Time to round ‘em up and head to Texas!
It’s time to head to Texas for the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 3 days, so I figured it was time to write something new on this site/blog. Life is good right now….in fact, life is always good. It’s already 1 weeks into 2009 and the season is getting underway. I’m sure, like most runners, January is dedicated to getting back into the swing of things. I do a number of what I like to call “for the love of it” runs, focusing less on pace and more on simply enjoying being out there. For most of January, I spent Saturday morning/early afternoon enjoying the trails of the Marin Headlands and Mt. Tamalpais area. On a couple of the runs, the idea was to keep approximately the same pace I wanted to run at RR. On another one of the runs, I was just out there to enjoy nature and getting a gang-load of miles. My runs went 32, 42, 30 and 30 miles respectively.
I reduced my running workload, with tempo runs thrown in, during the week so that I would go into each of these long runs with a little bit of a fresher body. It really helped and the times/mileage for those long training runs is a nice confidence boost going into the race on Saturday. My weekly mileages in January peaked at 85. While my mileage this week should top 130 (with the race on Saturday included), I plan on focusing this week as well as the following 2 weeks on intense speed/tempo training with 80 mile weeks in the cue to get primed for the Napa Marathon.
As far as the race on Saturday is concerned, I have probably the same worries as everyone else. As always, the biggest concern will be nausea induced by electrolyte imbalance and/or dehydration. One reason why I focused on making sure I got those long runs in, especially that 42 miler, was to come into this race with a measure of confidence in my hydration and fueling strategy. During most of those runs, I mixed in GU and eGel(Crank) with trail mix and bananas. One of the reasons my run at Mother Road 100 in November was going so well was probably due to using almost all solid foods. While this course doesn’t lend itself to the easy exchange of supplies possible at Mother Road (which was an open road race with a small trail section), I do plan on going to the Costco and picking up a bunch of bananas, trail mix packs, and mini-chip packages.
During the race, I plan on quicker first loop with the slowest being loops 2 &3. After that, I’m just hoping I have enough in the tank to take to get around/close to first lap time for the rest of the race. While I’m flexible on this depending on how I feel, this is definitely how I think it’ll shake out best. The goal is sub-17 with flexibility to go down further if its warranted or adjust up if necessary. As always, I’ll constantly evaluate where I’m at and go from there.
Of the other competitors, I’m probably most excited to see Jamie Donaldson again. Having raced with her twice at Badwater, it’ll be nice to see her out on the trails. She’s definitely a dynamic racer who races in the mold of a Scott Jurek, patient and deliberate in her approach to a race. Her race this past year at Badwater was eerily reminiscent of Scott’s 2005 Badwater, finally moving into 1st position with 1/3 of the race left to go. That patient approach is what is so hard to come by, particularly in a race like Rocky which almost lures you in to the “go for broke from the start” mentality.
I met her for the first time prior to the 07’ Badwater and was pretty shocked that she had seen the Google video of my team’s race in 2006. Sometimes when you post things there or on YouTube, you automatically assume that no one really looks at that stuff. Of course, she ended up become an internet ultrarunning phenomenon not only because of her talent, but also her perserverance in the 07’ race to continue up the Mt. Whitney portal climb with debilitating shin spints. It’s that commitment and perservering spirit that we all strive for in this sport and makes it pleasure to see her wherever our paths may cross.
I'm still figuring out the fundraising program and how that's going to work, but when I get it together, I'll be sure to post all about it both here and at my website. I’m pretty excited about this race to set the year off on the right foot, literally and figuratively. I’m sure that echoes the thoughts of most people when it comes to that first race of 09’. It’s time to pack up, toe the line and get moving. Time to let it ride….