|Clinton Lake Race|
Scenario #1: My first run at Clinton Lake in the last 3 months was this past Sunday. I did one 10-mile trail loop in 1:46. That's an OK time. Nothing fast, but not extremely slow either. If things go well this weekend, I might be able to average 2-hour loops and end up with a 6 hour finish time. Maybe even 5:59. Yeah, let's say 5 hours, 59 minutes is the best I can do. I'd be happy with that finish time. I'm thinking lap splits of 1:50-2:00-2:09 = 5:59. Doable, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Plus, pushing this hard will bring risk of injury.
Scenario #2: I haven't run much and I'm ill prepared to race 30 miles on hilly trails. I should take it easy and just finish. Seriously control my instincts and go with the back-of-the-pack runners and walkers. Hang out at aid stations, enjoy the day, socialize. It could be a very easy long run. I can imagine 2:30 splits for each loop with a finish time of 7:30. We'll under the 8-hour cut-off. If things go south, I still have a 30 minute cushion. I finish the day without injury and feeling strong. Not a bad idea, eh?
Scenario #3: I do not finish, DNF. It's possible. I might push too hard and get injured. I might be going along at a reasonable pace, get too tired, and feel that 20 miles is enough. I might "enjoy" myself so much at aid stations that I miss the cut-off and "finish" after 8 hours. I can also see several situations where I drop out at 20 or 25 miles. I've heard that canoe aid station (aka, "The Iron Bridge Bar & Grill") is pretty alluring. It's siren song may capture me and never let me go! Lounge chair, beer, veggie burgers, fire pit, good music, fun time...
So, what do you think?
Do I run well and achieve a 5:59 finish time?
Take it extremely easy and finish around 7:30?
Or do I get another DNF and go 0-4?
UPDATE (March 29, 2014): Finished the race in 5:42! Sweet.