Holy crap. What did I get myself into?
Right now, my brain keeps going back and forth between two thoughts:
I can’t wait to hit the trails tomorrow and make this happen.
That first step after 26.2 will put me officially at the longest distance I’ve ever run…and then I’ve got five miles — and some decent elevation — to go after that.
Physically, I haven’t kept as regimented a training plan as I usually do for long-distance races. Quantitatively that concerns me a bit, but qualitatively I’m actually not too worried about it because my focus is on covering the distance — which I’m pretty confident I can do — versus racing the clock.
What I have been doing? Getting time “on my feet,” which means long runs (10-15 miles) every weekend, plus oodles of cross-training during the week to ensure I stay in shape without (literally) running myself into the ground.
But I’ve also been taking some time to tend to some of the non-running aspects of the race which, according to recent Born to Run 100-mile finisher Jamie Walker (yep, 1-0-0, that’s not a typo), are just as critical to getting across that finish line in an ultra.
Namely, this means doing some mental preparation and making a plan for staying on top of fueling and hydration during the race. And having an awesome pacer to help me navigate the day is a huge bonus (THANK YOU, Jamie!).
Jamie gave the Feed Zone Portables rice cakes a glowing review for keeping her tummy happy mid-race, so I’ll be following suit and hoping for the same good results. Plus, I’ve whipped up a batch of Hailey Manning’s famous Salty Balls as a second snack option.
Mentally, I know there will be ups and downs throughout the day…but I’ll be keeping two things in mind: First, I just have to keep moving forward. And second, I get to be out there — no one is forcing me — so I might as well enjoy every moment of it!
Finally, I just finished Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography, A Life Without Limits (sensing a theme about awesome female athletes in this post?), and it’s also inspired me to get out there, push those “limits” and see what I’m capable of doing.
In fact, Wellington sums it up pretty perfectly here:
“To my amazement, at so many stages along the way, the limits that I thought I could see in the distance dissolved as I approached them. They turned out not to be real at all but mere assumptions. And that has been the most exciting revelation of all.”
No better motivation than that as I take to the trails 🙂
Stay tuned for the 50K race report!