It is so hard to believe that I'm only five days away from my first 100K! This time last year I was five weeks away from running my first marathon (Myrtle Beach). I hope that I never lose the nervous - confident excitement of the race in front of me. No matter how long or short - fast or slow - the energy before the race is incredible!
The plan is for my friend Wayne D. to drive up from Georgia to my house on Friday afternoon. Then we will head east towards Weymouth Woods nature preserve in Southern Pines, NC. The race begins on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM and consists of Fourteen 4.47 mile loops (total 62.58 miles) through the trails of Weymouth Woods near Fort Bragg. There are currently 66 runners signed up which should translate into fun & talkative trail race for me. If all runners were spread out evenly (and they won't be) then there would be about 15 runners on each mile of trail.
Christian G., an experienced trail runner, offered me some interesting advice that I would have never thought of. He recommended that Wayne and I do two 4.47 mile loops early in the race and skip the aid station every other lap. There will only be one aid station (and one water drop) for the race and this strategy could save me about 20 minutes of valuable time on my feet. I think I will try this for the first 30 miles and see how it works. I normally only spend about 1-2 minutes in aid stations and if I'm hungry or thirsty I will still stop and fill up.
My goal is to finish strong feeling good. The race has a 20 hour time limit cutoff which means if you start running at 8 AM Saturday, you must be finished by 4 AM Sunday morning. I'm not gonna let the clock dictate what type of day I have. However, I'm sticking to my Gold, Silver, and Bronze finishing strategy just to give my brain some numbers to play with during the run. For what they are worth, here they are:
GOLD: Average all fourteen laps (4.47 miles) in one hour each. This would allow me to finish in 14 hours which would be at 10 PM. The longest I have been on my feet for a run so far is 12 hours while sweeping Laurel Valley. I finished the Pine Mt. 40 mile race on much tougher trail in 9:54. I'm such a rookie & really have no idea if this is even possible for me.
SILVER: Finish under 16 hours. Wayne & I both plan to catch some ZZZZZsss in the heated auditorium before they throw us out when we finish the race. This would put me crossing the finish line at midnight and still allow me to catch a couple hours of sleep before driving back to Spartanburg.
BRONZE: Finish before 20 hours. I'm trying to not even think ahead to my first 100 miler in February, but this race will be a huge indicator of where I am in regards to finishing it.
This will be my first race using a drop bag. Here is my supply list:
Race Morning Bag
Adidas Trail Shoes
Adidas Running Pants
Drymax Long Sleeve
Drymax Short Sleeve
5 HR Energy
Saucony Trail Shoes
Two Head Lamps
Extra AAA Batteries
5 HR Energy
Other stuff to throw in the car:
Sweats for after race
I can't wait for Saturday!!!!