Mountain Madness Divine

1 Jul

The title is a P-M in-joke. If you get it, leave a comment. If not, live with the mystery. Up at 5:30! Must be a race day. And as you can see, I have plenty of fuel. No, I do not plan on eating all of my (LEMON!!!) Stinger waffles during the half marathon today. In fact, I will probably only eat one after the race as a “reward” for finishing this b*tch. Got a little pep talk from the Austrian (my supplier of all things Stinger) last night about the best bet on tackling this course if I’m not going to race it, which I am not. He thinks I can hit my PR.  But he thinks anything is possible if you’re willing to vomit. As for me, this race is supposed to be an exercise in managing expectations, not an exercise in futility.

The course is “deceptive,” according to the Austrian. You’re gaining elevation basically the whole way out and then there is one major hill climb (I remember it from the 10k but apparently, it’s longer on the half) right around mile 2. The turnaround after the climb is NOT the turnaround for the full distance. You come down, then make a right and start going further out and up. You climb until around mile 8 and then turnaround for the final five.

So the approach to this one will be way different than the approach to KB because in addition to the steady elevation gain, the course is also rolling the whole way. It’s not going to be possible to aim for negative splits the way I did back in April. It will also be really hard to hold a consistent pace the entire time because of the constant ups and downs and the course.

Danica and the Austrian (who both ran the half last year and are better runners than I am) suggested that I attempt to stay comfortable from miles 1-8, save my legs and my lungs for the 5 miles of downhill at the end and then turn it on. This means not really paying attention to pace but rather paying attention to HR. My damned chest strap battery is dead and I can’t find a tiny screwdriver to save my life so I haven’t been able to change it. This means I will have to do some old school body sensing. How am I breathing? How do my legs feel?

I’m pretty sure my breathing will feel not wonderful for the first few miles. My legs? OK, right now, they feel fine. But I did ride four times this week including yesterday and the day before so we shall see. I have been able to pick up the speed out here but really only on downhills and flats. My steady climbs have been at a snail’s pace. The more math I do here, the less and less likely it seems I will hit my PR or even come in under 2 hrs. But perhaps I am being too conservative.

OK. I’m not going to make any predictions right now because there’s no way for me to predict how I’ll feel by the half way point. I can’t base this race on any previous races because they have all been flat and basically below sea level. All I can do is do as well as I can do given these conditions. I’m shooting for the 2 hour mark. Anything below that would be gravy. Anything above that will be acceptable too. If I spend more time on the course I get to eat more at breakfast so you know, it’s all good. Race report to come.

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