I’m running 50k on Saturday morning. That thought has gone through my head more times than I can count this week. To be more accurate, what I have been saying is more like, “Holy $#!* I am running 50k on Saturday”. I was completely calm about this until Sunday night. At that point the butterflies – monster butterflies – kicked in.
After being a pace bunny at the Ottawa Marathon, I was riding quite the high. I know for a fact that I could have finished 50k that day. I still felt good at the end of the race and the endorphins were racing through me. Hell yes I would be able to do an ultra!
Two and a half weeks later the doubts are creeping into my head. Logically I know I can finish the distance barring any injury. But I keep thinking about the fact that I have essentially done a double taper. I totally trust the taper, but two in a row? Not so sure about that. I feel like I have not run nearly enough even though logically I know there would have been far more risk in over-training than under-training. I’m antsy, distracted and tired from the stressful dreams I’m having – a side effect of doing a 50k while also writing report cards and dealing with the usual end of school year stuff.
But I am going to say that I am also excited. I don’t have a time to beat like I did at Around the Bay in April. I don’t have an exact time to hit like I did as a pace bunny for the Ottawa Marathon. This is a “to finish” race and I keep reminding myself that those are the best kind. I really just need to enjoy the ride and cross the finish line.
I’m going to try to emphasize fun this weekend. I keep referring to it as a tourist run. The out and back route starts in Niagara-on-the-Lake and travels 25k along the river to Niagara Falls. It is not a closed course so there will be some dodging of pedestrians, bikes and a whole lot of tourists at the turn around. At some point I will probably ask one of those tourists to take a few pictures of me in front of the Falls. There will also be snacks – real snacks, not gels – at the aid stations, so there may be times I am doing more eating than running.
I only have a general pace plan. If I do exactly what I did as a pace bunny it will take 6 and a half hours. I think I will try to go a little faster than that to allow for photos and of course snacks. I even have a crazy idea that I might do a negative split, which if I start slowly enough should be possible. Mind you, once again the weather is not really cooperating for this cold weather runner. Predicted temperatures range from a somewhat reasonable 24C to a far-too-hot 30C. Ah, memories of Ottawa Race Weekend.
I am also a little nervous about timing. I have never arrived at an out-of-town race the night before the event. We’re going to get there, pick up kits and get settled in the hotel as quickly as possible in order to be ready for my 7 a.m. start. But the upside is not having to sit in a car for 6 or more hours immediately after the race. I think my legs will appreciate that and maybe I will actually be able to walk in the days after the race.
Now all there is left to do is rest, eat and maybe panic…but just a little.