Friday, November 30, 2007

Pre-race Jitters?

Coming into this one I can definitely say that I have the pre-race jitters. I've ran a 50k before, so I know that I can do the distance, so that is not a problem. So why the jitters? I haven't figured this out yet, but something similar to this happened before my second marathon. Perhaps it's the nagging thought that perhaps the first time was a fluke and that I will set out on this one and find myself lost, or perhaps the distance proves too much and I get injured. Who knows, with time these thoughts will go away. This I know because going in to my third marathon I didn't have the jitters at all.

I think it all started with the cold I came down with about 12 days ago. All of a sudden I felt like crap and didn't feel like doing anything. No running, no gym, no nothing. Granted, 12 days does not break the camels back, but it still is a concern. In fact I still have a cough that won't go away. Will this impede how I run the 50k? I ran the 10k sick last week, granted I was right amidst the worst of it, but it still was tough towards the end. Will this affect it?

Tomorrow it will probably be in the high 30s when the race starts and the whole race is almost entirely in the shade of the redwood forest. How will the cold affect my running, especially when combining it with this cough/cold that won't go away? Granted, by the time I am done with the race it will be in the mid to high 50s, but I don't think I have ever ran in weather that cold. Anyway, whatever the reason the jitters are there.

Going into the race I am not sure how I will do. The course has only 4,500 ft elevation gain, which is relatively small for a trail 50k, so that will help. As well will the cooler temperature, at least once I warm up and the temp begins to rise. Coupling both these together then I can at least feel safe to assume that I should be able to come in around 7 hours. I know, you are wondering how I could think this since my last 50k came in at 8:15? Well beside the temperature and larger elevation gain I also got lost and ran an hour longer than I needed, thus the 7 hours.

Now here is the kicker. Another runner at the Stevens Creek 50k came in 45 minutes after me even though I was lost for an hour, which means I technically should have come in around an 1hr45min ahead of her. She also ran the Woodside 50k last year and she completed it in 7:30 (and recently I ran the SV marathon 1hr25min faster than her). So if I use the 1hr45min estimate then I should be able to complete the race tomorrow in 6:15, or using the 45 minutes then I should come in at 6:45. Using this estimate, although a bit stretched since each race is different, than I see myself coming in at 6:45. Of course I also have two secret goals but, uh, those will remain secret.

Anyway, here's to a 50k, jitters and all. I've looked forward to this one for a long time.

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