Thursday, 14 March 2013

Chuckanut 50: Pre-race jitters

SATURDAY!! I am hoping to find a bit of redemption on Saturday in my second running of this ultra. I vowed last year to train for more hills, differentiated intensities, and to hopefully to try and be healthy for the next time that I throw down in Fairhaven. One year has passed, and I am on the eve of my second 50k race. So far, all three check out.

Last years time of 6 hours 10 minutes will be annihilated if all goes well. In 2012 I had strep throat for the race, and I suffered for the last 20k. The first three and a half hours were magical. The next on and a half turned into two and a half as I dragged myself to the finish. It was one of the hardest races I had done to that point, but that was before the Meet Your Maker. I am a different running now than one year ago.

Looking at the map of the course is daunting knowing full well what to expect this year, but experience, conditioning, and my health will prevail, barring any injury. The map is a mess of trails, as you can see. The key sections of the run will be Chinscraper, the downhill fire road after Chinscraper. The back end of the lollipop stick will also be a slug--with 44kms in the legs, the last 11km are a bit of a killer.

Last year I recorded 55kms last year on my footpod, and Krissy reports that the race is 31.5 miles, which is just over 50k. Either her Strava recording is bang-on, my footpod is bang-wrong, or it is somewhere in the middle. With a new calibration for my Speedcross 3s this year, I am curious to see how my Suunto records the course. Sean says that he wants to go and "enjoy" the run. I am looking to dust one hour and ten minutes off of last year-something that can be done if the conditions and my body holds up, and if I have the strength.

Sean and I will have to book it down there a fair bit earlier this year in order to pick up our race packages. I suspect a wake up of 4:45 and out the door by 5:15 for the 8am start time. Other than being prepared, the only thing I need to think about will be shoe selection. Last year my NB MT910s kept my feet dry, but were very clunky/heavy, with little ground feel. This year, I will be rolling in the Speedcross 3cs by Salomon. A very aggressively lugged shoe with a narrow fit, and tonnes of protection. I hope that this will be a good choice. Many other athletes that I know use the Speedcross for ultra trail running.

One year later, I am really excited and ready to get this one on. And then get prepared for the next couple of months of running! It is like the day before Christmas Eve right now!