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.