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Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to my roots....AKA let's make a DIY winter running self support sled for under 50 bucks!



Here it is...my Guinness Book of  World Records application for the longest distance walked in snowshoes in 24 hours..have to beat 96 KM.  I have baten that distance once at the Peak Snowshoe Ultra back in 2013 or 2014...sooo I know with training I can easily do it again.  I sent my idea to Marion and Joe about doing it at this years Peak Snow Devil Ultra.  They are both for it.

I am really excited about finding my way back into ultra endurance events. They are really my roots...those multi-day sufferfests where it is really just you against you even if there are other competitors around you...these events for the majority of people are really not about winning they are about finishing.  Not that I don't plan to train to win...but if I win that is just icing on the cake...it is the finish I am focused on.

I now find myself fascinated by the multi-day winter endurance events and I just made my own running sled to train to do these self supported races.  I have my mind set on the Sustina 100 or Arrowhead 135 next winter.  This winter I have a 100 mile footrace in NY called Beast of Burden, but this is not self supported...My ultimate goal would be the Iditarod Invitational 350.  I can't imagine how beautiful and at the same time soul crushing that race would be...I can see it being a true test of one's endurance which I believe is more mental than physical.

I have beaten my body in Death Races and The Peak 500...every race I quit (except the 2012 DR as I was knocked unconscious and sent to the emergency room and the 2014 Peak 500 with the burst cyst) if I DNF'd it was because mentally I was not strong enough.  I ran 400 miles with a burst cyst and the most horrific pain and bloating...my mind although it went through crazy periods of elation and depression was pretty strong that year...my body just couldn't take the beating.  I think I have the ability to push my body far past its comfort level and to be honest I miss doing that.

The sled was so fun to make.  I love the idea of having it and training for races with it.  I just like the idea of doing my first winter overnight with it and it will probably be on the lake for my first foray and then take it to Joe's Mtn and train for the PEAK races and sleep out.  I need to just find myself a bivy sack hopefully used or cheap.  I spent like 40 bucks making my sled with stuff I bought at Ocean State Job lot...I am so not a gear head but I am a repurposer extraordinaire! Here are some pictures of the process my original design was improved dramatically with Bob's help.  I want to be able to make a little tent inside of it so i have a waterproof duffel I got on sale for 20 bucks (Floor model so kind of dirty but who cares it is gonna get even more dirty lol) So I can take it out and lay it on the tarp that I eventually lay under as well directly in the bed of the sled.










I took it out yesterday on the lake.  Finn the wonder dog wanted to come with me but her short legs were sinking into the knee deep snow and I was worried she would tire out or get to cold so after she ran around for a bit I sent her to play at Mollie and Belle's. 
I LOVED it out there...no one else was on the lake Sunday and I was totally warm and cozy.  I have all the cold weather gear I need..it is old but still works great.  I am all about not changing my clothes except base layers sometimes because I never really get sweaty..now getting wet is another story i.e. falling into water..that would mean an immediate change of clothes.  Still I have 3 outfits I can use for a multi-day winter endurance event.  A few patches and stains won't make any difference in the long run : )  I do need to figure out how not to fog my glasses when I wear my facemask.  Especially since I can't see without my glasses...I have contacts but they would not be an option for any multi-day race.  My glasses are not sport glasses so maybe that is something I need to look into but they are so darn expensive I don't think I would buy another pair just because they were supposedly for sports. 
I may want another pair of hiking boots to go along with my Altras but otherwise I am good on gear.
Now the fun begins!  The time spent on trails and the slogging miles and miles with my own thoughts.  It is what I miss the most about being "out there" the time just to think or daydream or often times just empty my head of any coherent thoughts and think in colors and smells and sounds : )
Feeling pretty blessed.