Taper & Planning Time...

It's been a long time coming.  I've run my first marathon this year, I've run my first ultra marathon this year.  I know anything beyond 26.2 is an ultra, so I have run one, but I feel like there is an asterix by it.  At the 9 hr 11 min Patriots' Run I was able to get 27 official miles in 7:31:36.  Yes, that was counted as an ultra and I got my ultra medal.  I fought hard that day through heat and stomach problems, but really, 27 miles in 7 1/2 hours was not up to the standards I set for myself.  I know I shouldn't, but I feel like there's an asterix there.  I got my first ultra, BUT it was 27 miles in 7 1/2 hours.  I feel like anyone could do that, that's mostly walking.  It's now almost time to set the record straight and remove that asterix from my ultra marathoner status.  At 7:00 AM Sunday October 30 (exactly 5 days, 20 hours and 6 minutes from the time I write this sentence) I will start the Blue Springs 50k.  31.1 miles to make me a true ultra marathoner in my head.  I've been working hard and I feel confident and ready.

Ron, Bobbie & Lindsy are all coming down from Nebraska to run it as well, Jill is coming into town to run the half marathon, Mark may be joining us for the 50k (he's unsure right now), and my wife Kristy and my mother-law Rosie will be crewing for us.  We have a good plan in place.  The course is an out and back (of sorts), it is actually an out and back and out the other way and back again.  I will be using the Galloway approach, walking the last 10th of every mile, which I hope will help me conserve enough energy to run the last few miles with no walking and finish it strong.  I will be carrying my Fuel Belt so that I can have the Powerade Zero that I train with and some Clif & Stinger chews that I train with.  Kristy & Rosie will come see us start then drive up to the trail head where we have our first turn-around at about mile 11.3.  There I plan to swap out my bottles for full ones and have a sandwich.  Then they will drive back down to the start/finish line were I will see them again, which will be mile 22.6 for us.  There I will switch out bottles again and have another sandwich.  That will leave me the last 8.5 miles with them remaining at the finish line to wait to see us cross.  I think best to worst case scenario I should finish between 5 and 7 hours and I'm hoping to finish around 5 1/2 hours (10:37 per mile avg).

My plan for this week is to run and workout enough to keep loose but not stress my body too much.  All of my runs will be slow and easy.  I'm planning to run 4 miles tonight, 4 miles Wednesday and 3 miles Thursday.  I might go for a short bike ride Saturday morning, but if I do it will be slow and short.  I did P90X Stretch this morning, tomorrow and Thursday will be Kempo X, Wednesday and Friday will be Yoga X, and Saturday will be Stretch again.  These workouts are all good ones to burn a little, stay loose, but don't require the kind of effort that will leave me sore.

Saturday afternoon I'll get all my stuff packet up and ready for Sunday.  I'm going to bring extra socks, some shoes, shirt, shorts, etc just in case I need to change something during the race.  Kristy and Rosie will have this stuff with them when I see them at the meet up spots.  Saturday evening Ron, Bobbie and Lindsy are going to pick up my packet for me on their way into town while Kristy and I head over to Rosie's so I can prepare our own pasta feed.  Mark, Jill, Ron, Bobbie, Lindsy, Rosie, Kristy and I will all get together for some pasta & vodka sauce, salad and bread.  It should be a fun evening with great people and a great way to get our bodies ready for race day.

I think we have a great plan in place.  I've done some good training, and we'll have great support out there.  I feel prepared and confident.  I feel like barring any unforeseen disasters I will be successful in redeeming myself.  I'm ready for this last week of preparation and I can't wait to see my friends again and celebrate with them.

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