Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It sounded so simple...

Most of the really good ideas I've ever had in life are simple. Climbing for 24 hours seemed like a good idea, and it is simple. But in the last week I've discovered that doing anything for 24 hours is, ah, more difficult than anticipated, and ice climbing for 24 hours is a lot more difficult. In the last 24 hours I've done about 5,000 feet of ice and plice. I could have done a lot more I think, but at the end of every training session I've thought, "Gee, it's nice to be done with that."

Today it was -23 when we left the house, and I don't think it warmed up much. If I didn't have the endlessascent.org goal for the dZi I would not have gone climbing, it's just too cold. But in one month it's game on in Ouray, and I do not want to be found lacking. So I trained, fortunately with a great crew of motivated people. But around 5:00 in the evening it was getting dark, it was cold, and I'd pretty much had enough fun. We started running laps and climbing around 12:30 (we wanted to let it warm up some, it's COLD here lately!). So, after four and half hours, I was feeling like a warm fire and a cold beer would be a great combo. In Ouray I'm going to have to go for another 19 or so hours. Not to whine, but I'm scared of what's gonna happen. Can't imagine how ice climbing is going to feel after even 12 hours...

I've done some big links of ice climbs, but a lot of the time on those links you're resting. Belaying, eating, driving, hiking, reasonably simple stuff. In Ouray it's going to be climb, lower back down, climb, repeat for 24 hours. I'll take some breaks to eat and whatever, but damn is that going to be hard! Fortunately I have some good people to help out from the dZi Foundation and around the world, but I just feel the weight of it all. This is good I think, pressure is motivational for me even when it's mainly self-produced pressure...

I've done a fair amount of "crazy" stuff in life, but this is a whole new level of personal abuse. The only thing to do is to keep training, ice the damaged parts regularly, and do my best. Yeah!


9 comments:

Gordon McArthur said...

You can do it man...

Peter Valchev said...

It will be an amazing suffer-fest but just think of the feeling after it's done! Thanks for all your other link-ups that are good inspirations, keep it up!

Sunshine Girl said...

I love a good suffer-fest! And this one's for a great cause. Nice work Will!

Ian L said...

You will do it.
Lacking a big single goal to focus on (i.e. the summit, or the end of a trail, or something like that), it may help to have adjustable goals. at first, make it to the next meal time. then when things are harder, make it through the next hour. finally, each lap is the goal. As Leslie can attest to, in an ultra, at the start you think about the finish. then you start thinking about making it to the next aid station. then you focus on the next km. then the next hill, tree, eventually the next step. magically, it all goes away at some point and you just keep moving.
cheers, and enjoy the journey Will.

Jim said...

Somehow this all sounds like Mark Twight's fault. Is that thought motivating? :)

Will Gadd said...

Thanks for the ideas and motivation, yeah!

Ian, good ideas, thanks. Any recommend web sites or other writing on the psychological/physical ultra game? I am so fired up by this, but I've done enough training now to fathom what I'm up against...

Jim, I can maybe blame Twight for some bad music choices over the years and definitely for some personal motivation, but this was my, "Wouldn't it be fun to..." idea.

Ian L said...

I think if you read some of leslie's (sunshine girl) posts, especially her experience with the bear 100 it would be help get inside your head. anton krupicka has some really good writing about his experiences at races (he is one of the new generation of really fast ultra runners) http://antonkrupicka.blogspot.com/
the cool thing is he writes equally well about what is in his head for success and failure.

what is also cool, is from these sites, there are endles links to other folks (like ajw, bryon powell (irunfar.com) and others), where there are endless accounts of how folks get through 100 miles, or 24 hours and longer.

maybe not perfect for your application, but i remember reading about one guy who set the americen record a 24 hours, on a 400m running track....

cheers

ian

ps. for fun, you can always visualize a mickey of schnapps at the balfour hut... ;)

e said...

you train, you prepare, you get everything ready... itd be pointless if you could forsee the outcome.
both the badwater loonies and twight seem to advocate going beyond what you know, into the void.
and youve got yourself a good example.
what a mix huh!
cold and sharp ice style, endless and mind altering like an ultra.
i like both - separately.

in ultras its the 35k and the 70k that have the notoriety.
wonder what they will be for this.

go hard.

olddude said...

Whenever I need motivation to do something hard and with the right motivation I think about my youngest daughter's little shoes beside my boots at the front door and it makes me want to be better than I am.