After a good last week and half of training, and some reflection, I decided the 100 mile fire is still burning...so I pulled the trigger and signed up for the Iroquois Trails 100 on 9/19-20 upstate, near Cortland and Ithaca. I really want to get that second 100 under my belt, and this seems like the opportunity. Familiar course and faces, prospect of cool temps this last weekend of summer/first of fall, a generous 36 hour cutoff, a chance to measure myself against last year's 32:45....everything seems to point to seizing this chance!
Motivated by the Cascade disappointment, I decided I should try to squeeze in some quality training before committing to IT, given how much I'd cut back before the race. So I put in a solid 60+ last week, including a good 10 mile tempo run, 1 1/2 hr trail run just before I left Washington State, and a 20 miler on the Palisades trails with Garth last Friday, followed by a reasonably hard 1 1/2 hours in Central park on Sat. Those runs, plus a nice faster and shorter tempo run yesterday (6 miles), have me feeling better about my fitness and motivation (not to mention my weight!). So now it's taper time (again!). But first a few hills reps in the Palisades with Garth tomorrow. But not too many!
I need to formulate a good gameplan, but I can use last year's splits and experience at IT for that. The basic idea: to even out the superfast/superslow 50 mile splits into some kind of more manageable and sustainable pace I won't fall off so much on the (identical) second half. If I did the first half in like 13:15 last year, then maybe try to do it in 14 or 14:30. It's tricky, since we run with the 50 milers the first half. Easy to get sucked up into their pace.
I'll try to make a couple other changes in nutrition and in gear. On nutrition: Much more careful with what I eat the morning of and days preceding. During the race, I'm going to make sure I have bland salty stuff like pretzels and saltines in my drop bags, especially for the nighttime. And will look into a thermos of chicken soup at the start/finish AS we go through 5 times. And maybe even cans of it I can pop open in the nighttime drop bags, as last year there wasn't any beyond mile 55 and through most of the night. Even if cold, it might be one of the blandest, most nutritious things I can get down in the witching hours, where the stomach got weak last year.
On gear, I just got the Nathan running vest I ordered on-line today. Will test out tomorrow. If I can slip an extra layer, gels, lights, whatever in the handy front and rear pockets, I can keep the Fuelbelt lighter. And hopefully I can forego having to carry the heavy maps and case I did for CCC!
I'm very psyched that Jayson, my nighttime pacer from last year who lives in Ithaca, is willing to come out and show me some more of his owl calls this year. That will be a big help! And happy that the RD Ian allowed me to take my time in deciding whether to sign up....I'm in now! Here goes another adventure!