Return To Red Dirt - Preparing For A Return To Land Run 100

To say I’m nervous would be an understatement.

You might remember my last blog post, right after a DNF at 2017’s Land Run 100.

It was a cold and rainy experience that I called at the half-way point—partially because I was three months pregnant and didn’t want to over-extend. At least that’s what I told myself at the time.

Well, I’m back from maternity leave with a handsome little handful to show for it. Sebastian David Gerhard was born at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 – seven days late but healthy at 8 lbs. and 21 in. After attending his first RideCamp on Sept. 8, he’s kept us busy and now weighs in at almost 14 lbs. just three months later.


My return to the office just as Land Run registration was opening has shaken me out of my baby cobwebs, and I’m thoroughly excited to get back on my bike. But I’m scared of the unknown and, yes, of the potential repeated failure. Maybe even a little intimidated by the hard work ahead of me.

I said it aloud a few times to a few trusted folks while I was pregnant, but I knew I needed to make a return trip to Stillwater, Okla., after finishing just the first 55 miles of the 2017 Land Run 100. Return to the scene of the crime. Finish what I started. All the clichés.

But just to make sure I didn’t fall on my prep again this year, I decided I needed to up the ante, to challenge myself beyond what I’ve ever done. Scare myself stupid, some might say. So, I’m doing the double.

That’s right. I’ve never run a trail marathon, let alone a 50K (30 miles), but that’s what I’m going to do on March 16. Then, I’m going to follow it up the next day with the 100-mile ride which I fully intend to finish this year, rain or shine, sleet or hail, mud on mud on peanut butter mud.

I know how to train for a run like this on flat ground. The adventure begins now with a bit of cross-fit to whip me back into shape, running snowy hills, then some winter riding—ideally beyond my 15- to 30-mile commute to work.

Wish me luck, and follow my journey here on the Salsa Blog, as I share my struggles, goals and, ultimately, success!

Land Run 100 shirt at 40.5 weeks pregnant…

...and today (such a perfectly placed star!)

This post filed under topics: Cutthroat Fargo Gravel Laura Haraldson Salsa Crew Ultra Racing Vaya

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Laura Haraldson

Laura Haraldson

Running and mountain biking with her dogs in the great outdoors—rain or shine, winter or summer—are two of the things you’ll find me doing when I’m not gathering inspiration from my daughters, Ella, Cora and Lili. I have a recent fascination with wellness topics that include circuit training, TRX, HIIT and any other fitness acronym of the day—a simmering-beneath-the-surface competitive edge means I’m willing to try any form of exercise once. Helping my husband Scott’s wedding and lifestyle photography biz offers a bit of creative balance to my everyday routine.


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