Thursday, September 18, 2008

Final 50 mile thoughts

I'm not sure about this race; I don't know how to race it.

Part of me wants to start out at a decent pace, stay in contention, and see what I have left at the end. I feel great; I am almost certainly going to be the "fastest" guy there. Meaning I will be able to run, say, a 6:30 mile with the least effort. Of course, that doesn't matter at all once we are past 30 miles.

This option could result in an extremely shitty race so I don't think I will start out fast. I remember Chippewa 50, my only ultra so far; how I got passed by what seemed like 50 people in the last miles (in reality, I think it was 7 or 8 people but it felt like a lot more). One thing is bonking but another is bonking at the front of the race and become that guy everyone gets a boost out of passing.

The other race option is to start embarrasingly slowly. Walk a lot, talk to people, have a good time etc. Then at 10 miles, once I am warmed up, I go into cruising pace (again, those 6:30 miles) and start passing people. It would be a low-pressure race. At worst, I bonk and finish in the middle of the pack. At best, I could be hunting down the leaders from behind.

I tried running with the handheld water bottles today. They didn't feel good. My stride was off. I think I will run the first 25 miles with the bottle and then drop it for the second lap. Unless, by that time, I have gotten used to it.

The Girl is in great shape. She never did the really long training runs and her taper has been a little anorexoid (meaning she refuses to seriously taper, for fear of gaining weight). But she is ready to bust out a big one. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a top 3 on Saturday.

And then what?

That's the end of the season for us. There is a 10K in a month we will both do but we have no more long run plans. I am still hoping to PR at the 10K (my PR is 33:29 dating back to August of 2001) but it still doesn't seem like a "target race". We'll see what else we can squeeze in before it gets cold.


olga said...

Ahm...only you can decide how to start and proceed. Somehow most people learn on their own mistakes - or, rather, their own lessons. Who knows, fast start may work for you just great:) Good luck finding it out!

SteveQ said...

Chippewa was so slow that, if you faltered only in the last miles, you should be fine in this one by running it the same way. I don't use handhelds in races under 50 miles, as long as the aid stations are reasonable.

SteveQ said...

Oh, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing my name listed ahead of Matt, Anton, Sean, Scott and Karl in your bloglist, even though it doesn't mean anything.

Danni said...

I am sending speedy non-bonking vibes your way!!!

Girl needs to learn to taper she will race better. Improved performance in a race is worth a pound for sure.