Friday, March 19, 2010

Thoughts on Umstead 100 Miler, With 8 Days to Go

One week from today I head down to the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run. It’ll take about 7 hours of interstate driving from my home in southern PA.  Then the race begins Sat morning (27th).

I am trying my best to have a relaxed, playful attitude towards running. After all, nobody is holding a gun to my heat, forcing me to try this thing.  It's a personal quest for personal reasons, and it's not a must-win situation.  Once the Buffalo Bills NFL coach Marv Levy, from the QB Jim Kelly era, was asked whether the Super Bowl was must-win since they'd lost 2 or 3 Super Bowls in a row.  He said, "It's just a game....World War II was must-win."

I take that to heart.

As the time grows nearer, I am becoming increasingly nervous. I’ve experienced some sleeplessness, and more dreaming than usual (featuring themes of fears of being late, oversleeping, etc.). My thoughts while at work keep returning to Umstead--it’s quite difficult to stay focused.

I plan to follow the 28 hour split plan suggested by the race director. I have always had an iron stomach and never seem to have any issues with nutrition, hydration, or electrolytes in any previous race. That, however, could change in a heartbeat, so I plan to pay close attention to all this during the race.

Weather? Too far off to get an accurate forecast, so I’ll not worry about that today since it’s out of my control in any case. I will pack a variety of clothes to scatter between the 2 drop bags, so I should be covered for any weather contingency. I will say that cold is one thing and rather easily addressed; rain is another thing altogether, and of much more importance.

Worries about training? Too late, forget about it. Run the race and program for success.

The drive back after the race?  This is a major concern. I would love to sleep in my own bed Sunday night after the race…but first I have 7 hours to drive. Figuring I’ll be wired immediately after the race, I plan to start driving back and log some miles as rapidly as possible before sleepiness kicks in. Then I’ll pull over for a couple hour nap and resume the drive. I will, however, be prudent and smart about the drive home—the last thing I want to do is to pose any risk to myself or others.

Last question: am I worthy? Sounds corny, but running 100 miles is sort of a rite of passage for an UltraRunner. You have to pay your dues and respect the distance. Only a couple thousand people a year manage to finish one of these things.  I do have 100 mile finishing experience at Massanutten, VA in 1998, and on a track for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and I hope my heart is right to be a worthy participant in this event.

Relaxed and playful attitude, that's what I'm channeling....

1 comment:

  1. You'll do well. Umstead is beautiful, so enjoy your run!

    See you out there.