Less than a week to go!
The last few days, our friend Tim was visiting.
Yesterday, he, Nathan and I went for a 5.6 mile hike up the south ridge of French Creek just off the wildlife loop in Custer State Park.
It was exactly what I needed. With an ucoming race, it was good to get out and stretch my legs however the last thing I wanted was to twist my ankle or another injury so close to a race.
It was beautiful but clouds and fog prevented us from seeing any bison or other large animals. They had been around as old tracks were everywhere. Hair was on the trees where they had passed by. Nathan even found two bison vertebrae. But there were no signs of more recent activity.
I've been training off and on for the 3 Days of Syllamo all winter. Even so, I still haven't come to the realization that this coming weekend I will be running 93 miles on single track trails of the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.
Running a multi-day stage race will be an all new experience for me. I have many many questions:
- What will it be like to run 50 miles the day after running 50-kilometers?
- How well will I be able to rest and re-load my calorie deficit in the evenings between each stage?
- What will the weather and terrain be like?
- How well will my body hold up after three days and 150-kilometers?
- Will I be able to run/hike the entire 93 miles in three days or will some unforseen reason cause me to DNF or DNS one or more of the days?
I will have the answer to these questions soon enough so there's no reason to worry about them now. Right now, I need to focus on last minute logistics such as planning my race pace, packing my gear and my drop bags.
Unlike other races I've run, I actually have limited information on the number and location of aid stations. I like to know such information before the race because it helps me know how fast (or slow) I am doing based on my pre-race plans, what to put in my drop bags and so on. I can create a pace chart to refer to when determining how close I am at achieving my pace goals during the actual race.
Oh well, I suppose, I'll have to rely on my GPS and more general sense of how I'm doing instead of planning this event out as obsessively as I've done for some other events.
No problem… with all the unknowns, it'll be just that much more of an adventure, right?
I do know some things about the event:
First Stage 50-k: starts Friday at 9AM with a 9 hour cut-off at 6PM. That's only a 17:25 min/mile pace.
Heck, I could hike the whole 31 miles at that pace!
In order to save something for the next day- I think just might!
Second Stage 50-mile:
starts Saturday at 6AM with a 14 hour cut off at 8PM. I need to do this at a 16:48 min/mile to make it to the finish before cut-off.
That would not be a problem if I were just running only the 50 miles, but how will I fare after 50-k the day before?
Will I be able to go the distance or will I need to drop?
I'll find out.
Third Stage 20-k: starts Sunday at 9AM with a 6 hour cut-off at 3PM. That's only a 29:20 min/mile. Barring severe injury, by golly I'll walk or crawl these dang last 20-kilometers if I have to!
The total elevation gain/loss will be 24,500 ft or in the words of the race director: "As much as I could find!"
As for drop bags, they will be available at:
- 50-k: miles 13 and 24
- 50-m: miles 9, 18, 32 and 41
- 20-k: no drop bags.
The information provided about the number and location of aid stations is sketchy. We're only told that aid stations will be 4 to 9 miles apart and stocked with a variety of hot/cold food and drinks. The energy drink will be HEED.
As I said above: the less you know = the greater the adventure!
This is an early season event so I have no idea how my body (and mind) will do. If things don't go as well as planned and/or I have to drop one or more of the stages, so be it. I consider this more of a training race than a "main" event. It'll be good training no matter how it goes. My expectations are only to try my best and just not get injured. I'll have plenty of other opportunities to run well coming up as long as I'm not side-lined with an early season injury.
Nevertheless, if I can do the entire 93 miles in 3 days it will be a great confidence booster for any future attempts at running 100 miles in under 30 hours.
How will I do? I shall see!
No matter what- it's all good!