I skipped Hells Hills 50M this weekend for a couple of reasons....first, I can't risk a knee issue. I think it takes me too long to recover from a 50 and I'm just too close to race day. Second, I wanted the security of being on a trail I knew. Third, I don't want to race. Fourth, I didn't want to drive 3+ hours.
Today, I knocked out 30 at Northshore. I started quite early and ran the first 12.3 miles solo. It was dark for about 30 minutes. Let's say I learned I need to do some night running. Besides the curtain of spider webs I had to clear, every noise freaked me out. I saw beedie little eyes shining at me in the woods, heard strange scampering in the bushes and felt yucky things crawling on me (ok just the spider webs, but yuck)!
It took me 1:14 minutes to run 6 miles out and 1:04 to run that same 6 back. The darkness clearly slows me down.
My focus for the final remaining weeks is to get my nutrition in check. My plan is to try to get about 200 calories an hour. I had a small bowl of cereal before I left the house. I decided to just drink water and take 2 salt stick capsules every hour. At my turn-around point at about 6 miles, I took 2 salt stick caps and a gel -- 110 calories. I ran another 1.5 miles and took another gel, giving me about 220 calories.
I got back to my car and waited for my running buddy, Chris, who said she would join me for loop 2. I counted out my 12 pringles for another 100 calories and had a cutie orange and some Dr. Pepper, right about 200 caloires. And took another 2 salt stick caps.
I filled my pack and noticed I only drank about 20 ounces for those 2:20 minutes of running. Filled my bladder back up and made a mental note to drink more. I threw a few more gels in my pack and off we went.
I tried to sip some water about every half mile. Little sips. Took another few gels at the turn around and some more salt stick caps.
When we got back to our cars, Chris said she would finish my run with me. I was so happy to have a buddy for the rest of the run! I was prepared to go the last 6 solo, but really enjoyed her company.
I did much better on loop 2 in terms of water. I had just about emptied the 50 ounce bladder during my run. Filled it back up, took some more salt, had my pringles and oranges and off we went.
I noticed my knee tightening up around mile 26. Not too encouraging. Other than that, things were feeling good.
Finished my 30 miles in 5:57 and came home for the dreaded ice bath. Things are feeling pretty good right now. I've got another 22 on tap for tomorrow.
100 miles is a long damn way. There are days it scares the crap out of me. A lot. There are days you'll hear me say things like, "I can finish. I have 36 hours. It won't be my A goal, but I'll finish." But sometimes I'm trying to convince myself more than you.
So right now today, if you ask me how I feel about my race...it's a definitely maybe.
Maybe I'll have a great day and everything feels 100 percent.
Maybe I'll have some really low spots and want to DNF.
Maybe my stomach will cooperate.
Maybe my knee will be fantastic.
Will I finish? Maybe.
Will I piss and moan if I don't. Definitely.
Will I have the support of two of the most amazing pacers and crew in this world? DEFINITELY.
Will this be the experience of a lifetime? Definitely.
Will I have fun? Definitely.
Will I learn? Definitely.
Will it be epic? Definitely.
Zion 100 - May 11, 2012.