With just over two weeks until race day, the reality of running my next 100-miler has finally hit me like a ton of bricks! I won't go as far as to say I'm not ready, but I will say I'm not AS ready as I was for Leadville last summer.
Here's how my training has been going:
In the past month, I've had 3 training runs in the 5 hour (+/-) range on extremely difficult terrain. Just last weekend, for example, I ran 26 miles on steep, often icy, trails in Boulder, CO. In one 3 mile stretch I gained 3000ft of elevation en route to the summit of Green Mountain (elevation 8200ft)..., so needless to say the flat terrain of Rocky will be a welcome sight!
I would normally want to do some runs in the 7-8 hour range leading up to a 100 mile ultra, but based on the flatness and softness of this specific race course and the fact that it's at sea level, I feel that the 5-6 hour range runs I've tackled in the mountains will more than suffice! Besides, I think only half of finishing is attributed to your physical conditioning with the rest coming down to your mental fortitude... i.e. mind of matter will get me to the finish line long after my legs are shot.
So here are my goals for Texas:
First and foremost: Just FINISH!! That accomplishment is victory in itself for this distance (plus you get a sweet belt buckle)!
Second: Be smart about my re-fueling and keep my aid station time to a minimum. (At Leadville, over an hour and twenty minutes was spent at aid stations.) This is free time!
Third: Sub-20 hour finish time but, if everything goes as planned, the first 20 mile lap will take me 3 hours, the second will take 3:20, the third: 3:40, the fourth: 4 hours, and the final lap: somewhere between 4:30 and 5 hours.
TARGET FINISH TIME: 18 hours and 45 minutes
The excitement and nerves are officially here and this will be great motivation to finish out one more solid week of training before my taper. This Saturday, I'll be running a local 8 mile race as part of my long run for the day. The plan is to run 8 miles TO the race, run 8 IN the race, and then run 15-20 more afterwards. It will all be on relatively flat terrain and should take no more than 6 hours.
I'll provide an update next week... in the meantime, keep on running, everybody!!