A very patriotic (and foreshadowing) photo from my first 100 miler in VT a little less than 3 years ago. ...and yes, since then I've dropped a bit of muscle and taken the form of a gangly 9 year-old girl in the pursuit of helping Team USA get a medal at the 24 Hour Worlds!
This is it. My final post before the race. I hesitate to call it The Race, mostly because I'm trying to stay low-key and relaxed in order to keep from having an entire week of sleepless nights before it. The reality, of course, is that I have 100,000 people in my head screaming "THE RACE!!" over and over again right now, and those aforementioned sleepless nights are pretty much unavoidable at this point. It's all good, though, as I can count this as quality sleep-deprivation training for the race, right?!
All of my pseudo complaining is in jest, of course, as I couldn't be more honored to be experiencing all of this. Lucky for me, I'm well trained in the art of shutting out distractions and focusing on the job at hand. In this case, that means executing my pace plan right from the start and ignoring the fact that 150 people will be ahead of me after 25 miles...or even 50 miles. One thing I can tell you for sure, barring lightning strike or hysterical pregnancy, 150 people won't be ahead of me after 100 miles. Sure, teams from 30 countries will be lining up on Thursday morning in Brive...and yes, most of those 235 runners have more experience than me...but I'm confident that if I stick to my plan, I'll be climbing the standings all night long.
It's true, I don't have much experience in 24 hour races to fall back on (just 2 previous), but I'm confident that my plan for this race will both keep me from blowing up early and produce a quality result in the end for the Team. I can't stress enough how I really really really don't care what my final mileage (or kilometerage, as it were) total is, as long as it means I helped the Team get a medal. Quite frankly, I'm not going to run 155 miles in this race, and I'm not going to try. Maybe that's a step to take after I've proven to have a plan that can get me 150 in a race first. The World Championship is not the time to throw caution to the wind and attempt such a foolhardy goal. I know this going in, and I think I'll be a much more useful Team member for it. Blowing up after a 14 hour 100 miler doesn't help us bring home a medal.
Of course, all of the above doesn't mean I'm not planning on kicking some ass for the good ol' USA out there! Once my first slow n' steady 50 or 60 miles click by, I'll be climbing into the cockpit and preparing for 16 hours of international asphalt assault! Be sure to to follow along with us live at the race site, IAU site (hourly updates), IAU's Twitter feed, and at American Ultra Running for possible photo posts throughout the race. The race starts at 4 a.m. EST on Thursday (10 a.m. local time in Brive), so be sure to follow along with us all day and night while avoiding your office work!
I think my crew will have wifi access at the race site too, so any posts made here on the blog during the race will be passed on to me as I run (this will seriously help fire me up every time, so be sure to help out the Team with your support!).
As for the predictions of my finishing distance, here's a recap of what's on the books thus far. Any additional submissions made to this post by midnight on Wednesday, May 12 will be accepted in the contest:
Ric M.: 140.8
My Mommy: 142.56
Tony P.: 144
Brad Smythe: 144.92
Jenny C: 145.291
Double Bock: 146.33
Chris Roman: 150.1
Nick P: 150.314
CH Stanley: 153.7
Mike/Mr. T: Pain
I think we can all agree that Mike/Mr. T have already won, but in terms of actual numbers, the closest (above or below) guess will get a special one-of-a-kind prize from the race. ...and no, it won't be an 8x10 glossy of my bald and gangly self.
Ok, I'm off to do my best to represent the USA proudly!! Au Revoir!!