Louisville Love'n the Hills, here I come! The race is next weekend, on Valentine's Day.
This will be my first ultra distance without Mike, which will be totally weird. However, I've managed to convince my wonderful youngest brother, Gunny, to join me. I think this will be an awesome opportunity to spend time with my little brother, whom I rarely see these days, and a cool way to introduce him to what it is I'm always talking about. He'll be the first member of my family to witness the ultra madness firsthand! I'm so excited to have him along, I just hope he's not too bored waiting for my tortoise butt to cross the finish line :)
Mike and I were supposed to do Holiday Lake 50k on the 14th, but lots has come up and neither of us were going to be able to make it this time around. So, I'm hoping the LLTH 50k will be a nice substitute for me since I'm all trained up and ready for another 50k now. It'll be about a 5-hour drive, which isn't bad and a hella cheaper than airfare. Hopefully, Gunny will be able to tolerate my penchant for singing outloud in the car on long roadtrips, and my ability to get lost in a 10x8 room, let alone on the road...going somewhere I've never been before :)
I solicited the List for thoughts on the race, and those who got back to me said it is a well organized event and a lot of fun, but challenging and, well, hilly. Here is the elevation profile for the first 13 miles:
And here's a little description of the course, from Brenda Gutmann:
"The course consists of a 5 mile loop, a 7 mile loop, and an 18 mile out and back which brings the runners up around a lovely little lake to the finish. All of the different loops include little bits of “love” that some call mountains, some call climbs, and some call ladders, depending on where they usually train. We have heard that there are 17 of these lovely contours, and we advertise this, but no one knows for sure if this number is correct. We do know they are spaced out nicely and provide for beautiful vistas when the person being loved gets to the top."
Stone Steps was a killer with constant climbs, but I made it out alive, so maybe I stand a chance next week. I'm one of eight ladies so far, and the rest of the 52 registered 50k runners are male. Pretty typical in an ultra I think. I've put together my list of stuff to bring and now I'm getting excited...a race! I'm undecided on doing drop bags, but not even sure we're allowed to do those. It sounds like weather conditions are pretty unpredictable down there, from reading past race reports, and they've had a recent ice storm that could make things interesting on the trail.
As usual, stay tuned for pictures and a race report...hopefully it'll all be good :) I'll be trail-testing for the first time my new long-sleeve Atayne ladies top. It'll be fun to get back out on the trail again, stretching out the legs, pushing the limits and getting pissed at the hills like I love to do; it's been soooooo long! This time, I'll have to either talk to myself as I quietly curse the trail, or find some unsuspecting soul to help pass the time. I'm so used to having Mike at my side on the trail, giving me positive feedback and laughing at my trail-isms (and wipeouts). It'll be a test of will and determination for sure...a character-building race!
Gotta ice the legs from today's 12-miler so I'm not a wreck for tomorrow's 10-miler.