Five days before a big race – such as a 100 – I start thinking of all those things I should have done to prepare, now that it’s too late. It will be interesting to look at this post-100 next week to see what really mattered….
Things I wish I had been able to do….
Put 30-50 more pounds on Farley. She looks good, but I really wanted a solid 5.5 on her before a 100. She has good rib cover and overall condition, however I would like her look a bit more “fleshy”. I think floating the teeth would have had a HUGE impact if I had done it 6-8 weeks ago, instead of 1-2 weeks ago. The rain and cold weather also had an impact. She looks good, but 100 miles needs more reserves than a 50.
- Short term plan – continue beet pulp and unlimited hay this week (oil has been discontinued until after the race). Keep a close eye on perceived effort in the race and give her an extra week to recover (I was planning on 2-3 weeks of light work) if necessary for her to gain condition back.
Lose 10 pounds, run more regularly. I always gain ~5 during the winter, and this winter was especially bad. Doing an early season race means I am just not as fit. Period. However, I could have gotten serious about nutrition and running 2 months ago. I tried, but with the dark, rainy weeks we had it was tough. I’m actually very worried about this. Fitness makes a HUGE difference of how I perform during a race and how I feel afterwards. After 65 miles at 20 MT last year (in approximately the same condition, perhaps a bit better) I was in PAIN. Enough pain that it jump started my wellness program again and I was on track for the rest of the season. After 68 miles of Tevis I felt WONDERFUL and was barely sore the next day. My IT band (right knee) and my back have really been bothering me, sure signs that I’ve lost a substantial amount of muscle and gained weight. Cardio-wise I can run 5 miles easy, but I have no muscle strength to back it up….so my runs end up going verrryyyy slllowwwlllyyy. I feel dumb because I’m not even out of breath.
- Short term plan – get in 2-3 short runs this week before I leave for 20 MT. Do Pilates at least twice to try and loosen up my IT band and make it happier until some of this weight comes off. Sart eating well now (never too late to start!). I’ve downloaded an app for my ipod that should help me to reorient my eating habits. I eat well, but eat too much.
- Do a ride either late December or mid January. It’s a bit scary to have my last 50 be THREE months ago.
- Short term plan – be more conservative, carry lots of extras of everything.
Do a night ride. The last night ride I did was last summer. Most of those nights were spent with Minx. I only did one night with Farley and it was at a walk. She did awesome and it was a technical trail in spots. I’m not really worried about us riding at night – I enjoy it so I’m not nervous. BUT – I’ve heard from several people who did this ride last year that the last 35 mile loop (all new trail) isn’t exactly overmarked with glow sticks, and there’s only a quarter moon so it’s DARK and it’s easy to be on the right trail, but be worried because you haven’t seen a glowbar for a very. long. time.
- Short term plan – experiment the night before with the battery glowstick to see the best way to hook to breast collar so I can easily switch it on and off, gives me light without being annoying if it is on, AND doesn’t interfere with her vision. I know, picky. Most of the time it’s going to be off.
- Short term plan – ride the last couple miles of the last loop on Friday if I can.
Things that I’m smug about because I’m ultra prepared!
Sleep – I know from my marathoning days that as long as I get good sleep Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I don’t have to worry about being too tired because I was too excited to sleep Thursday and Friday.
Rain – doing the rain pant dance! “put your right foot in, pull your right zipper up and shake it all about……do the hokey pokey because everything’s good….and that’s what it’s all a-bout!”
Allergies – since I moved to a new area about 4 years ago, they haven’t been bad enough for me to take regular medication……except when I go camping. I’ve actually remembered to start medicating myself NOW so the meds are at their maximum ethicacy for Friday-Saturday. Whoohoo!
The trailer/the truck – The bearings got packed and the brakes checked last week. Tomorrow it goes into a (different) shop to get the DOT lights all working (the joys of a decade old trailer). Thursday the truck will get the cruise control fixed (under warranty). What could possibly go wrong????!!! Wait, don’t answer that….
What I haven’t figured out….
How I’m going to celebrate my first 100 mile completion.
Everyone I know well that was going to this ride, has had to bow out for one reason or another. So there won’t be anyone waiting up for me, and no one to celebrate my big achievement. In way it’s fitting, endurance is a personal journey….and although Farley may not be speaking to me afterwards, it may be fitting that it’s just the two of us. On the other hand……
It’s a bloody shame because a wonderful bottle of wine is meant to be shared with friends and I’m certainly not going to waste my precious bottle of old vine Zinfandel (red) on myself. I wonder if Bailey’s and coffee is an acceptable solo-drink?
Yes, Yes, Yes, I know – the endurance community is one big group of friends. I get that, I really do – (insert whiny tone) but it’s not the same as having people you already know there!
Don’t worry – I’m not that upset. I’m just being whiny. I always manage to meet new people at rides and truthfully I’ll probably fix myself a hot cup of tea and call it a night.
I PROMISE this is my last obsessed 100-prep post going up this week. All you veteran 100 mile riders are probably rolling your eyes, and are going to tell me that the most painful part is done – turning in the entry. That may be true. However, how many things in life can you really make a big deal and get EXCITED about? I think 100 miles qualifies and I’m going to let myself get EXCITED and obsessed because that’s part of the fun. I’m just not going to burden my poor BB readers with it!