3 Weeks from now I’ll be on my way to Huntsville State Park for my first ultra marathon and it is starting to feel real, y’all. The excitement is starting to boil over. Right now is like the morning of the test, if I’m not ready for it yet, I probably won’t be. But I’m feeling pretty good. I had the obstacles of the glass in the foot and then the ITBS, but everything seems to be going pretty well now.
Luckily, I’ve got a running event to think about all three weeks before the race. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a 25 mile run. My last long, long run before the race. I plan to do 13 laps around my 2 mile neighborhood. I’m doing this for 2 reasons. 1, I can simulate the rest stops at the trunk of my car, and 2 I hate running laps and get bored easy. I won’t to do some more to train my mind for any boredom or monotony that I may experience running 3 laps to a 50 mile finish.
The next week, I have a 15 mile run, and Chaser Williams should be in town, so I’ll have rare company on an early morning long run. We will do that at Lady Bird Lake, where I did my 30 miler on New Year’s Eve.
The next week, I have a 5 mile trail run schedule with MeetUP (http://meetu.ps/6qbzn) and it looks like we will have a good turnout.
Now I’m fine tuning things like nutrition and pace.
I’ll do my final test with some foot and S! Caps tomorrow morning on my run. I am going to try Uncrustables as a good food source and buy lots of the typical running stuff at Rogue today with some money I have left on a gift card. I really hate those Stinger Waffles, but they do seem to do the job as far as a good snack that keeps me going. I plan to eat an uncrustable before I start, then a Stinger Waffle at 5 miles, then a gel at 10, uncrustable and gel at 15, gel at 20, and then lunch when I get done along with an S! cap every hour. Last time I took the S! Caps I also took nuun and I think this overdid it on the electrolytes and salt, so I may stick with regular water. If this works, I’ll pretty much double this strategy up for the 50 miler and grab whatever I can at the aid stations too.
As far as pace, I have always had the goal of just finishing. Now that I will have met my target distances, I want to start running quicker after this. I think I will be running Hell’s Hills in April and will do the 50K and will probably run much harder. If I have a finish under my belt, a DNF will hurt a lot less. I was thinking I would do 12 minute miles with 5 minute stops every five miles to walk. After using this strategy and talking with some more experienced ultra runners, based on my marathon and other efforts, this may be selling myself a bit short.
The first reason I say this is that I felt more tired and my legs hurt more at 20 miles doing this than I typically do with a 20 mile run. Every time I take a walk break in a race things also seem to go downhill. So I think I am going to follow Jason Robillard’s advice, and much like him, run between 10 and 11 minute miles as long as I can, then walk until I can run again, and eat a ton. If I feel good at mile 40, I’ll speed up at every mile from there. So I am going to try this strategy on my 25 mile run and see how it goes. If I end up averaging out to 11 m/m, I will be somewhere under 10 hours. It would be real nice to be off my feet by then. It would be before 5 and that would be perfect. Of course I really don’t care that much, but this is the game plan. As long as I finish, I’ll be happy. But I don’t plan on going slower than 11 until I have to.
Now to try to not just obsess for the next three weeks. Right.
OH! And shoes. I have no idea if I am going to run it barefoot. I had been wearing minimalist shoes a lot more since I gashed my foot open and went on an 8 mile barefoot run. I think I ran over some glass in the dark without realizing it because I have a ton of little cuts. Not sure if my feet are becoming less conditioned or what... but may start out in the trail gloves.