
4. Don't be deceived into thinking it will be warm because the race is in Texas. It gets damn cold out there at night and your body is tired of working for you. Pack clothing. Smartwool shirts and handwarmers are musts. (Oh yeah, and it could be warm too- because this IS Texas.)
5. Keep up on your nutrition. Never get behind. When in doubt, get calories in your body. Coffee rocks....especially when mixed with hot chocolate.
6. Write WIN in permanent marker on your hand. This stands for WHAT DO I NEED (now). Figure it out. Calories? Hydration? Electrolytes? If you don't know, ask someone who has more sense than you like your pacer or the aid station volunteers.
7. Keep your brain working and alert. Find someone else on the course and tell them a story. Do math problems in your head. What was that stupid mantra you came up with the week before the race? Stay positive. It doesn't always get worse.
8. If you really need it and you have the time, take a 15-20 min nap. Game changer for me.
Did I mention coffee and calories at night? Magic Fritos? A shot of coke? (the drinking kind). Yes. If it helps, do it.
9. You are going to be an emotional wreck at some point. You could whine, cuss, cry, yell, giggle uncontrollably.......get a pacer who can deal with your shit and then tell you to get going.
10. I believe its a lot harder to make up excuses to everyone for why you DIDN'T finish for weeks and weeks after the race than to just finish the damn thing. Keep moving until they pull you off of the course kicking and screaming.
11. Remember that you signed up for this. Its fun. And not fun. And fun again! Smile, thank the volunteers who have been up just as long as you have, and enjoy the day. Where would you rather be then playing in the woods?
Best wishes for an amazing journey!!!! :)