Thursday, September 12, 2013

Headlands 100 - Game Plan

Ideal Splits
Loop 1 - 6 hours
Loop 2 - 6.5 hours
Loop 3 - 8 Hours
Loop 4 - 7.5 hours
Total Time: 28 hours

Short and Easy
My game plan is going to be to consume 200-250 calories per hour.  My primary nutrition source will be Tailwind Nutrition (berry) and assorted aid station food to get some texture.  Since Muir Beach has no crew access I will be leaving myself a drop bag with Tailwind there, or if thats unavailable it will be Tennessee Valley Aid Station.

Decided not to use the Salomon shorts for this run.  They worked well for Run De Vous 100km, but that test was on paved road and not trail.   Now sure how they will react to the dramatic change in temperature and significantly more dirt.  Rather than risk unfortunate chaffing situations I'll stick with the North Face - "Better than Naked" shorts that have worked for me for a few years.  Shoes will be Altra Lone Peak and/or New Balance MT110.  I have put in a lot of miles with both, but I prefer extra grip on steep descents and for my stride the NB feels better, but the trade off will be my feet getting beat to shreds. 

Tops I will be using Ink N Burn Tech Tee's and Patagonia Silk weight tech tees.  Headwear, probably will go with the buff visor the whole way through.  I race with sunglasses and the buff allows me to see better since the visor can be put up or down which is not an option with traditional visors or hats.  I will be using handhelds for this race and during the heat of the day it will be Nathan's new insulated handhelds and all other times my Ultimate Direction Bottles.  

Scared as hell, but excited to see this beautiful course again.   Things have come together...pacer, crew, etc... (link) and hopefully I will have an interesting tale to tell come next week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marin Headlands Jitters

PCTR (link) hosts the infamous Headlands 100 Trail Race.  The course strings together some of the most lush beautiful trails this side of the Mississippi (always wanted to throw that phrase in there).  Runners are treated to views of Muir Beach, Pirates Cove, Rodeo Beach, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  The Marin Headlands hold a special place in my heart because it saw reinforced friendships and helped create new ones.

The steep ascents and descents (20,000 elev chg) taught me to find a gear unknown to me until that was my only option (report).  This year having course knowledge and placing DFL (32:51:14) last year serve as some motivation.  I would love to claim that destroying the course record is the goal but that's not in the cards; never was.  My training is as good as it can be under the circumstances and that's exactly where I want to be.

1/17/13 I wrote:
"For my 2013 is going to be a building year...My goal is create a training program for ultra marathons that allows for any athlete to peak several times during the year with a forced off season.  Many of us, especially me, don't know how not to be athletes.  We miss family events, cut dates short and bail on social gatherings because we want that extra workout.  In my case this sort of thinking has caused an imbalance."

A training program that allows several peaks is still a work in progress because at the time I did not account nutrition as well as I should have (in progress).  More importantly 2013 has been all about prioritizing.  Last year my priorities were tested and many times I failed.  Spring semester at school was a learning experience both in the classroom and outside of it.  Spring 2013 saw everything from CT scans and EEG tests to finals about midgets in bumper cars so fun for everyone I suppose.  

I lost a few friends because of my poor ability to prioritize.  I was out when I should have been studying, looked out for other peoples wants/needs before my own, protected other's time while disregarding my own and even tricked myself into habits I knew did not work for me (e.g. 8-10 hrs in the library), etc. 

Law school is first and the athlete in me wants to compete but the man in me knows better.  The race season was full steam ahead with an American River 50 PR that was a huge confidence boost (report).  However, my boost dwindled with the epic blow up at Nanny Goat (report) blacking out 2x and shivering on a cot for a few hours.  My rattled confidence spurred me to sign up for Run De Vous.  At RDV I had a great experience running 100km (report) which was a solid long run with no major issues other than being tired and hungry (shocker).  

For Headlands I had no pacer no crew.  All year I banked on a friend of mine, R. being able to help me out as he has done so many times.  However, fate changed his path and this year and he is kicking ass in a different way…by fighting cancer !!! (blog-bertostrong).  Rather than fighting circumstances all the time I placed myself in God's hands.  Truth is I don't know what is best for me all the time.  But, I know that doing good for others allows God to sneak some good vibes in my direction.  I allowed myself to be open to God's will and a lot of blessings have come my way because of it.  

My girlfriend C. just happens to be transitioning jobs so she can make it out to crew, her sister N. will accompany her and low and behold N. works night shifts so I don't have to worry about C driving tired!  Also, the photographer from RDV (the race I only did b/c I failed at Nanny Goat), D. reached out when he saw my predicament and offered to help pace through the night.  Furthermore, my friend P. may be able to make it out on Sunday morning to hang out for a few miles.  

Things are coming together.  I do not know what is going to happen at Headlands because the nerves are setting in.  But, whatever does I will take the good, the bad and the ugly.  These ultra marathons, though solo adventures, bring people together that would have otherwise not met and I have to be thankful for allowing my path to cross theirs and someday (soon I hope) I will be able to jump in at a moments notice (as others have for me) to help another lunatic trying to cover 100 miles on foot without stopping.