The first started with the weather. It turns out it's going to rain tomorrow, meaning the trail could be wet! If you remember my last trail marathon or as I liked to call it the "Course Des 7th Circle of Hell" and the Mud Monster-- I had a very hard time in my Nike Free's on the clay/mud course and ended up getting passed in the last few miles while trying not to fall down a mountain. I got 2nd in that race and I'm still bitter. Not making that mistake again-- I went to a local running store Mojo Running to find something that wasn't exactly a trail shoe (as I'm so used to a minimalists shoe) but still had some grip to it. Paul, the owner-- who also happens to be from my home town in NY (small world) helped me find these...
Yes, those are leaves imaged on the sides-- how perfect for a trail race-- maybe I'll blend in more and nobody will see me coming. Mmmm right. Anyways, these are the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara. Why did I buy them?
-Weight- They are light, which is what I like and what I'm used to with my Nike Frees
-Flexibility- These are not stiff shoes. They offer a lot more flexibility than they seem. Very similar to how the Vibrams and Frees let you grip with your toes
-ProGrid- The bottom has some triangles of traction that will hopefully keep me from falling down a mountain.
-Strike- They let me have a forward foot strike. For a neutral shoe, they offer a lot of what a minimalist shoe does, but with more of a cushion at the bottom.
Breaking them in: Yes, I know it's not ideal to get a NEW pair of shoes just a few days before a race, but circumstances forced my hand... or my foot in this case (haha). So I have a few days to get them blister-proof. Have no fear, I've done this before. I've run a few marathons in shoes I bought the night before at the expo. I took these for a run and they're a little stiff in the back, so I taped them down last night to give some flexibility and avoid blisters on my ankles. The ones that are already there I'll have to tape up.
Whoooo's Coming with me?
Brian is an ultra runner from Columbus, OH and has already done a few 50-milers. I've been using his blog as a source of advice and I've proclaimed him my "ultra guru!" Yesterday he started thinking about running this race as a training run for a 50-miler he has next week and then decided to sign up for the race all together and run, claiming "I figure.. what the heck? Why not try to run two 50 mile races two Saturdays in a row..you run marathons all the time!" Ummm nobody tell him that I'm 40 kinds of crazy and following my lead could be bad for your health... at least not until after he runs this race this weekend ;)
Yayyy back to back weekends of 50-milers is crazzzzzzy, but he can totally do it! BONUS-- he'll make me look like the less crazy one! If you get a chance check out his blog-- This is a clip...
"On January 5, 2009, I decided I would become not just a Runner, but an Ultra Runner. I will one day complete a 100 Mile Race... and more."
... This was before he ever ran a marathon. We love people that aim high!
-- If anybody else feels like taking on the challenge this weekend, it's a cheap entry fee and I would love more bloggy buddies!!!
Course Change?? Wtf
So we get this email last night...
Follow runners,I was contacted today by the Corps of Engineers that own the land around the Caesar Creek Lake and operate the dam that they are NOT going to allow us to access the 2 mile section of the loop that crosses the dam even though we submitted our paperwork in January.
This forces us to an out and back type course. The website has the new map course..."
I was all ready for the 3 looped course and now it's a bunch of out and backs. These are single-track trails people-- meaning we'll have to try and pass each other in opposite directions in a space big enough for 1. Also, the total distance they can get in is 49.96-- and you bet your ass I'll be finding 4 more hundredths so I can say I'm a 50-mile marathon runner! This may also bring changes to my drop bags since the aid stations have been moved in relation to the miles. Lot's to think about...
Tips Tips Tips...
I've been getting a few more and MORE ARE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED. This is my first 50-miler and I'm not 100% prepared, but I figure what the heck, let's see if I can do it. Some additional tips I've heard...
Walk Before you Have to: I've been told by a few people, it would be beneficial to start short walk breaks ever X miles or minutes earlier than I actually need them-- this will save my legs for the end and I'll (hopefully) still be running in the last few miles. Another suggestion... Walk any major uphills. Apparently ultra runners are known for NOT running big hills as a method in order to save their legs for the long distance.
Eat Eat Eat: I keep hearing this and I'm definitely on top of it. My favorite thing about ultra/trail races is the food at the aid station-- says the fat kid! They always have the best snacks.... oh and soda or "pop" if you're from the mid-west. I LOVE soda in the later miles.
Bondi-Bands! While I was at Mojo yesterday I noticed a few bondi bands on the counter and of the 3 there was this one just sitting there waiting for me...
In light of my recent double-BQ-weekends, I felt I deserved this new Bondi Band. How perfect, huh? I'll use it as a reminder that I should be running FASTER this weekend :)
Ok 2 more days and hopefully this nauseous feeling will go away soon. More to come...
Happy Freaking Running People!
*I'm a little keyed up this week, sorry*