Dean's coach once told him:
"It's supposed to hurt like hell",
Rokko, here I come.
(7km, slow pace, with rain in the beginning)
I did my last jog before attempting the All-Rokko Mountain trail next Friday. I have the whole day (weekend actually), as the wife and kid are away, so the timing is perfect. I had planned to do it the following week, but with their trip, the timing was just too good. Also, a typhoon is passing these days and the conditions should be very similar to my run from Ashiya to Takarazuka. I decided to do it this year because Kansai Scene has given me the green light to do a piece on the trail (meaning I'll be carrying my D40 + 18-55mm).
The whole trail is about 56km, the longest I've ever attempted alone. I have done two Japan Oxfam Trailwalkers (100k) before, but in very friendly teams of 4. This time, it will be only me and the mountains, and I sort have a time limit, I'd like to finish it before sunset (although I will be carrying a headlamp in case it does take me longer).
I've been meaning to do the whole trail for a long time. During my first Trailwalker training, our team also completed it, but once at the top of Mt. Rokko, we had to take a different route down since one of our members had plans in the evening and it was faster for him to go another way. But in the end, we basically did the same distance.
This time I will do it alone, and I look forward to the challenge. I expect to hurt quite a bit on the day (more the following days, though!), but pain is an integral part of long distance running. Perhaps some of the mantras that will help me through it are the Dalai Lama's remark that "Pain is inevitable, but suffering isn't", and Dean Karnazes' junior high school track coach, Jack McTavish, saying "It's supposed to hurt like hell".
Well, bring it on!