Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pre-race - Burning River 100

It's funny how one can feel great after 35 miles and be completely destroyed at 50. That's what I remember from Mohican. Going from feeling ok, maybe even felling good, to feeling like I couldn't go on within the span of what felt like a few miles.  I don't remember feeling in-between at any point. Good, then horrible.

No need to tell you that I feel a bit gun-shy about Burning River this coming weekend. I used to feel invicible. I used to think that (barring an injury) I could just push on no matter what.  I knew that the temptation to quit is always strong, I've felt its siren song many times before, but I thought I could always overcome it.  I guess that's one reason we run ultras. We want to find out what it takes to break our will. Mohican bitch-slapped me. I didn't see it coming. My ears are still ringing.

One of the biggest challenge at BR will be the heat. As hot as Mohican was, the course was almost entirely in the shade whereas BR has a lot more road and tow path where we will be running in the sun. The forecasts are for pretty warm weather, but then again, we're running in Ohio on July 30th. It's not like it's unexpected. I'm going to go with a 25 minutes run/5 minutes walk schedule, same as Susitna. My thoughts are that heat is even more debilitating than cold, so I need to recovery time. I will take the time to take care of myself, eat, take my salt and drink. The key will be to keep a good walking pace.  When it's all said and done, in the second half of the race, a solid walking pace is not much slower than running, where the term "running" only loosely describe what I'm doing.

For the first time, I plan on not using my Crosslites, at least for the first 20 miles. The first 10 miles are on road, so I want to save my legs a bit and the Crosslites are a bit lacking on the cushioning side. I will wear my Mizuno Wave Ascend 5 trail shoes and plan A is to run the whole race in them. I've never run very long in the Mizunos so I'm not sure how my feet will react. They have a bit of a road shoe feel to them, similar to my old Wave Riders 11. I'll have a pair of Crosslites in both my 19 mile and my 50 mile drop bags.  I'll put my old Wave Riders in my 75 mile drop bag just in case but I probably won't use them. I'm still hesitating about the hydration system. Probably start with two hand-held so I get a good start on the calorie intake, switch to the Nathan vest at 50 mile. Something like that.

Still, I'm excited about this race. Nothing else would have satisfied my need for redemption. God forbid I had to wait until September or later to try again.  When I was in my teen, I had a car accident and I wrecked my car. I was fine physically but mentally shaken. The next day, my mother told me to take her car and drive for a while. The longer you wait, she said, the worse it's going to be.  That's how I feel now. I need to give it another try now. Not just to the distance, but rather the distance, the humidity AND the heat. BR is just what the doctor ordered. My only reservation is the amount of road/tow path, around 25% or basically a full marathon. Personally, I prefer trails, where you don't have that long strip of asphalt/gravel ahead of you. I guess it could mean a fast time, but I don't really care about time for time sake. What does a 24h hundred miler means out of context? It's all about the course, right?  It's a little bit like life, you don't want to see too far ahead. You need to be able to imagine some surprises are waiting around the corner or else things can get a little boring.

Like they say, it's all about the journey.


Carlos said...

I'm nervous since this is my first 100M. In my mind I know I can do it but I'm putting some pressure on time as well. Not sure if its just stress or not but now I have a chest congestion, hhopefully nothing to worry about for Saturday.

I would say to take advantage of the first 10M, not go all out of course but a decent pace, then slow down or do your shuffle. The way I'm looking at this race is ~20 5M short laps, aid station by aid station. Once I get to the next one I'll think about the next one.

In my opinion the middle 70M are the toughest technically (in theory!), since the first 15M are mostly road and the last 15M is a combo but nothing too bad. On the other hand nothing is easy after 85M anyways right.

In terms of aid stations, I've been told they are awesome. With plenty of food and drinks including ice so no worries there. I'm sure you are going to like this race, I can't wait to start.

David said...

First, I hope the aid station support is 100 time better than Mohican was. Funny is that it now not becoming a question of if you are physically fit to run a 100mile - you can do that, it is Mentally Fit now. You have to be so on everything as you mentioned Hydration, Nutrition, Salt Intake it will all be critical from the "go" to the "stop".
Good Luck and I hope it all goes well and you get the Mohican Monkey off your back.

JD said...

Middle 70 miles are the problem, eh? Ah, ah!

There is no doubt in my mind that if you can run 50 miles, you can finish 100. The problem is to mentally overcome the temptation to stop between miles 60 and 95. Parts of your brain want you to stop and all of a sudden, your inner voice is trying to sweet talk you into stopping and it has pretty convincing arguments. Worked on me last time.

Carlos said...

Just trying to put a positive spin on the total mileage, playing mind games with myself I guess. The good thing about the course is that is point 2 point.

West Grey Runner said...

Great race plan JD , I have integrated the Run / Recover / Repeat into my long runs.

chris mcpeake said...

You got this one no problem.
when you pass me at mile 85 because I have gone out to fast and am fading please dont break my balls to much.

You can save that for the van trip home.
Friendly wager? slower time buys dinner and beer?

That should inspire us both to keep going.