Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Truth-Seeking Mission Packing Frenzy
Iris always has to supervise the packing ritual. My car is already loaded with coolers, table, chair, tent. I stopped by the store yesterday and bought some things, food will have to wait until I get closer to race day.
After not running any ultras for 10 months, first I have to dig things out of the garage, which was a major project yesterday. Good thing to do when I'm on my weekend work hangover day. It was a crazy busy weekend at work but it was good. I started sleeping through the night again.
Packing for a fixed-time race that you're driving to is a challenge. There's the temptation to take everything. I really just need a table, a chair, some coolers, something to prop up my feet, and then be very organized in my pre-race setup so everything is easily accessible without having to waste time searching for it. You just set everything up at the trackside, and it's a quick stop, but you have to minimize the number of stops because it's too easy to reach for an item whenever you think of it, instead of saving it for the break times.
Generally I try to take a break and put my feet up for no more than 10-15 minutes every 6 hours and get as many calories into myself during that time as possible. I do my pole stretch- holding onto some stable object and squatting down and stretching- my butt, hamstrings, calves, achilles tendons, feet- every hour. And that's basically it for strategy. Just holding back for the first 12 hours and not running more than half the miles than you think your total will be, re-assessing how the strategy is working, and then adjusting from there.
The forecast is for warm and humid, which suits me just fine. 87 degrees and high humidity as of yesterday's forecast, same exact conditions as in Florida at the Keys, where I got a 100 mile PR. I'll have plenty of ice and bandanas for my head and neck, lots of S caps and drinks, and the MP3 player with plenty of spare batteries. And food, of course. And Starbucks Doubleshots. I'm hoping to not have to sleep.
I'm ready to burn some tread off the bottom of my running shoes. I'm hungry to race, and I feel like pushing myself. Not only am I running a race, I'm on a truth-seeking mission...for two pieces of truth:
1. To see how many miles I can run in 24 hours.
2. To find out what's really in Iowa.
The plan is, drive across Nebraska, spend the night in Omaha, then drive the rest of the way to Iowa and have a full day to chill out before the race. I've driven across Nebraska only once before, about 15 years ago. Can't say I remember too much of it. I do remember the zoo in Omaha, that was pretty cool.
I'll be blogging from the road, looking forward to the interesting sights in Nebraska and Iowa, since I have never been into Iowa before. I know that everyone reading this is asking the burning question, what's in Iowa?
Well, pork chops, for one. And chicken fried steak. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Cornfields. A few rolling hills. Those are the things other people have told me.
If I get hungry enough after the race, I might even eat some of that stuff. Not the chicken fried steak though...can't even fathom chewing on something that looks like a fried cowpie.
Gotta go, the supervisor tells me to get back to my state of frenetic packing so we can go for a run...