Monday, October 11, 2010

Uber Ultra Planning and Such

I am now 5 days away from the North Face Endurance Challenge Gore-Tex 50 Mile and I believe I have planned the event to the nth degree (or at least it feels like it).  I know for a fact I have never planned this much for a race, not even the Dizzy Fifties 40 Mile I completed last November. 

I'm pretty excited, but just like the 40 mile, I have no idea what to expect.  Will I be able to go the distance?  Will I hurt myself?  What experiences will I have along the way?  What will the "creek crossings" be like?  Did I train enough?  These questions run through my mind multiple times a day and I try to answer them all as positively and confidently as I can. 

My training peaked at two consecutive 60 mile weeks, followed by a 52 mile week, and then last week was 40.  This week I am trying to keep the mileage low, maybe getting in a nice, leisurely 3 miles a day.  I'm hoping to do that tonight with Jason as I try out the two headlamps I have, to make sure one of them will be enough to light my way for the first 2 hours of the race.

So now, because this kind of behavior should be documented, I am going to dip into my 50 Mile file folder (yes, I have a blue file folder in which to organize everything) and record for you here all of the "planning." 

Gear Bag Drops

There are 3 aid stations where I can have a gear bag dropped, so I have written the location and what I want in each bag.  I may combine the first and the third bag.

Mollyhugger: Mile 16.1 - socks, tank top, honey stinger bar squares, ibuprofen, lip balm, toilet paper, small baggie of potato chips

Tower: Mile 28 - socks, shoes, tank top, honey stinger bar squares, ibuprofen, lip balm, body glide, toilet paper, small baggie of potato chips

Mollyhugger: Mile 42.5 - socks, tank top, honey stinger bar squares, gloves, small baggie of potato chips

As for other gear, I will wear my headlamp for the first 2 hours, my Garmin the whole time, and I will carry a water bottle with some Powerbar Gel Blasts in the zipper. 


This is my great fear, being told I cannot continue.  While I really do not think this will be a problem unless something unforeseen comes up, I want to be prepared for these just in case.

Aid Station # 4: Mile 23.1 - I must reach this point by 11:26 a.m.
Best case prediction: 9:40 a.m. (12 minute pace)
Worse case prediction 10:00 a.m. (13 minute pace)

Aid Station # 7: Mile 37.5 - I must reach this point by 3:23 p.m.
Best case prediction: 1:00 p.m. (12:30 minute pace)
Worse case prediction 2:00 p.m. (14 minute pace)

Finish Time Estimates

I have a total of 14 hours available to me to complete the race (5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.).  That is about a 16 minute pace.  If I use my 40 mile time, which was an 11:56 pace, these are my finish time estimates for the 50 mile.

Best case predication: 3:00 p.m. (12 minute pace)
Next best case prediction: 3:30 p.m. (12:30 minute pace)
Worst case prediction: 4:40 p.m. (14 minute pace)

And what I mean by "worst case" is that this is the slowest I hope to go.  It does NOT mean that I will be disappointed if I do, in fact, finish the race around 4:40 p.m.  Finishing the thing is the goal.  I am only paying attention to time because there are cutoffs. 

Weather Watch

Yes, I have been a weather watching fanatic these past few days.  Here are the dates I've checked and the weather readings for Saturday, October 16.

10/7 - low 46, high 76
10/8 - low 47, high 80
10/9 - low 47, high 79
10/11 - low 43, high 78

I am hoping for the temps to drop, not rise.  The colder the better, in my opinion.  Depending on the final weather prediction this Friday, I may amend my gear bag items and my wardrobe choices (though not much).


I am getting my hair cut Tuesday.  I have no idea why, but I like the idea of beautifying before a big race.  I usually get a pedicure, but for a trail run, there is really no hope of it lasting the race.  I will paint them myself for free.  Probably green.  I will also pluck my eyebrows.

I am planning a shopping trip to the local Fleet Feet store to buy a tiny body glide, honey stinger bars, and possibly a cute celebratory racing top and a splurge on another pair of Balega socks. 

And that, my friends, is my complete 50 mile planning list...for now.  Did I miss anything?


  1. I know you can do it! I'm excited for you!

  2. Blessings to you, Jane. I trust that all will go well for you.