After a rather lethargic Jed Smith 50k, it feels good to get back in the saddle for the Way Too Cool 50k. I have always tended to avoid this race for a number of reasons, which includes being quite a bit more pricey than other 50ks and having a "big marathon" feel with its slick, streamlined organization. It's also a bit of a drive compared to the great number of 50ks taking place in the Bay Area at any time of the year. That said, its been many an ultrarunners 1st foray into ultrarunning as well as being the 2nd race in the PAUSATF ultra race series. With an extra emphasis on trying to help Tamalpa score in the PAUSATF series this year, I decided to put it back on the schedule.
Way Too Cool should be the 1st true test of fitness with 3 months of training and about 9 weeks of running-specific training under my belt now in this new "running" year. I trained right though the Brooks Falls Trail 1/2 Marathon as well as the Jed Smith 50k while in the midst of altering my diet based on the Paleo Diet for Athletes. While it felt great running the trail 1/2 marathon, I felt lethargic and unable to push the heart rate above 150 during the Jed Smith 50k. I'm hopeful that the dietary adjustments that I've made in addition to the added training (including a nice 200 mile, 2 week stretch) will yield the step up that I'm seeking in this race. While certainly not completely dissatisfied with Jed Smith (I'll take the 3:33 considering it all) run on the American River Parkway/Horse Trails, I am doing a full 2 week taper for Cool that should leave me fresh and ready to go on Saturday.
I'm still trying to figure out a proper goal time, but going sub-4 seems like a good plan to start from. Who knows, maybe I'll use the heart rate monitor and let my effort dictate my pace as the race goes on. Here's to great weather and a great race for all the 750+ participants!