Saturday I’ll be running my first 50 mile race, the American River 50 Miler. A multitude of
thoughts are passing through my mind this week. Among them are “what the heck was I thinking!” Three years ago I said I would never run anything further than 5 miles. Now, 2 marathons, 3 50k’s and several 10 mile races and an adventure run of about 30 miles later and I am stepping up to a whole new level.
Of course, I feel woefully unprepared! I have not put in the miles that I had hoped up to this point. I have been recovering, I think, from plantar fasciitis. I have changed shoes, inserts and socks and I am hoping I have the right combination to run 50 miles with a minimum of pain. I am running a slower pace now than I was last year and yet, I am still planning on picking it up on Saturday and running the best race of my life.
I have the amazing support of my family and my running group. Folsom Trail Runners have been nothing short of amazing in the advice and encouragement I have received. My pacers, Matt and Stephanie are ready to get me through the last half of the race and I am simply hoping to get to them before they get bored and leave (just kidding, I know they wouldn’t… I hope… I think).
I have paid more attention to my nutrition (still lots of room for improvement there) and my cross training (even more room for improvement there). I have worked on running form and relaxing during the run. I have focused more on mental preparation than physical preparation and, I think, that will be more important for this race.
Today I will pack up my drop bags and make final preparations for the run. I might go run an easy 2-3 miles, just to calm my nerves.
I’m not going to win, but I do have the goal to improve my overall age group ranking. I’m not even sure how they figure that out, but I’d like to see the number improve. I’m pretty much a “back of the middle of the pack” runner and I hope to improve that a little. Mostly, I want to make sure I finish before the cut off.
My plan this year was to run fewer races, but longer distances. I’m getting part of that… the next month is going to be interesting, as what used to be long runs turns into training runs. My schedule the next seven weeks includes:
Mokelumne River 50K
Folsom Lake Trail Run 35K
MeOw Marathons Adventure Run (single or double marathon – not sure yet)
Dirty Secret Trail Run 10 Mile
Race Behind Bars (my first mountain bike race)
Truth be told, I am loving this! This will be the race of my life, no matter how long it takes!