Friday, June 29, 2012

Race Prep for Saturday...and the Forecast

In just over 24 hours, I'll embark on my longest effort to date since my last 100 mile finish in October 2009...a 12 hour endurance trail "race" in Franklin, PA...about 90 miles to my northeast of my home in Ohio. I've always wanted to run a timed race vs. a distance race just to see what I could do. The most common timed race is the 24hr race and is often on a roughly 1 mile groomed course. This one is on a 5 mile trail going around a lake. The main beach/concession/pavilion area will serve as the start/finish for the day and each loop and will have the main aid station for us.

I'm feeling pretty good, actually. Am I undertrained? Oh yes. But, I'm in the kind of shape that at the drop of a hat, can head out and run 20-30 miles without a in point, the cruise ship a week ago or the "Rabies Run" a month prior to that when I did a full marathon trail run into the night with zero preps. No problems, no injury, and nearly instant recovery. So, I'm curious where my endurance and capability truly lie. This should serve as a good test.

Mental, mental, mental....yes, many will CALL me mental for doing this but I'm talking about the name of the game. It's all mental. Physically, I can run for 12, 24, or more hours. Mentally, though, I'll want to quit long before that. It's navigating those mental barricades that is key to success. I know from experience that when it sucks the worst, to keep reminding myself that it will turn for the better...eventually. Believing that, though, in the "heat" of the moment is the problem...but it's also the key to success.

Besides mental, eating and drinking regularly is a must and paying close attention to my body and what it's truly saying is equally important. No need to do something so bad to where I don't return home or injure myself so I can't run anymore. Many folks know what a DNF is: "Did Not Finish." It's what I got next to my name at the 2008 Burning River 100 after dropping at Mile 55. What we ultra runners affectionately call it, though, is "Do Nothing Fatal." Be smart, not stupid. If the time comes, live to run another day instead of not running at all.

So I'm putting my list together and mentally prepping this morning. I'm going to set up a little station at the start/finish with a folding chair and have a little fun with it. People will have no doubt whose chair it is. Let's just say it'll be a combination of my Brooks sponsorship mixed with Old Glory. I'm also going to take my cooler out there and put some goodies in there like a few homemade hummus wraps that I'll make tonight. I make a killer homemade hummus so I'm going to put a thin layer atop a wheat wrap and stage that for when the craving hits...perhaps a few Reese's chocolates, too. I'm also going to take a few extra tech tees if I just need a fresh change of clothing to feel better and anew along with a new pair of socks if need be. Bug spray with Deet will also be there. Hot, humid, and near a lake...yea, I think bugs/flies could be an issue so I want to plan for that. Besides that, I'll just wear a waist pack and/or handheld with fluids and some of Heed's Perpetuem staged and ready. Perpetuem has electrolytes in it but also protein to interrupt the body's turning to cannibalizing its own muscle for fuel. It basically interrupts that from happening and provides fuel. It's thick and not good tasting but was a huge part of finishing my 100s in 2009.

For now, though...time to eat well today and keep the water intake going. As you can see by the forecast, it's going to be a thick, high sweat morning with humidity dropping a bit as the sun reaches its peak in the sky. Overcast would be perfect as to block the direct rays but no matter how you cut it, it's going to be a steamer. My goals? Hmmm....don't really want to put that out there except to say I really want to run all 12 hours and not stop early which many will most likely do. I want to see what I have and to gauge if I really want to challenge a 100-miler again in 2013.  If I do, I have my eye on the Bear 100...a 100 mile race from Idaho into Utah with a 21,896' climb and descent...and a 36 hour time limit vs the normal 30 hours...a tell-tale of difficulty. It sounds intriguing to me and after watching the video, Dancing the Bear, it certainly has me very interested. It's held the final weekend of September each year.

Have a great day and weekend, everyone. My next post will be the post-race report on the Run Between the Suns 12 Hour Endurance Run.

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