This race is now 16 days away. It’s time to write my race plan. Over the next two weeks I will run through this several times. The night before my race I will lie down, close my eyes and run through the whole race in my mind. I will print it out and read it to myself on race morning and I may even pack it out with me. If I could figure out how, I would have a running app that would read out prompts when I hit various map points so I could have me shouting my race plan at me on race day.
This race is a half marathon plus a little bit on hill trails on Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek, CA. Forecast is high 60s that day, so heat shouldn’t be a factor. It has rained on this course, so I need to be prepared for that.
- Night before – prep all equipment – Nathan Pack, Gu Chomps, electrolyte capsules, bandana, trail shoes, running socks, running hat, shorts, sweats, sports bra, shirt, heart rate monitor, charge phone!, check weather and pack rain gear just in case, pack recovery drink and bottle. Oh, race belt!
- Wake up 4:45 AM, fix breakfast of oatmeal, raisins, brown sugar. Drink 16oz of water.
- Get dressed. Apply Body Glide to all necessary body parts
- Kiss husbeast good bye. Disappoint dog who by now thinks he is going with me by leaving without him.
- Race location is ~24 miles away, leave house no later than 6:30 AM.
- Arrive with plenty of time to use bathroom, find sweat check, PICK UP BIB!
- Use the bathroom, a lot. Stop drinking water at 7 AM (time for the system to clear).
- Try to calm down, chat with people, check equipment, breath deeply. Go pee again. Review race plan in brain. Do dynamic stretches to get the blood flowing, jog very lightly for ten minutes.
- Line up! Get run tracking app and interval timer for nutrition ready (snack & water every ten minutes), text husbeast.
- 8 AM GO!! only, don’t like, GO, just, go. Goal time is 3 hours, that will be a stretch but I think I can do it if I push. Heart rate can hit Zone 4 on uphills but aim to keep it Zone 2 and low Zone 3 (160-170 bpm)
- Take the first mile or so easy, get warm.
- Mile 1.7, turn onto Sunset Trail, here’s the first big hill of the day! Jam downhill!! Free speed (theme of the day)
- Steady and strong up the hill after mile 3, take the downhill quick and controlled.
- The big uphill starts just after mile 4. Stay steady and strong. Probably going to walk a fair portion of this so walk strong.
- Go pretty hard at downhills, take as much speed as possible. Flats (if you find any) take at a steady pace, shake out the legs.
- Mile 4.3 to 5.3 longest single climb of the day. Wall Point Road, Keep climbing strong and steady, keep going, you can do it!
- Yes, the hill will end, just put your head down and get it done.
- Mile 8.8 Turn off Summit Trail to BBQ Terrace Trail WOOT!! Take a picture at the peak of the race and send to husbeast, should be about an hour to go from here.
- Downhill is gonna feel great for a minute and then the suck will set in. Go as fast as is safe, slow down or take breaks if you need to.
- Mile 9 is gonna blow, as it gets shallower open up your stride.
- Charging hills is totally cool on the way down, get aggressive! Heart rate can definitely start to move up.
- Start to think about your finish line pose. Hands up? Take off hat? Get ready to finish.
- Mile 13.2 One last hill
- Here it is!! Look good for your adoring fans, raise your hands up and smile!!
That’s it, easy right? I said I wanted to go 3 hours. The problem there is my long training runs have been 17-18 minutes per mile and I would need to average 13 minutes per mile. So that’s a stretch goal. My real goal is finish and have fun. This is a very challenging course but I have the feeling it’s gonna be a great time.