My first ultra of the season is fast approaching! My mind is buzzing with how I plan to run it, how I think my body will react, what/when to eat and drink and very importantly… what to wear!! I’ve been keeping a close eye on the 5 day weather forecast and so far so good – but then again, no weather report told me we were getting 3 inches of snow last week, so I definitely won’t hold my breath and will prepare to expect a medley of four seasons in one day.
My training is all done, my legs are feeling good and I completed my final pre-race run on Tuesday at training feeling positive and ever so slightly competitive. How will race day pan out for me? Will my little legs carry me the distance? So far I have planned the following;
FOOD – During my ultras and training runs up until now, I have always craved sweet stuff early on and then more savoury stuff later in the race, so with this in mind I will pack a bit of everything in my drops bags and also carry some stuff with me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with a race belt or not, so I think I’ll run with my one bottle belt instead of my Camelbak and then I can refill it at the checkpoints if need be. Better safe than sorry! I will definitely have my pockets crammed with sour haribo sweets – A saviour late in a race for me on more than one occasion!
CLOTHES – I’m hoping it’ll be dry, but as this is North East Scotland in early March, I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best. My shoes (brooks adrenaline gts), socks (long stripy mega bright club socks), calf sleeves, buff, gloves and running skirt are all definite, but the number of layers on my top half could vary from 1 to 4 or 5, so again I’ll judge it on the morning of the race. I’ll only take my jacket if it’s tipping it down, but that decision I may live to regret…
RACE STRATEGY – No idea yet! I’ll be treating it as a long training run for both the London marathon in April and the Cateran 55 in May. If I can run all 33 miles comfortably then I might be able to pick up the pace at London. If things start to hurt, I’ll know I went out too fast and will know to start the Cateran much, much slower. Either way it’ll be faster than Glen Ogle as there are no hills. I’ll keep my goal times to myself just now and I’ll let you know whether or not I made them when I write my race report in a few days time!
1) Don’t get injured!!! Too many big races in the next few months and I’d be devastated if I had to pull out of anything!
2) Finish with a smile. This won’t be hard – it’s hard to wipe the smile off my face recently. I’m lucky to be back running so quickly so I take nothing for granted now!
3) Run the majority of the route. It’s only 7 miles more than a marathon and if I can do that at a fair pace then I can hopefully do 33 if I dial it back ever so slightly… I hope!
4) Remain positive!!! Your mind plays a big part in running and finishing big races. I will NOT give in to negative thoughts this weekend. I’ve got this!
So that’s about it! As soon as I finish work tomorrow I’ll be on the road North to prepare for ultra number 3. Ultra runner extraordinaire Rhona is very kindly letting us stay with her for the weekend so I’ll no doubt be picking her brain from the moment I arrive tomorrow for hints and tips on how to approach this race as she’s running it for the 4th time this year!
See you on the flip side!