Pass Mountain 50K did not go as well as I planned. While I did finish it took me 6:12 total and there was only 2,700 of elevation gain. My nutrition was off, my energy levels inconsistent, I took the wrong trail, I ran solo for three and a half hours. It was all in all a challenging 32 miles. Pass Mountain of course was the race to lead me into the Fat Ox 50 Mile the following Saturday.
Now only two days away I'm sitting at the keyboard with a fever, wicked headache and chest cold in the making. Am I going to run? Of course. But this is just going to be an additional hurdle to cross. I haven't run a step since Pass Mountain, a rareity of epic porportions for me. I skipped WMRC Wednesday because my stomach was a wreck, my head was boiling and I just couldn't do it. So I should be pretty rested going into Fat Ox. I just need to shake this cold asap.
The race itself is going to be quite interesting. The ASU ultrastudy portions will have me checking in every five miles with a status check of my general health (dizzy, nausea, diahrerra, knee pain, stomach cramps, leg cramps, etc.) as well as a "difficulty meter" at that particular mile marker. Also, they will be tracking all the food, water, and supplement intake we will have and tracking all laps we do that are full ran. Any laps that we partially run are not going to be counted. There will be 161 laps total to combine for the 50 mile total.
Not having a major climb or multiple climbs to "break up" the entireity of the run will be what I think is the most challenging portion of this run. I literally could run this entire race without stopping but can I? I don't know. I'm used to those hiking opportunities that break up the running and stretch out the different muscles in the legs.
Add in the fact that you run right by your car 161 times as well as your friends and family that show up 161 times. The opportunity to stop or rest longer is so much higher in this style of race so mentally I think the challenge will be greater than somewhere like the Grand Canyon where your mind is overwhelmed with the mystique of the Canyon and the trail itself.
The intriguing part of the race though is that you DO pass your vehicle 161 times. You DO pass the aid station crews 161 times. That can be a motivating notion in itself and I've been thinking of ways to break up the running for some time into mini challenges along the long day. Maybe running various laps at much faster times to stretch the legs out along the way or running certain stretches of the 500 meter loop at a faster pace to break it up a bit. Plus, there is about 30 runners doing 50 miles out there on only a 500 meter course. There is always going to be someone near you, passing you or you are passing. Reeling someone in is motivating in itself.
Either way the concept of this race has me very interested and I'm really stoked for the experience itself. My strech goal is for a 8-8:59 total time. Overall I want to keep it under 10 hours if at all possible. I feel if I am fueled correctly and I don't run into any issues with GI I can keep it under 9 hours. Goals are important but the ultimate goal is to simply finish.
No matter what the course, or distance. Finishing is always the most important.