With only 4 days before Saturday's race, the "Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon and 50K", I am becoming agitated. I'm flying over the course using Google earth. I made a 2 pages packing list to make sure I don't forget anything. I look at the weather network forecasts 3 times a day. I am SO ready.
This is basically a dressed rehearsal for the "real" race. I will try to wear the same clothes, shoes and hydration system. I will test and evaluate my nutrition options. I will also tape my feet to try to prevent any damage.
I will race my La Sportiva Crosslites. They are fantastic shoes. The only thing I've noticed is that at the end of longer runs, the soles feel a bit hard. I need to see how they will feel on an actual trail after such a long distance. I'm sure there will be pain after 50k, but it needs to be manageable. There is at least one creek crossing so I'm probably going to get my feet wet. That's going to be a good test for the shoes as well as the tape.
A hydration system is mandatory because there will be no cups at the aid stations. It basically comes to 3 choices: hand bottle, fuel belt or hydration pack. I've decided to go with my new Nathan Hydration Vest. It feels pretty light on my back. I used it on my 35k run a couple of weeks ago and it was fine. I like the fact that I can put a few items like a camera, foot care and some food. I'd like to get used to the vest even though it might not be the most efficient option. Let's face it, I'm not going to win that race, or any other for that matter. We'll see how the refueling goes, especially getting rid of the air to prevent sloshing.
I've had mixed results with gels. Some times, I get a bit nauseous, which is totally unlike me. I have puked 2 times in my entire adult life. I've used Cliff Bloks during my marathon because the Gatorade was too diluted at the aid stations and they felt fine. I just stick one in my mouth, drink once in a while and let it melt. 3 bloks is equivalent to one gel. I've used them in a few long runs and felt fine, although I think I didn't eat enough during my 35k run. I was completely out at the end. I will eat at least 4 bloks an hour and I will also eat some solid food at the aid stations. I will drink water. Using sport drinks in a bladder system freaks me out, plus I want to make sure the food and bloks digest properly.
This is basically a long training run. The plan says I'm supposed to be running this at my 50 miles race pace, which should be around 9:15-9:30/mile. This is a trail race though. But then again, it's downhill. What I'm saying is, I have no idea what the actual pace will but I will be running at a perceived effort of 9:30/mile. This should be fine. The goal is to run 50k without the physical damage that would occur if I was actually racing it. After all, it's only 7 weeks until Boston!
I'm really stoked.