Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chapter 8 - The fairytale set-up

Running 100 miles in one day (and a little) is something extraordinairy to begin with. Doing it for the first time might even be frightening. I can honestly say, I did have my minutes of worry and questionned my abilities to actually come up with the necessary physical and mental strenght to win that belt buckle. Training for such a strenuous challenge is time and effort cosuming. Most of the time, it's a fun experience. But sometimes, as many things in life, it is not. To make it as much fun as possible and to take away the serious part of the process, I came up with the fairytale theme. Working out seemingly unimportant details were supposed to take away the uptight/concentrated aspect and lighten up the 7 weeks building up to the big day.

Usually, a prince fights dragons and rides long days and nights through forests and over mountains to finally get the treasure or free the his princess. Because there is no way I can pass as a prince and I there wasn't a princess to free in Auburn, I made my Western States a somewhat 21st century quest. I have always wanted to be a princess and the belt buckle seemed the perfect treasure to go after.

There are several essential things a real fairytale princess needs. 
A puffy dress is not so easy to run in and also not really my style. My white skirt has already been the topic of discussions at earlier races and runs and I was up for the challenge to wear it and keep it clean running 100 miles. Flowers to put in my hair matching my shirts, painted toe and fingernails and of course a tiara were all part of the outfit.

A princess usually has her fairies who help her out if she's about to be sidetracked. I had my 3 fairies being my crew and pacers. Sun fairy Kate to bring the sunshine in dark hours, water fairy Katie to refresh me in the heat and tree fairy Bev to give me shade and be the strong person when I needed someone to lean on.
Their presence and their planned little surprises were all I really needed to succeed. Just in case, I glued rhine stones with their colors to my skirt. Never go anywhere without the fairy power!

Fairy power skirt, tiara, manicured hand, star and necklace shirt

My own lucky charms were ready in a bag to put into my hydration pack whenever I might need them: 
- a small piece of steel - painted pink. To remind me of Katelyn "Pink Steel" Benton and her performance at SD100 that inspired me to never give up.
- a chip of amber. To remind me of Amber Girard's endless positive attitude running with pain at the Shadow of the Giants 50k.
- a small frog my friend Zhi gave me the day before the race. A princess needs a frog to kiss - even if the prince might take a little longer to appear. 

For a little extra magic, I had glow-in-the-dark wands for my fairies in their color - yellow, blue and green. And part of their surprise was a pink, also glow-in-the-dark wand with a star for my night run. 

I was all set and ready to go!

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