I thought I would be a bit more nervous with this thing, and perhaps that will come later, but through out most of this training I've been more excited than anything else. My training went quite well, and I've definitely done my research with reading about ultras. The only thing missing is experience which I can't really do anything about. Unfortunately, it seems that experience is probably the biggest factor with these thing. At least that's what I've read :)
Even though I've said many times to myself and everyone else that my only real goal is to finish 50 miles anyway I can, I still need to come up with an estimate of how long it will take me, if for no other reason than to let people know where I'll be when. I came up with a best case scenario pacing chart. It includes running 9 minute miles for the first 50K with several short breaks making 10 minute miles and a few longer breaks making 12 minute miles. Then for the last 19 miles, I factored in 11 minute pace for the 3 miles with Bieka and then 9:30s for when I'm running, and then the same breaks. When I add this all up, I get very close to 8 hours. This would be pie in the sky type stuff. I really don't think this is very likely to happen because things always go wrong in ultras and this is my first one and it's going to be a bit warmer than I like and I'm sitting here at my desk in a comfy chair and I'm thinking optimistic thoughts.
Here is a copy of the schedule I sent out to my family and friends who are coming to support me on Sunday:
7:00 AM - I arrive at Pennypack Park Start/Finish area (if you zoom in satellite mode, you can see the parking lot along the trail) http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=30+Ellis+Drive,+Montgomery,+NJ&daddr=Pennypack+Trail&hl=en&ll=40.089326,-75.068362&spn=0.003443,0.004823&sll=40.088406,-75.068507&sspn=0.006887,0.009645&geocode=FcQdaQIdpF2N-ymlwN3sS-jDiTHDvYfwBRe8Iw%3BFTK3YwIdBIqG-w&oq=30+ellis+drive+nj&mra=ls&t=h&z=18
8:00 AM - Race starts.
8:35 AM - I finish the small 3.5M loop and start the first of 3 25K (15.5M ) loops.
11:00 AM (+5 minutes) - I finish with the first big loop and start the second.
1:00 PM - Everyone arrives at the start/finish area of Pennypack Park where I parked. I am planning on calling Bieka at some point to let her know what my ETA is so Biek, make sure you have your phone on you and on :)
1:30 PM (+10 minutes) - I finish the second loop and meet up with Bieka who will pace me to the first aid station on my third and final loop. Mama and Papa can start to drive to the first aid station to meet us and pick up Bieka. April, Abby and Sadie can of course do so as well but they could also just meet us at the second aid station.
2:05 PM (+15 minutes) - Bieka and I arrive at the first aid station where Mama and Papa pick her up. (I don’t know exactly where this will be but if you zoom in close you can see cars parked and I think it should be somewhere near the intersection of Krewstown Rd. and the Pennypack Trail) http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Pennypack+Trail&daddr=Krewstown+Rd&hl=en&ll=40.075949,-75.054855&spn=0.003444,0.004823&sll=40.075785,-75.054994&sspn=0.003444,0.004823&geocode=FTK3YwIdBIqG-w%3BFSCDYwId7sCG-w&t=h&mra=pr&z=18
2:45 PM (+20 minutes) - I arrive at the second aid station and see everyone. Andy, if you want to come to this aid station, you’ll have a better idea of where I’m at and when I should get to the next one where you will pace me (Once again, I don’t know exactly where this will be, but hopefully it will be clear once you get there and park) http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Krewstown+Rd&daddr=40.049115,-75.033837&hl=en&ll=40.049636,-75.034486&spn=0.003445,0.004823&sll=40.048622,-75.034899&sspn=0.003445,0.004823&geocode=FSCDYwId7sCG-w%3BFdsZYwIdExOH-w&t=h&mra=pr&z=18
3:25 PM (+30 minutes) - I arrive at the third aid station which is actually the same location as the first aid station because the loop is kind of like a figure 8 with the 1/3 aid stations at the intersection. I meet up with Andy who will pace me to the finish.
4:05 PM (+ 1 hour) - Andy and I arrive at the finish with huge smiles :)
4:06 PM (+ 1 hour) - Rest, Drink, Eat, Repeat
Once again, the times in bold are highly unlikely and are there as a guide to the earliest I'm likely to arrive at each of these points. As you can see by the numbers in parenthesis, as the race continues, I'm allowing for more slow down. If I was going to give my best guess at my time, I would say 8 hours 30 minutes. But, I admit that somewhere in the back of my head I entertain thoughts of breaking 8 hours and finishing near the front of the field and getting one of these sweet age group awards:
|Awesome age group award that I will not be getting|
My next blog entry will hopefully be my race report! We'll see how naive I was with my finishing time guess!