This time last year, I was gearing up for my first ultra marathon ever. And like most virgins, I had no idea what I was in for. There was much pain, fear, emotional lows and highs, and in the end tears of joy. I was seriously under-trained, under-prepared, and under-informed. But I learned.
This year I go into things with more training. Still not as much as I want but certainly more than last year. I even ramped things up a bit and got a personal trainer to beat me into shape. I've trained on the course at least twice a month all year long as well as logged a few miles on other trails on the In the end, I'm going into this year's race feeling much better about my training and my overall knowledge of the course and distance.
There are certain things I'll be doing differently for this year's race in an effort to keep my head in the game and to keep my load light. First among them, I'm going to try to keep things brief so you can go about your merry way.
- Last week I got a mohawk. This afternoon I get it dyed orange. As in Saucony ViZi-PRO orange. Or DailyMile orange.
- Tonight I go to packet pick-up at VA Runner.
- Tomorrow I may run a mile or two at the most. My training plan has me down for a rest day but I think I'm going to be very jittery.
- Tomorrow night, I'll be attending a DailyMile meetup for dinner at the local Vinny's. I doubt anyone will show so it'll likely be my family and myself.
- After dinner tomorrow night, it's off to the trail meeting. As in the volunteers that take care of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail (DRHT). Bedtime will be whenever I can convince my brain to shut up enough to go to sleep.
- Race day, Saturday, will be me driving by myself to the race. There will be NO live updates from the race. I might get a tweet out (http://twitter.com/#!/thetk42one) but nothing is certain. I will NOT have my phone with me on the course. If I need music, I'll listen to my iPod. I will be running shirtless and will only feel slightly sorry for those running slower than me (my back is pretty hairy). My shoes, shorts, and socks have already been picked out. My drop bag and gear is nearly ready to go.
- I will NOT have a crew. The race is two out-and-back sections and has plenty of aid stations (about every 4 miles). This should meet my water needs and I'll have plenty of gels and other stuff to choose from. I'll be able to go past my drop bag twice so I'll be able to take/leave what I need.
- My cheering section will be my wife and two kids. I specifically asked for them to be at this race since they weren't there last year. They'll try to catch me a few times on the course then at the finish. The course isn't terribly safe or easy for two young kids to watch the runners.
- My father will play the role of my official race photographer. He was there for me last year and did a great job.
- If you want to come cheer for me (or the other runners), go to the race website for details on where and when to be (http://www.racetimingunlimited.org/raceinfo/DU11Info.aspx).
Goals - This list is mostly for me, but feel free to keep reading.
2. Set a PR (faster than 8:52:42 - set last year).
3. Run under 8 hours (15:30 pace).
4. Run under 7:30 hours (14:30 pace).
5. Run under 7 hours (13:30 pace).
6. Fly through the aid stations and don't waste time.
7. Keep steady, consistent pace.
8. Keep hydrated and fueled (don't bonk).
9. Have fun.