For my running followers out there I just finished up a nice weekend in Boston getting some city mileage in before I get into the serious race season. Since I do all of my tap raining in the mountains besides a little track work I thought it would be nice to work on a little speed during my brief stay in the city. My goal is to continue to increase my speed a little more every time I go out so I can feel pretty coincident about running a sub 20 hour race in South Dakota.
It is a very ambitious goal for my first 100M race and only three people did it last year, but I think of everything goes right and I feel good, it is quite possible. I had a couple good 20 mile city runs around the Charles River and through the downtown areas all the while feeling like my clothes were submerged in water from the humidity. I shouldn’t be a stranger to the humidity as I grew up and spent 20 years in Michigan, but it really takes it’s toll during a long run. I can’t say it was any worse than the 110 degrees I am usually training in but it gave me that renewed perspective on things when I hear the east coast weather men tell us how hot it is on the east coast.
Next weekend I will run what is called the hardest 50k in the country as I try and tackle the Speed Goat 50K in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. This will mark my 501st consecutive day of running at least four miles and hopefully I can show some good results. Most people don’t benefit from running daily and I don’t recommend it to anyone, but when it has been this long, why stop? The race starts at an elevation of 7600 and goes up to just under 12,000 feet. The elevation could very well be my demise as I will not have time to acclimate to the elevation prior to the race so I am going as close to race time as possible hoping that the headaches and other issues will hold off a couple days before my body realizes just where I am running.
This race will have a little bit of everything as it has several long up hills and down hills, but there is also going to still be snow throughout some of the course. It seems awfully weird to think about running through the snow in 70 degree weather with shorts on, sucking wind because of the elevation, but yet sweating at the same time.
It is not your typical race as I have been told that every time you see an aid station in the distance or you think you are to the top of the mountain you will be sent straight downhill and get another climb before the aid station. This will play some serious tricks on the mind, but with the right planning it should be doable. Much of what I have read said this race takes an average of 8:30 hours to complete the 32M course. My last 50K through the San Tan mounains took me 4:48 so patience will be important next week as I try and finish the toughest 50k in the country. This will be my last warm up race before the 100 mile run on August 27th, but it will give me perhaps a bigger test than any run I have done so far, with the exception of the brutal 50 Mile Zane Grey Course. Again this race will traverse some of the toughest mountains will an net elevation gain of 11,800 feet, snow, rocky trails and I am sure there will be some highs and lows. I will give the breakdown after I run it next weekend and let you know if the streak is intact and how I now feel about South Dakota.