`As usual, I mean well and never get everything done that I want to.
I've never actually given the "scoop" on doing Vol State (which starts on July 11th). I guess it's because I don't even know where to begin.
What is Vol State? Vol State is the nick name for a foot race called the Last Annual Vol State Road Race. It covers 314 miles across (mostly) Tennessee. There is a ten day time limit. It can be done as a relay, with a crew or solo. This year there are sixty some people doing it. Some are INCREDIBLE runners and will probably run most of the 314 miles. Many people are great runners. There's also a significant portion of people doing this race that enjoy challenging themselves and are quite, don't take this wrong, average. I include myself in this group. We want to finish, we want to finish faster than last time or we might even set our sights quite high and want to actually beat someone else in the race. Lofty goals! I want to stay ahead of people who are 20+ years older than I, however, most of them will beat me too (Stu and Marv, I've got you guys in my sights!!!)
From UltraRunning Magazine, September 2012 article called "WHY WE BONK" by Gary Cantrell. Gary, better known as lazarus lake, is also the Race Director of Vol State.
"Vol State is a monumental 500K road race, held in Tennessee, right in the sweltering middle of July. The uncrewed runners are a most unlikely group, neither the most talented nor the most highly trained runners in ultrarunning. By any reasonable evaluation under current wisdom, few (if any) of them should be able to complete the event."
"I find myself drawing inspiration not from the amazing achievements of the elite, but from the remarkable resilience of the mediocre."
What drew me to Vol State? Basically, that it was there. It's a big, long race. It's a challenge to anyone's body but more so to someone like me with adrenal insufficiency. I have to be very mindful of providing my body with the hormones and electrolytes that my body needs because it doesn't do it all by itself. I also love adventure! This is an adventure no matter how you slice it. Will I sleep outside? Can I make it to the motel? Is this dog approaching me friendly or will it kill me? Will befriending a fellow racer be a benefit or liability to me. Will I be up all night helping this person instead of sleeping? How fast can I get this done???
Oh hell, this is getting long. Sorry. I'll try to sum it up.
I did Vol State last year. I also told everyone I would never do it again. Here I am in Tennessee a year later about to do it again. Why?
Ask my husband, I have a superior ability to block bad memories. Vol State, in my brain over the last year, turned into a simply wonderful event. These thoughts were reinforced with hysterical laughter over some painful and fun events of 2012 with Shannon this winter. They were also reinforced by my refusal to look at my blog posts from the race last year.
Asphalt is in my blood now. I finished last year in 8 days 11 hours and change.
You all got very lucky. My post was truncated. I will do this race again beginning Thursday. I will be doing it for the birds. I will do it for myself. I will beat adrenal insufficiency over and over for days.
Tomorrow I will post about Pennies for Parrots and how birds tie in to running. Sorry this is so long!