Last year, I felt great and ran a little fast around mile 35 and it ruined my race. I got my body too hot and the temperature didn't allow me to cool back down. My stomach shut down and I couldn't hold anything down from that point on. I was taxed for the next 20+ miles but crawled up and down the hills. This allowed the clock to catch up to me (ie. there is a cut off time), and then I found myself being forced to pick up the pace. With no food, no water, and no energy, I decided to let Mohican win. My plan was to come back "next year" and conquer it.... It is officially "next year" and I'm ready.
My plan this year is to keep a slow steady pace from start to finish. If I get to mile 80 and feel strong, I'll pick up the pace then, and only then. I have the same kick ass pacer that I had last year, Jamie Farley. Last year, he wasn't able to pace me at all because I dropped before he was to join me. He did however help me at each opportunity with lots of support, suggestions, and just good advise. I'm anxious to have him on my side again this year. He's now a seasoned veteran in the ultra running scene having run his first ultra a few months ago. I'm very much looking forward to running (or walking or crawling) with Farley through the hills this weekend.
I'm all packed up and ready to go. I'm hoping to finish before the 32 hour cutoff. If I'm not on pace to make the 32 hour cutoff, I'm not going to let it scare me like it did last year. I'm going to keep pushing and hope to make up for lost time. The fact is that a 32 hour cut off means that you have to run 18 minute miles. This is a fast walk in most cases. Therefore, to get behind the clock on this pace means that you simply have to move a 16 minute mile pace. Sounds easy enough... right?
As long as I keep my body cool, fed, and hydrated, there is no way I can fail. I'm approaching this years race with a confidence that I've not had before. This is my goal right here:
Now I'm going to go find myself and the meaning of life in the forest... I have a long and exciting 2 days ahead of me...