Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Afraid of 7-Day Race


I'm a bit nervous about the upcoming 7-day stage race. Actually, it's not nerves, it's more like actual fright. To the left is the turn into the parking lot. Once you make that turn, there's no going back! Here are my main concerns...

I'm afraid I haven't prepared very well. My average weekly miles run this year is 31 miles/week. That's not bad, but it ain't terrific either! I had hoped to average more like 50 miles/week. That 31 miles week includes a week where I ran a 100 mile race. Which means I've had some rather low mileage weeks too...like only 10-12 miles. I have supplemented a LITTLE cross training, but not much. I suppose one of the great challenges of doing an ultra endurance event like this 7-day thing is seeing how far a "normal" person can go. I'm no Dean Karnazes. I'm just Chris from Mahomet. I remember reading about Al Arnold (first to cross Death Valley and go up Mt Whitney) saying the real achievement is not to over prepare, but to try the challenge with normal training. See if a regular old guy or gal can cross the desert and go up the mountain. I guess we'll see how far a "regular old Moon Master" can run & walk in 7-days straight.

I'm afraid I'll wilt in the summer heat. We haven't had much heat until recently. This past weekend really got me tired. If I can barely run 15 miles and then mow my yard, how can I keep going for 18 hours? Maybe I'll acclimate DURING the 7-days? If I get severely over-heated, I'll take a break and soak my feet in ice water. I'm not in a rush. I hope to stop for lunch & dinner each day--that'll give me some time off the feet and in some air conditioning.

I'm worried that my feet will be wet for 7 days of running through mud and puddles. The trails have been very water-logged the last 3-4 weeks. Things are turning around now. We've had warmer weather, winds, and no rain. Gregg and Jeff dug some trenches to drain the worst part of the course (corner by Hwy 47). The future looks promising. Jeff has also added a few small wood "bridges" (wooden planks) to low and muddy spots. It might be possible to stay relatively dry.

I'm concerned that anyone that comes might expect actual support. Will people expect water? Ice? Salt pills? Food? Hope not. I will probably have a single 5-gal water cooler filled with water and ice each day. That's about it...and I don't even promise that much support. This is a casual fun run, not an organized race. If all goes well, then we'll have awesome support and extras next year.

My solution to all of the above is simple...do this event simply to see how far I can go. It's for me and not anyone else. Enjoy the challenge. Don't worry about other runners. I'm not competing with anyone except myself. I've always asked myself "How far could I run in a week?" (I'm a bit odd in the Qs I ask myself.) Now I have the opportunity (challenge) to get the answer. I'm curious how many others will come out to challenge themselves.

Don't forget...keep the original goal of this insanity in mind...next week will be full moon run #100 (June 18). That's reason enough to be on the trails all week! Enjoy.

9 comments:

janak said...

Chris,
You forget to mention that there is a restroom at the East end parking lot. So you don't need a porta-potty! Moreover, the restroom has running water unlike a porta-potty.
-Janak

Natural said...

I'm just geeked about trying for a 100+ mile training week. I hope to see you out there. -Andy

Chris said...

I've always "dreamed" about doing a 100-mile training week (not counting any races within that week). I imagine I'll break 100 miles for the 7 days. It's just a matter of HOW far I can go.

There is a restroom at the east end, but if this became a real event, I'd still like one on the west end where people might camp. Also, they close that restroom at night. If people are camping (or running until 11pm) we need access to a restroom 24 hours/day.

Connie said...

Chris,

I have two training objectives doing your 7-day: 1)as preparation for crewing/pacing Scott Weber July 14 - 16 at the BWUM this year and then attempting to summit Mt. Whitney, and 2) as preparation for my own BW solo in August.

I, too, am entering this with nothing other than normal training weeks. I had to pull from the Kettle 100, which would have been ideal heat/mileage training, but had to work at the last minute and so I ended up a DNS. So, this 7 day is my training!

I'm not expecting any aid and intend to be fully self-supporting and plan to even do over-dressed heat training every day in order to acclimate for Death Valley. I'll have a car full of electrolyte replacements, food/drink, Clip 2, etc., and we can always go #1 on the trails; we're near enough to civilization to leave the trail to go #2 if needed...I'm sure we'll all be fine.

Thanks for coming up with this idea; it's just what I need right now. I've often wondered how far I can go in a week, too, so you're not alone in that speculation.

This is going to be fun. :)

Connie

Connie said...

Cool! Just noticed Janak post after I posted my comments: that there is a restroom at the east end of the parking lot with running water! To me, that's service! You can't ask for anything better than running water! I didn't even expect that! :)

Connie

Tom said...

Hey Chris . . . "Just Do It"

Chris said...

I'll have my new Nike trail shoes...I'll do it!

Connie said...

What's the latest report on trail conditions?

Is it continuing to dry up or are there spots of standing water?

Connie

Chris said...

Connie (and others)...

The trail is drying up nicely. Soft and a bit soggy on one corner for about 50 feet. Depending on rain we get today (Friday) it should be in fine shape for ALL OF NEXT WEEK.