Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Pre-Race Thoughts: Tunnel Hill 50

This Saturday I'll be toeing the start line of the Tunnel Hill 50 mile trail race in Vienna, IL. I've done this race before and this is where I set my PR for the 50 mile distance (9:04). I won't be setting any PRs this weekend. In fact, my plan is to stop (DNF) at the marathon mark. I'm not trained for an ultra. Not trained for a marathon either, but it's "just a marathon." I hope to put in a steady effort for 26.2 miles. I think the start/finish spot is around 26.5 miles. Perfect place to quit!

By running a flat trail marathon, I should have a sense for what I am capable of with proper training. I'd like to run a fast (personal best) marathon in the spring. Maybe qualify for Boston! If I can do a slow and steady sub-4 hour marathon on Saturday, then I can knock out a sub-3:35 in April. Right? I plan to run easy, incorporate walking breaks from start to finish, and keep my heart rate below 145. My power should be around 265W. No goals, no stress. Just a good run. Will use my new Skechers GoRun Ride 8 Hyper shoes (only three runs so far, but they feel really good).

Upcoming races look like this:
Nov 9: Tunnel Hill 50 (actually "marathon")
Dec 21: Winter Solstice 30M (Clinton Lake)
Jan 25: Riddle Run 28M (Lake of the Woods)
April 18: Last Chance for BQ.2 marathon!
April 25: Illinois half-marathon

I'll have all of February and March to train specifically for the mid-April marathon. If all goes well, I'll qualify for Boston (need a 3:35, but will feel happier with a 3:30). Then I can celebrate the following weekend with a half-marathon race. If something goes wrong with the marathon and I DNF or DNS, maybe I can change my half-marathon to the full distance and try again for a BQ time.

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