So here we are again! After running 70 miles at Merrill’s Mile in less than 24 hours, I felt that scratched the 100 mile itch. Riding home day of race I wondered why I keep doing this. I actually feel it was my lactic acid filled quads talking. Wow did they hurt!
But by the afternoon I was deciding what the next race would be. After a lot of ciphering I decided on a 36 hour race. I feel I need a little more than 24 hours to get the 100 in. If I’m capable at all – let’s not stick our head in the sand on that possibility.
So I have entered a 48 hour endurance race because I couldn’t find a 36 hour race. Now I need a strategy… My original goal, that remains, is to do a point to point 100 miler verses the 100 in a 1 mile circular trail as is this race. The reason I have chosen the circular is to test my time as there are no cut off times like there will be in the point to point.
Now for my strategy quandary… Run this 100 miler to see how long it takes to reach 100 and call it a day but not be competitive in the 48 hour race. Run the 100 fast and you have nothing left for the total 48 hour race but you meet the 100 mile goal.
Remember, the last time I ran 100 miles was never! The last time I ran for 36-48 hours was never. So all the strategy talk may be for naught and I have to face that. But that’s what this has always been about. What is my body still capable of at 57 years old?
Now for those unfamiliar with endurance racing at this level, specifically this race:
- This will be a 1 mile circular trail.
- You will run, walk, hike throughout the race. But remember you’re racing. People seem to want to tear you down when you tell them, yes we walk some, but then I ask them if they’ve ever WALKED 100 miles – seems to calm them down and put it into perspective! (In the South this is known as Shut Up Juice)
- You will sleep very little if any throughout the entire race.
- Nutrition is key. Your GI tract is shaken for hours and upset stomachs are common. You can be in the best shape of your life and it means nothing if you’re on the side of the trail throwing up.
- Blistering and chaffing are the enemy.
- In this format camaraderie is common. You’re running with people for 2 days for crying out loud. We encourage one another. I’ll start at 9am on a Friday and end at 9am on Sunday.
- When night falls, those early hours are hard, but the sunrise will bring new life.
- Much of long distance running is mental. Seriously, your body is capable of incredible things when you test it. Most people just never test it.
- Most of my nutrition early on will be liquid with food coming later in the race.
- At these times and distances there usually aren’t many entrants. These aren’t distance that you just decide I think I’ll try to run 100 miles. That means those that show up are usually good runners and competitors.
So there you have it. I’ll give a full race report soon. We’ll see if I learned anything at my last 24 hour race.