The past several weeks I have been trying to ramp up my training for the VT 100 miler. If you go to my posts in Jan, Feb and Mar, you will notice this strategy worked pretty effectively at allowing me to beat my previous Umstead 100 miler by over an hour. Unfortunately life got in the way and my longest training week was about 45 miles. And my longest distance since the Bob Potts Marathon about the first of June has been less than 15 miles. These numbers were not what I wanted.
But on a positive note as I indicated to one of my ultra-friends who questioned how prepared I am for VT100, I eagerly replied, "I can proudly say I have no overuse injuries!" There is the chance that the training philosophy of "less is more" could kick in. Of course it was only a little over 3 months ago that I ran my last 100, so perhaps I will have some residual endurance. And of course I know what to expect both from the 100 mile distance and the Vermont 100 mile course. Knowledge may give me a tiny, itty-bitty advantage.
I have done some heat training (and in fact after chatting with a different ultra-friend) learned that by going to the Sauna for 20 minutes I can raise my temperature about 3 degrees. I assume that I am raising my core temp because I wait a few moments to take my temperature. The reason I have been stopping at 20 minutes in the Sauna is that my glasses or reading material DNF. My glasses become impossible hot to the point where I think I might get a burn on my face (and how do I explain that to my doctor, insurance and husband?). And my books and magazines really have not fared well in the sauna. I am afraid to bring my Ipod because I think it would drop dead after about 5 minutes (even if I tried to train it up!).
As for last minute cramming, I kind have done a little. This is more to build some confidence and also because I think I was a bit unhappy the last few weeks because I was not getting my usual exercise. The last several days I have run to and/or from work. This is about 7 miles with a few moderate hills. Each day I have finished my run and felt really good. I just wish it was 3 weeks until VT because then I could get one more long run in.
I have not started to pack, but I do have my excel spreadsheet from last year which I have updated and revised. Because my husband/crew Tristan is so unreliable (yes I have finally come to this realization), we have agreed it is best that he only meet me at Margaritteville and no other aid station. This means I actually have to have an early drop bag to put my layers and headlamp/flashlight. And since I will not see Tristan twice in the evening, I will have to really commit to taking out my contacts and put on glasses about 8 p.m. and will have to tough it out. This may be the most traumatic portion of my 100 mile run because my contacts are so thick/heavy and realistically don't work that well (stupid astigmatism!) However, this will give me something to look foward over halfway through the race.
I am really looking forward to running with my assigned pacer: Theresa. She is really sweet and has been checking up on me and encouraging me lots recently via e-mail. Her enthusiasm is so infectious that I know mile 70-90 will be manageable (I would say a breeze but that is so far from the truth!).
Tristan is thinking about running the last 5 miles of the race with me. He just needs to figure out if he can get a ride to the ~95 mile aid station. His objection is that he doesn't know what time I will make it there and does not want to spend hours waiting for me. Unless we can figure out the logistics, the last 10 miles I will be alone. But that is fine. Last year I was able to do this bit solo and other than the stupid rock wall I nearly could not climb across I did fine. And now I mentally prepared for "The Wall" at about mile 90 or 95! Maybe this year I will fling a few rocks off it to make it lower...or I still have time to vandalize it and get rid of the entire wall (if only I could figure out where it is)
I am really looking forward to the horses passing me about mile 10 or so. The riders were so nice and encouraging and the horses so cute. I hope my friend whose horse timed out about mile 30 last year is back.
And of course I am really looking forward to seeing all my ultra-friends. A bunch of Reston Runners are traveling and racing the VT100 including some of my ultra-inspirations: Jim A and Anna B. as well as Anna's husband Jim B., and Dave Y., Jim N. Mary K., Keith W., Bill T. and Tim C. I hope my words of wisdom having done this race last year helps all of them in this race. I am looking forward to seeing my ultra-friends from afar including: Emmy, Frank, Anthony, Rob and others I know from VT100, Umstead and many other races who will be there. VT100 will be a great re-union and should be lots of fun!
My intention is to have a bag at every Aid Station (5, 7, 14/21, 17, 19, 23, 26 and 28). Some of these drop bags to mostly accept items. For example 5 & 7 on Sat morning and 28 on Sunday morning will recieve layers, headlamp and flashlights. On the other hand Aid Station 17, 19 and 21 I will be taking out items such as spare shoes, layers, headlamps, etc.
I have created a crib sheet of all the aid stations; however many are unmanned and several simply will provide food & beverages but have no drop bags. At every aid station my goal is to refill my water bottle, drink at least 2 cups of gatorade, have some banana's, M&M's, pretzels and other treats. I will resupply my fanny pack with sports bars at each aid station as needed as well as grab little pre-made med-packs (Advil, Pepto, Immodium, Tums, Wet wipes, and Bug Wipes). Of course I will also potentially swap out (or add to) my bandana collection.
At the later aid stations I hope my husband is able to acquire some positive notes of encouragement to put in my drop bags to surprise me. Since I will change out my socks throughout the race and shoes sporadically I will have a bit of down time during the race. Last year my pacer and volunteers read the various notes and it really gave me lots of energy and helped me regain my "positive mental attitude". If you want to surprise me with a note you can send an e-mail to my husband at:
Tristan_Massie (at) comcast dot com.
In the subject line you can call indicate it is meant for my 100 mile race:-) And you can indicate which drop bag you might like it place in if you have a preference.