I’m pretty excited to get back into racing, after DNFing my first race of the year. I’m still feeling a little under the weather, but it hasn’t gotten worse, so I’m hoping it’s just allergies.
This is my second time running this race. Last year I finished in 8:57:29, 2:31 before the official time cutoff. In re-reading my race report, there are a few things I obviously need to do differently: eat more pre-race, protect my eyes from sun/sunscreen/sweat/salt, and run faster. Other than that, this race is a different beast.
My training is somewhat up and down, just like last year, but the “downs” were later in my training cycle this year. Last year I had my bad months in January and February, and this time I had them in March. However, I had crappy training weeks leading up to the Fall Back Blast and still managed to kick butt at that race, so I don’t think it’s going to be a huge problem.
The big question is trail conditions. Will there be lots of snow? Will there be ice? Will there be mud? I’m guessing there will be a mix of all three. What I’d really like to know is if there are any actual dry spots. I’m a little concerned my poor legs are going to get chewed up by the course. I wouldn’t care if I had lots of time cushion, but that 4 hour intermediate cutoff (plus some randomly announced vague threat of being forced to turn back at the second aid station!) has me stressed out. However, I just looked up that I made it there in 4:08 last year, and I can surely run 15.55 miles 8 minutes faster than I did last year. That’s like 30 seconds/mile. As long as I can make that halfway cutoff, I think I’m golden.
A Standard: 7:50:00
B Standard: 8:10:00
C Standard: 8:25:00
I want to finish this race injury and illness-free, sleep well before the event, have a good time, complete the distance, and make the cutoff with room to spare. I’ve set up my pace chart so that I have a 5 minute buffer to make the 4 hour cutoff, so as long as I stay ahead of that, I should be in good shape. I’m gunning for a big course PR, at a minimum. I thought about re-adjusting my goals based on the potentially bad trail conditions, but I will stick with what’s on my pace chart.