With race day being a mere 21 days away at the time of this writing, the enormity and complexity of this event have begun to weigh on my mind. At this point, the easiest thing for me to do is to go out and run. It doesn't require any thought and with just one more long run scheduled for this weekend I am about to shut it down and allow my body to rest.
What I can't allow myself to do is to let my mind to rest. After the recon run, I have started to begin planning the logistics for this race. In just about every other ultra or marathon, I have been able to either drive myself and crew, or have had Dirrty Girl or The Finkelstein there to give me a short lift home. This 100 miler is another beast.
First off, is child care. Being away for a few days, has meant asking grandparents months in advance to block off a weekend to watch Little Dirt Dawg and Dirrty Feather, while I attempt this selfish test of endurance. I have even enlisted my sister's help to drive down to help my dad and stepmom with the task of watching kids. To help me, I always believed that some people would want to come along on this adventure and crew and right now I have cajoled Kevin and Nate into pacer roles along with Dirrty Girl and perhaps one out of town guest. With verbal commitments in hand, that has meant searching and securing hotel rooms close to the finish and figuring out what time to leave home to make it down to the race HQ in time for the dinner and pre-race meeting.
That has been easy. The struggle has been now to lay out a plan for my crew for the day. I have it easy so to speak. I just have to run/walk and crawl. Luckily, Brian, will also be running Burning River and we have spoken about running together during the race. The course is a point to point, so with my crew at the finish line, I will be taking a shuttle to the start, and then running towards them. My hope and plan is to meet up with them along the way and have them follow me along, but this is where I have had the most difficulty. Trying to project pace as to when you might roll in is a little bit like predicting the weather. You might be right 50% of the time. I have no clue what the weather will be like in 3 weeks or how my body will be feeling. Right now all I can do is guesstimate. Pacers can not begin until mile 60, a mistake i quickly emailed out to people when i had misread and said 70, so it will be a long day in the car for them as i don't initially project hitting that mark until near dark. So now i have to try and match terrain and distance to who will pace and when. Pace will be irrelevant at that point i figure as it will be quite slow. However, I hope by that time my pacers will have found me, as it is in an area unfamiliar to us all and hopefully with the use of my phone i can alert them as to where i am out on the course.
That being said, I have been mentally going over what I think I need for drop bags, and at what aid stations. Reports say you can run the first 30+ miles in road shoes before switching to trail for some more technical sections. So, I think I am going to do that, but then it gets fuzzy. How much food do I take with me? Do I take just a handheld water bottle and a fanny pack, or a handheld water bottle and single water bottle waistpack? Do I need a new double water bottle waistpack? What about my hydration backpack? What is going to be my fueling plan? How often am I going to take Endurolytes? Am I going to use those 5 hour energy drinks again and where, when might I do those? Do I have a run/walk pattern to start the race with? How many extra batteries do I need to buy for my headlamps? How many coolers do I need for the van and Crew? What are they going to eat for the day? Intial thoughts are jotted down, then crossed out, and referenced again.
It really is quite dizzying. I am sure in 3 weeks I will have it figured out.