I'm in taper mode and have extra time to think about my upcoming Cumberland Trail 50K. This run will have a lot of firsts for me. Its my first trail ultra, the first race with cutoff times to worry about, the first race where I'll need a headlamp, the first race that I'll probably finish last, and a whole lot more. I'll be the first to admit, I'm in way over my head with this race, but I'm determined to finish within the cutoff time since the race director says the finisher awards are going to be great.
So, in light of the challenges that face me, I've come up with a list of goals for my first trail 50K.
1. Don't get eaten by a bear
2. Don't get gnawed on by smaller mammals
3. Don't get bitten by any reptiles
4. Don't get shot by over-anxious hunters (It's apparently bow-hunting season)
5. Don't get lost
6. Don't fall down more than 3 times
7. Don't break any bones
Boy I sure have a lot of don'ts!
8. Stay hydrated and electrolyted
9. Successfully accomplish peeing and maybe pooping in the woods
10. Run (or at least shuffle fast) into the aid stations
11. Smile at the aid stations
12. Thank the aid station volunteers
13. Stay positive
14. Make all the cutoff times
15. Finish within the 10 hour time limit
16. Finish with a smile
And the number one goal: