Friday, November 8, 2013

"Final Exam" for the Running Year

Tomorrow, at 8am, will be my final exam for this year's running. I'll be toeing the line at the McNotAgain 30-Mile Trail Race in Pekin, IL. I think I've prepared well. I've completed 5 ultramarathons and one trail marathon this year. Set two personal records too (50 and 100 mile distances)! Unfortunately, my latest "test results" have not gone well--August's Howl at the Moon 8-Hour was disappointing (only 41 miles). Evergreen Lake 32 miler in September also beat me up. And last month's Farmdale 30 miler was not as smooth, or as fast, as I planned. I have been dying at the end of each of these latest ultras--the "end" being the last 10-12 miles! That's a slow death. My plan for tomorrow is to take it easy the first two 10-mile loops and then go for it on the final 10-mile loop. If I had to predict loop splits: 1:55, 2:00, 2:03 for a finish time of...5:58.

Race day weather is supposed to be clear and sunny with a low of 36 and high of 60. Not too bad. We had rain earlier in the week, but the trail (and creeks) should be passable. I'm trying a new sports drink--Osmo Nutrition. Maybe that will help? I've maintained a steady series of training runs since the last ultra, but not pushed anything too hard. Maybe those 3 previous ultras are now absorbed by my body and I'm ready to roll? Guess we'll see.

I have no other ultras for the rest of this year. Feels weird not to have a race coming up. Next one will likely be a 28-mile fat ass in late January. Might toss in a road 5K or trail 8K, but nothing long for the rest of this year. So, tomorrow's 30-miler is my final exam for this year. Wish me well. I still have 15 hours to cram for the test...maybe a midnight tune-up run? I think I'll eat an early carb-rich dinner, maybe have an evening snack, then off to bed. I'll get up early and have a full breakfast around 5am. Time to charge my Garmin and iPod, set out racing clothes, and rest up. I'll let my loyal blog readers know how it goes...expect a race report Sunday.

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