Running....well that might be a stretch to call what I'm going to do running. More like walking briskly with some running thrown in there. I've finished the aid station chart for the adventure. Now it is starting to get real serious! I'm running from my house in Reno to my home on the Playa. The best I can estimate is 130-ish miles for the journey, in the heat of August smack dab in the middle of Nevada. Nearly all of it is pretty straight forward. Nothing terribly difficult to complete with the exception of the one 38 mile-ish section. In terms of terrain I would call this pancake flat. There are some rolling hills, but the entire course will have less than 3000 feet in climbing and a little over 3500 feet of descent.
From the last NDN Taco stand to Empire, it is roughly 38 miles with no water or aid of any kind. A completely exposed and shade-less straight line. This is the section that has prevented me from doing this run all these years. Last year I called the run a week before, because quite frankly I was scared out of my mind to attempt it. I got the last minute jitters. This weekends issues in the heat have only fueled the need to conquer this challenge even more. I'm not yet ready to write or talk about my first voluntary DNF, at mile 18 no less, of last weekends 50k, but I'm going over it in my head relentlessly. Heat has been the one true limiter for me in running. Every "hot" race I've entered, I ended up blowing up due to dehydration or some kind of salt issue. I can think of no way better to fix my heat issues than successfully completing this journey. Everything I do from now to run day will be to learn, fix, and obliterate my heat tolerance. I'm eager to see the growth I can foster in such a short time.
I have 28 days left to prepare, fear and insecurity are creeping in, but I believe this time I'm ready for the challenge. A 130 mile self supported run in the dead of summer across the Nevada desert, daunting challenge that I look forward to slaying a month from now.