Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Romney's Red Hot Birthday Challenge

When Edwards and I met, he was in training for his 47th Birthday Challenge.

47 Miles on his fixed-gear road bike.
47 on-sight climbs
47 Miles on his single speed mountain bike
47k of Running

To be completed in 24 hours

He succeeded and I was so much amazed that I proudly and adamantly proclaimed that I would never do a Birthday Challenge!

Fast forward two short years and someone went and organized a Valentine’s Race in Moab called the Red Hot 50k. Only, it’s not just a 50k, they also have a 33k, and don’t it be it all that I’m turning 33 this year? Two days before my birthday I have the opportunity to run my first ultra which happens to be 33k for my 33rd Birthday.
Training for the Red Hot in the FREEZING cold!

I realize that for many athletes and most trail runners this doesn’t sound like much of a challenge. For me, it borders on “damn near impossible”. Let’s weigh the governing factors which have shaped my running career.

1. Auto accident #1: I broke my femur. The surgery required cutting through the length of my Gluteus Maximus and I still have two screws above my right knee and a rod that sticks out of the bone and into my hip. When these foreign objects catch nerves… it hurts.

2. Auto Accident #2: Two torn ligaments in my right knee, pelvis cracked in five places. Physically all it really did was add insult to injury (and further hinder my performance in sports that require strong, fast legs).

3. I am predominantly slow twitch muscle fiber which never really allowed me to shine in the sports people care about. Sure, I was always decent at The Mile but that never overshadowed my poor performance at Dodge Ball (or Baskeball, or Baseball, or Football, or Gymnastics...).

4. Recent knee injuries due to previous tears or new damaged caused by being old and active.

Needless to say, I don't run.

Darned but they don’t call it “The Birthday Pretty-Hard”.

So, the goal is 33k, before they close the course or - if I'm being ambitious - in under 6 hours.

There are days when I’m sitting around and think I’ll just get in the zone and run for however long it takes. Then there are days when I’m running and I think, “this is going to be impossible.”


Reedster said...

Awesome. You go Lisa. I know you can do it and I'm sure you'll finish with a smile on your face.

Lisa Romney said...

Thank you for the vote of confidence! Finishing with a smile is actually part of the challenge. :)

Barbers4 said...

Birthday Challenge? I think you and Edwards are perfect for each other in every way.... but this one! Who does this (obviously not me)? I think I need to get you a better present to make up for the fact you are torturing yourself on the day you should be celebrating yourself! You better eat something delicious-- you will have earned it.

That said----I could not be more proud of you!!!

Run, Lisa, Run (think Lola, not Forrest!)

Lisa Romney said...

I have ordered an 8" Vegan Carrot Cake... the norm is 6", but as I told the baker, "I don't want to be polite about how much cake I eat."

I'm thinking Forrest when Ginny calls to him in SLOW MOTION because that's what it is gonna look like when I get going! Ruuunnn Liissaa, Ruunnn!