Suffice to say I am nervous, this is quite simply going to be the toughest run of my life and is completely unknown territory. That said with the 7 P’s in mind (Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance) I have been preparing my race plan, more on that a but further down.
Ankle still isn’t right and I have accepted that it won’t be 100% before the Ultra, so strapping it up with tape and being careful will be the order of the day. I have managed to get a long run in (well longish) a couple of weeks ago, running 30 miles on and around the North Downs. With the heat we are getting at the moment I set off nice and early leaving the house around 5am, already by 9 it had become uncomfortably warm. Given I would need to carry a lot of water I had a hydration bladder in my UD Scott Jurek pack as well as the 2 600ml bottles, even with that I set my house as a checkpoint and ran a 16 mile out and back east bound on the downs, re-filled my fluids and headed out again for a 9 mile out and back west bound on the downs, then back again, re-filled and a further 5 miles.
Another positive of this run was the fact that this was the first run in my new New Balance Minimus Amp (MT1010) trainers and they performed admirably, no sore points at all. To run this distance in a new shoe and come out unscathed is a big plus and these are the trainers I will be tackling the 100 in.
The day after was a rest day and then it was back on the bike to and from work with a run at lunch on the Monday. Despite not doing a huge amount of running my recovery times seem to be coming right down and I can only assume its the cycling which is helping with this. Normal cycle commute for the rest of the week with another lunchtime run on the Friday and a 6.6 mile run on Sunday 21st.
The Pacing Plan
I am approaching this one differently than the 50 last year, where as that I was looking for an average pace across the whole distance, with the 100 I have broken each aid station down into a stage and pace each as needed.
You can see that from the start to Aid 1 I am aiming for 13:14/mi average then Aid 1 to Aid 2 a 14:06/mi and so on. With my Garmin at each checkpoint I will stop, save and reset for the next stage breaking it all down while keeping overall track of time on my normal watch. This way it keeps the event more mentally bearable, thinking of the next checkpoint and when there just thinking “only 10 miles to the next one” and so on.
Also I have a minimum pace, what is needed to keep within the 30 hour cut off. This is to help if things don’t go to plan and ensure I won’t be left wondering what to do if plan A goes out the window.
I haven’t finalised this aspect yet although I have most of my gels, electrolytes. I will be using the checkpoints for food as well as replenishing fluids and having bottles instead of a bladder (as in the 50) will make things easier.
Got my shoes, got the clothing sorted, backpack and bottles all done. I have all the items for the minimum mandatory kit barring the Harveys East Map of the NDW (getting in a few days) and battery’s for my Headtorches.
In terms of planning, kit and nutrition I am pretty confident I have (and will) get it right, the unknown is if my body holds up and if I am mentally tough enough to push through the hurt and keep plodding forth.