Just four days until I attempt to cover FIFTY MILES on foot. I've been doing pretty well with not getting nervous, mostly because I've been treating the distance as something abstract. After all this is supposed to be an initial test to see whether or not I'm ready to attempt a hundred miler later this year. However, now the reality is starting to sink in. I see something that is fifty miles away, and I think, that's a looooong way, and I'm going to try to run that far! I know I have the training, but this will still be the unknown. As the distance increases past the marathon, the potential for problems doesn't just increase mathematically, but it increases exponentially. A blister at mile 24 of a marathon is no big deal, but a blister at that point in a fifty miler means running a whole marathon with a blister. Also, hydration, nutrition, electrolytes become more and more important as the length of the race increases. I think I have a good plan, and the weather forecast promises perfect conditions, but I'm also ready to be flexible as things can and will change.
Speaking of my plan, here it is. I would like to complete the 50 miles in under 12 hours. I'm going to start with walking 1.5 minutes out of every 10 minutes. I'll be keeping an eye on my heart rate, and when it starts getting higher (for me about 160 bpm) I'll increase the amount of walking. The course consists of four 12.5 mile loops so I hope to do the first loop in 2:40, the second loop in 2:50, third in 3:00, and the fourth in 3:10. That adds up to 11:40 which gives me 20 minutes for bathroom stops, changing shoes, aid station stops, and the unexpected.
My pie in the sky goal is 11:30. If everything goes right, the weather stays perfect, I don't have to slow down too much, and I don't dawdle at the aid stations, that just might be possible.
I'm starting to make a mental packing list which I'll turn into a written one tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm still not tapering too much, in fact I ran an 8 mile interval session today. Oops!