The Intellectual before race day:
Peace of mind: I have been working hard on meditation (I guess that might be an oxymoron, working hard on meditation, lol) for about 3 months now, and has worked wonders for my focus and flow, or smooth, and confident good form running. I have been able to spend less time worrying about the time or distance, and feel more calm, relaxed, and simply capable of running, and running at faster and faster times.
You might be wondering why did I start meditating. Well about 5 months ago I was reading something about Timothy Olsen, current course record holder for Western States 100M race: http://www.wser.org/records/ does meditation regularly. As a plug for Timothy (compensation is just helping spread the word for a fellow Ultrarunner!), he has camps for runners involving both running, meditation, and obviously learning the application of meditation to running, which sound like a grand big kid camp!!! The camps are called Run Mindful Retreats. He was on Ultrarunner podcast a couple of months ago, and gave us a great pitch about his use of meditation, and about the camps, that inspired my beginning into meditation. I figured ok well anyone, with enough calm in their mind to hold the record for that race must be doing something really well in their training. So all the physical aside I was intrigued by the opportunity to potentially up my game in MUT running simply by spending a small bit of time each day sitting quietly (extent to which I understood meditation at the time).
Thus, I went out an got an app, do not remember what one, but unfortunately it was to simple for me. Was just a playlist of music. After several days of using it I announced that I had started meditation, and a friend of mine on Twitter (Rodger Obley) mentioned he did it to, and was using an app called Headspace.
Once I downloaded the Headspace app I knew I had found what I was looking for. And eventually I bought into the membership plan, which I wish I had done way earlier, as things just get better after the free 10 sessions.
It has been an incredible journey, and one I should definitely do a full blog on. But anyway back to this blog post.
Game plan for race day: This is going to be like a visual play by play, not that I want to think to much on race day, but I do want to have at least this type of general guidelines to keep me moving towards my secondary goal.
I think based on the profile the game plan is simple, go semi-easy/hard for the first 21km – 30 km, running as much as possible at 7-8km/h (or whatever higher that still feels good, ie a little faster than an easy run) and then fly down around 10-12km/h to the base of the next climb at Crawford Parking lot.
Then do what I do best, and climb like a beast!!! Push it up to June Springs parking lot doing 8-8.5 km/h (I want this to feel like tempo pace). From June Springs to top of Angel Springs I want to kick it up a notch, or if necessary same speed so 8.5-9 km/h (again this should feel like tempo pace for sure).
Coming down Angel Springs is always challenging for the technical section, and I definitely do not want to hurt myself so close to the end, so through the rooty section at least pull back to 6.5-7 km/h, as that section is not all that long (maybe a km or two). Then to get going fast again, as everything else is downhill to the next aid station on buffed out trails, other than the 4 stream crossings. And now I know how close I am to the finish at this point, if I have to get wet, then just get wet! The aim is to keep moving as fast as possible!!! And if I get blisters then so be it, you are less than 10 km from the finish at that point anyway, so I will not likely notice any blisters. In addition, all the downhill pounding will likely wring my shoes out anyway.
At the aid station I will definitely part-take in a cup or two of Coke, as this is about 2.5 km from the finish, so perfect timing for Coke. Then the cliff, oh the cliff, to love and hate the cliff. It is only about a 50 m climb along the slope, but about 50 m vertical, you pretty much feel like you could fall off if you did not lean forward. In past years I have succumb to the lactic acid, and muscle exhaustion, and had to stop several times going up this cliff. The goal will be to keep moving no matter what, and push past any pain. I mean lets face it, I conquered “The Wall” 30km into Badger 100M, and it was 800m long, not quite as steep, but pretty close.
Once at the top there will be a deep, deep desire to want to quit, but at this point I am only ~4 km from the finish line, and thus the key will be just get moving. This way I can get rid of any lactic acid as fast as possible, and any tired muscles will just have to find others to sub-in (like in basketball), and make the line change. Basically, through this section I expect I will be starting around 4 km/h, but I will need to ramp it up to 10 km/h, or as close to that as possible, until I can see the parking lot.
This is always a tough section once you can see the parking lot, as you are still about 1 km out, so not really time to gun it yet. But what I want to be doing is very slowly increasing speed into the corner at the parking lot (second last turn), to be going 10+ km/h, and then from there begin to gun it up the hill to the final corner before the straight away.
Once I reach that last corner into the straight way I want to be travelling at top speed. It sucks that the straight away is a hill (very small in comparison to the rest of the rest of the race, but still a slope more than flat!). If all goes well maybe I can be coming across that finish line in under 4:30! (oh the irony of looking back on this post that I wrote before race day, race report will be two posts.)
Well, thank you for reading, these were the calls of a Wandering Moose from Aid Stations with Adam, stay tuned for the next part in a couple of days.
Links to the other parts:
Links to the associated lessons learned:
Always be reaching for your potential!