Well, I've made a slight change in my race plans. I was having trouble getting Laurel Highlands to fit in my work schedule right now (it's a long story, and I'd just as soon forget about it), and I'm still intrigued about doing another 24 hour race, so I've decided to race in FANS on June 2 in Minneapolis, MN. I've booked my travel and sent in my registration so I'm all set. FANS will be a Centurion event this year so I will have the opportunity to re-qualify as a Centurion. My goal is to hit 100 miles again. My stretch goal is to hit 105. I think it is a realistic goal if I can stick to my race plan. I've estimated a pace for every lap, including the inevitable slow down that will occur as it gets later, and I've allowed myself an extra minute every three laps (except for the first lap, every lap is about 2.4 miles) for aid. Based on my experience at Ultracentric I think this is realistic. I only stopped twice at Ultracentric - once to change shoes, once to use the port-a-pottie. Other than that, I paused for less than a minute at the aid station from time to time. So hopefully I will have a good day and we will have good weather and I can add some miles to my 100 mile Ultracentric finish.
This weekend I had a bad training experience and a great training experience. On Friday night some members of the North Texas Trail Runners were going to the Cross Timbers Trail on Lake Texoma (site of my only DNF) to do night hill training. The goal (for some of us, myself included) was to run/walk from about sunset to sunrise, around 8:40 to 6:30. I got there a little late and started walking around 9:15 PM. The weather was so humid and muggy that within 30 minutes I was totally soaked to the bone. I repeated the short (2.5 mile) extra hilly section three times, pausing at my car each lap to replenish fluids and snack. After a few hours there were only two of us left on the trail, then the last guy decided to leave. I sat in my car a while eating a snack when I realized that I wasn't having fun and didn't want to be there any more. It was about 2:00 AM. I made the one and a half hour drive home and crashed into bed. It felt good to sleep.
Saturday I made all my FANS plans and decided to do some FANS-specific training. I mapped a 3.2 mile route in a local park and planned to repeat the loop for 30 miles. I got started around 4:30 AM on Sunday morning and did ten laps. It got pretty warm and very sunny and by the end I was very tired, but I was able to turn in my fastest ultra distance training ever: 32.1 miles in 6:10:30, an 11:33 pace! I've never broken 12:00 minutes per mile in an ultra distance race or training, so I was very excited. I don't plan to go this pace at FANS, but this gave me the confidence I needed to go into FANS. So Sunday was a great day.
While you're visiting my blog, go over and give Steve a big shout of congratulations for setting a TWO HOUR marathon PR. Way to go, Steve!!