So I recently started a new job, part time in the mornings, including Saturdays. At the time I accepted the job I started thinking about the 50k I've signed up for, which just happens to be my last Saturday event of the year. I was disappointed. I wanted to run this one so bad, but I knew that there would be other events (luckily, and strangely, this event, the Stevens Creek 50k, is one of the only free events around).
Add to this my recently finished marathon in which I didn't drink enough fluids as well as ran too fast and hard, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for my first ultramarathon. So I reluctantly accepted and bowed my head in resignation. What more could I do?
Then, the clouds parted and the sun made an appearance. The new schedule came out and they didn't schedule me for this coming Saturday the 8th, even though they said I would work Saturdays!
What I thought I would miss will indeed be my first ultramarathon. Am I prepared? I would like to think I am, but I probably am not. I haven't done too well with hills in the past, and there is a combined 5,000 feet in elevation gain as we run through the Santa Cruz Mountains. I'll need to maintain at least a 10-11 minute pace on the flats and descents (with of course a slower pace for the ascents) in order to not blow my energy in the beginning. Water? I'll probably carry two water bottles with Gatorade, or perhaps I'll wear a Camlebak. Aid stations? Well since this is a free race the aid stations are few and far between. Only three aid stations at 10.9, 19.3 and 24.9. So I'll most certainly need to be well prepared for my hydration and nutrition. Projected finish? It'll probably take close to 8 hours.
Why, you might ask? Why run an ultramarthon, and why run it when you could have prepared more? Well, just as much as I day dream of running a marathon, so to do I with a 50k. And not just for the distance, but because it is a trail run taking me back into areas I would otherwise not see on my own. As for the second question, I do best by Trial by Fire. Throw me into it and learn as I do. This was how I did my first marathon. Granted, the traditional and correct way is to train for months before doing. But I do better by just doing it. That way I learn what I'm doing as I'm doing it, which is always the unknown factors that you won't encounter until you attempt something. And I've ran enough to know I can do the distance, now it is a matter of how long it will take me. I wouldn't be surprised if I come in last or near last.
Anyway, Trial by Fire, that is the way I like it.