|Shooting for a darker finish in 2015|
"15 days. 20 hours. 38 minutes. Heartrate: 107"
Knowing exactly how little time is left is almost as bad as trying to wrap my head around the whole course at once.
Knee issues did not derail my training, much. My peak training block, centered around the Memorial Day Training Camp, boosted my confidence; I felt strong. I know my goal is within reach, and I know it will not be easy.
Last year, uncertainty about the distance and my own instinctual self-preservation made my "A" goal of sub-24 hours easy to abandon soon after the shotgun. My best efforts to streamline my support ended up being a hindrance or simply neglected. This year, I have adjusted accordingly. I still plan to provide log sheets for my crew to document my progress, but my actual support will be simpler.
2015 Aid Station Worksheet
Most of the work sheet is for the crews benefit. The strategic, motivational language in the middle is what is important to me. At each aid station, I will have a zip lock bag filled with everything I need to get me to the next crewed aid station. That way, crew will only prepare a couple of handheld bottles with Tailwind. Barring surprises, this approach should enable me to trade bottles, drop my trash, grab the baggie and go. I can pack up the supplies on the trail, and having an extra baggie is handy at the other aid stations. Fill it up and take the buffet to go!
Another big change this year involves my pacers. In 2014 they also participated in pre-race festivities at Squaw and helped to crew me during the early stages of the race. This year they are off the hook until pacing duty. I ran Torrey into the ground last year, and David pulled almost as many hours awake as I did. Fresh pacers ought to help me sustain my momentum in the dark hours when I am trying to justify my desire for a silver buckle. Why is this important again?
And that brings me to the crux of this year. My "A" goal is a sub-24 hour finish. Last year I said it, but I knew it was impractical. Finishing my first 100, especially at States, was much more important than my time. This year, it scares the crap out of me. I know it is possible. I know it will hurt. I know I'd rather have two different buckles than two bronze buckles. I know I am ready. The hay is in the barn. Shaving off over four hours is not unheard of (see Pam Smith's ten hour improvement from 2012-2013), but it is a tall order.
|This buckle needs a sibling|
And so my "C" goal is to finish my second 100. I imagine if the wheels come off this badly, I will be suffering more than the previous two scenarios. I try not to think about what may lead to me chasing cut-offs, or worse, getting cut.
I am returning to the WMS Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference, held on Tuesday and Wednesday of race week. I enjoyed the distraction last year, and it led to many changes in my training paradigms this year. The Alpenglow Festival is also being held race week, offering plenty of other activities to keep me occupied, such as a "pub run" sponsored by Salomon on Wednesday night (Salomon hash!) and movie night with JB Benna.
The home stretch is here. One more long run this weekend, lots of A.R.T. to keep the niggles at bay, some PT and strength training for my knee issue and one more Monster Massage on the Thursday before the race - then the big dance. I think I have everything under control, but then I remember it is the things outside my control which make this such a thrill.
See you at Squaw!