Thursday, July 14, 2011

Itching to Go?

Tomorrow I will run the second longest race I've ever competed in.  Lunar Trek 100k.  It's a race that's held every year on the Friday night closest to the full moon in July.  Distances range from 10k to 100k.  This will be its 4th year and the only year I didn't compete was in 2009.  The first year, I ran the 20?-miler.  Last year I ran the 50k and came in first! (Out of three female finishers.  Hahaha.) 

The 100k starts 2 hours before the other races, at 9pm, so we don't have to run into the hottest parts of the day on Saturday.

There are awesome aspects about the race.
  • It's at night.  Running in the dark is fun.
  • The fireflies hover in the trees like Christmas lights.
  • It's at it's cooler.
  • It's a loop course.  Don't have to pack a bunch of drop bags.
And there are not so awesome aspects.
  • It's on dirt/gravel roads.  Can be tough on the feet.
  • Even at night, it can be really freakin' hot in KS in July.
  • At some point in the 100k, the sun will rise and I'll be running in the HEAT.  Because I'm slow.
  • It's a loop course.
Of course this is supposed to be a "training run" for Leadville, but naturally I've started setting goals anyway.  And obsessing over them.  My crazy agressive, unlikely goal is 12 hours-24 minutes, which is a 5mph pace for 62 miles.  My I-hope-I'm-not-this-slow goal is 15 hours-30 minutes, which is a 4mph pace.  I know without a doubt that I can run a 50k at a 5mph pace.  What will happen the rest of the time, I'm not so sure.  I DO know that I've been practicing my walking a lot lately though.  And even if I walk a LOT the second half, I can still probably average a 4mph pace over that distance.  Unless my feet turn into hamburger like they did at Heartland, which I guess could happen.  So I'm hoping for something in the 4.5mph range overall.

The other things beside pace that I'm obsessing over right now are...
  1. The heat.  Highs in the high 90's mean it might still be in the 80's at night.  Sweatfest.   
  2. My legs are still a bit sore from my intense leg workout on Monday, but at least they feel way better than yesterday. 
  3. Sarah, my running partner, got me thinking about this.  What am I going to eat all day??  Starting a race in the morning is nice, because you've had all night to digest your food from the day before.  I don't know if there's a good answer, except, you're GOING to have to go to the bathroom at some point in the race that is probably inconvenient.  Should I eat more fiber to help things along?  I dunno.  You'd think after 10 or so ultras I'd be more prepared, but I usually just wing it.  I vow to attempt to be more responsible from now on. 
  4. The distance is scary to me.  50k's are pretty much old hat to me.  Knock on wood.  The last time I said 50k's were sort of easy, I jacked up my achilles tendons.  I feel like 50 milers are slightly more daunting, even though I've only done one.  They're 20 miles longer than a 50k.  That's pretty serious.  Then you add 12 miles on to that and you get the 100k!  Geeez.  At least in a 100 miler, you just relax in the knowledge that, you will NOT be done ANY time soon.
  5. I'm literally itchy.  I'll leave it at that.
While there seems to be an endless list of things to worry about, there are a few reassuring points.  I'll be running with my BUBF (best ultra buddy foreva) Sarah, who is excellent at maintaining a steady pace.  And she's just great to be around in general.  She wanted to run an ultra with me before I moved.  I think the 100k is a good choice, because by the end of spending 14 or 15 hours together, she'll definitely be ready for me to leave!  Also, Nick will be out there running the 50k.  And hopefully he will sleep for a while after he sets an awesome PR, so he can drive me home in the morning.  So between the friends and fireflies I don't know how things could go wrong!


  1. You will be FANTASTIC!
    Do NOT run this too hard... Leadville is your goal... do not blow your goal!! Take it easy and enjoy, you don't have to go super slow, but you want your recovery from this race to be quick and easy so you don't waste too much time recovering. Have fun!

  2. Awww, Laurie! BUBF! I am SO READY TO DO THIS! Let's get out there! Like now! (Except not now because it's super hot and muggy.) But you know what I mean.

  3. Good luck to you and enjoy the evening running.

  4. wowza! tons of luck to you, have an awesome race!

  5. Thanks so much for the reminder Coleen!!! I needed that. Can't wait to run with you Sarah! Thanks for the encouragement William and Katie!

  6. Good luck! you got this thing!