Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jed Smith Ultra Goals

It's not so much that my goals are ultra-sized, just that the race is.
I'm heading into "Ultra Season," starting this weekend with the first of three planned ultras in the next three months, including a 50K, a 50-miler and a 100K.  *gulp*  Okay, I guess my goals are pretty ultra-sized, after all.
This Saturday is the Jed Smith Ultra Classic and I'm running the 50K.  I ran this exact race last year, and since I came across the Finish Line looking like this:
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I really enjoyed this race.
I totally wish I had blogged about the race, though, because honestly, my memory of that day is that it sucked.  It was soooooooo much harder than I had anticipated.  You know how you go into your first 50K thinking, "Oh, it's just five more miles than a marathon, how hard can it be?" and then it's a bajillion times harder than a marathon?  Yes.
I remember being underfueled and utterly miserable on the final loop (the course is SUPER spectator-friendly:  six times around a nearly 5-mile loop, plus a little out-and-back at the start to get to the proper distance).  Yet, my finishing pace was a currently-unimaginable 10:05.  How the F did I run that fast only a year ago?  I have no idea.
Under my current training regime of "Run Slow to Run Slower," it's safe to say that this year is not going to be a PR effort, and I am surprisingly okay with that.  Here are my (mostly realistic) goals for Saturday:

  • Don't drown.  This always makes the list, particularly for races that are within, say, 20 miles of a body of water.  The Jed Smith crosses over the American River a whopping 12 times, so...yeah.  Don't drown.
  • Fuel and hydrate properly!  I don't think I need to clarify this, but I will.  I suck at drinking enough during races, so this year I'm employing my trusty GymBoss to remind me to eat and drink consistently.
  • Finish strong.  I think this is the goal I am most interested in meeting.  Last year's final loop felt like such a death march, so I'd really like to not feel that way this year.  Of course, that will depend on meeting both of the above goals.
  • Finish under 6 hours, or - if I'm having an amazing day - under 5:30.  Last year's time was 5:15, which isn't going to happen again in this lifetime, but I really think I can eke out a sub-six.  And if I've met all of the goals above, a five-and-a-half finish shouldn't be too far out of reach.  We'll see.
UltraIronHubs will be running the 30K, which starts an hour after my race, so I do have one little ancillary goal:  Don't get lapped by UIH.  Math is totally not my strong suit, so I'm honestly not sure if this is a goal I can meet.  Help me out here:  If a train (me) leaves the station, does a 1-ish mile out-and-back, then travels around a 4.86-mile loop travelling at a 10:30 pace, and another train (UIH) leaves the same station and hour later, does a 3-ish out-and-back, and then travels the 4.86-mile loop at a 7:30 pace, where will the two trains meet??
I feel certain that he'll come up behind me and leave me in his dust at SOME point, but I don't think he will actually lap me.  I hope.


Kate Geisen said...

I'm not good at that kind of math either. This year I'm going to play a game with my (much stronger) run/bike training partner where we start at the same time but he has to run in the other direction for a certain distance/time before turning around and we see how long it takes before I get caught.

I hope you meet those goals...especially the don't drown one! You looked great coming across that finish line...hopefully you feel strong at the end. Can't wait to hear about it!

HalfCrazed Runner said...

Wow! Those are big goals! Best of luck!

ajh said...

I know you did great. I'm reading this late but I love your don't drown goal!

One Crazy Penguin said...

Umm, yeah. Those are huge (but awesome) goals. You totally got this. And memory is a weird thing. It doesn't always remember things correctly. So you are going to have a great time *and* not drown!