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.
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?