I've been in this position before, a week before a race, but this time I know what to expect for the most part. I know there will be moments of pain, moments of joy, moments of doubt and moments of confidence. I know all the trails, I know all the climbs, I know it gets hot out in the burn area and that there will likely be a thunderstorm at some point in the day. I also know I can finish, all I don't know is how I'll feel getting to the finish.
One of my biggest goals for this race is to conquer the food demons that plagued me a year ago in the 50 miler. While I won't be pushing myself to the same limit as I did then; 50k is still ample opportunity to have some major nutrition disasters and I want to mitigate that as much as I can. I ordered a big box of Raw Revolution bars and am planning on cutting them up like gummies and eating them along the race course. I've already got a few pickles in reserve that I am going to put in my drop bag at the Buffalo Creek aid station (we pass through it twice on for the 50k). Here's what my nutrition plan is looking like:
Stuff to carry while running:
- raw revolution bars
- sour patch kids
- gels (just in case of emergency)
- honey stinger or GU gummies (whatever is cheapest)
- salt pills
Stuff to put in my drop bag:
- sour patch kids
- protein (either hummus or tempeh wrapped in a cabbage leaf)
- peanut butter cups
- honey stinger waffles
The aid stations have a lot of other items to supplement what I'm carrying (chips, M&Ms, sandwiches, ice, etc). I decided against doing the enduralite powder I used last year. That did not sit well with me and I haven't been training with it. I have been using nuun (both running and ultimate) and it's felt really good tummy wise. I learned my lesson with the pickle shortage last year and I'm sure they will taste awesome at mile 24.3.
The weather is shaping up to be nice. Highs in the 70s, chance of an afternoon thunderstorm, but not to bad. I'm sure it will still feel hot but 70s is a lot better than 90s, especially when there's shade!
Other than nutrition, I do have a time goal for this race. My first 50k, Sageburner, was a tough one. I came in at 7 hours and 15 mine. I think I can get under 7 hours this go around. I have to figure out what that means splitwise during aid stations, but I think I can do it. I've run these trails so many times and I've got some good hard trail runs under my belt leading up to this. My achilles is feeling ready so all that's left is to lace up the shoes and go.
I know some people (cough cough...mom...cough cough) are worried about me. My 50 mile experience does not inspire a lot of confidence. The Vegas odds might be in favor of me exploding on Saturday. To rest my critics, and the voices in my head, I feel a lot better prepared this time around. Not just because it's not 50 miles, 50k is not something to take lightly, I feel like I learned a lot from last year and have put in a lot of time figuring out how to run smarter and how to take care of my body better. There will be tough points, pain, discomfort, uneasiness. But that's all part of ultra running. I already requested a beer from Ryan at his aid station and hope to drink more than 1/4 of it! All that aside, I am going to listen to my body, make sure I'm eating, drinking, electrolyting and hopefully that translates in to a good race and a good week after the race. LFG