This race is rushing in like a freight train! I guess that’s what happens when you sign up for races only a month apart. Bataan has been on my mind all week. I started off with so many questions and uncertainties, but I’m starting to feel like things are taking shape. I know that much of the race will be played by ear, but I at least have more of a plan now.
First, let’s talk about training this week:
- My runs: 4 miler, sandy 6 miler
- Cross-training: 2 hours of yoga, 140 minutes of walking
My original intent was to run more, but the week kind of got away from me. In order to fit in 3 runs, I would have had to run 3 days in a row. It probably would have been fine, but my joints felt iffy on the 6 miler. I made the executive decision that I’d do my body more good if I took it easy. Perhaps I’m overly cautious about overtraining, but I’ve already shelled out my $95; I don’t want an injury!
Even though I feel like I have no idea what to expect, I know from my last race that winging it ain’t gonna cut it. I’ve got a rough idea of how I want to tackle the race, based mostly on the elevation chart.
I plan to run as much of the first 7 miles as I can. I’m not going to worry about my pace at all. The focus will be on going “comfortably slow.” Think conversational pace or slower. I also think I’ll take walk breaks every other mile. I want to be conservative with my energy.
Miles 7-14, I will walk. Since the course goes up up up up, there’s no point in even attempting to run.
I’d like to run from the peak (mile 14ish) to mile 20 if I can. I would again aim for a slow pace with walk breaks. From there, I want to do whatever is necessary to get to the finish. If that means only short spurts of running or walking entirely, that’s okay.
Figuring out what to wear has been really hard! A quick image search of the race shows that most people wear military attire or hiking clothes. I was debating wearing hiking gear myself until I realized that I don’t really own much of it. Running clothes it is!
This is my vision right now. A white top to deflect the heat, my best shorts, old shoes, compression sleeves, a boonie hat, sunglasses (duh), my trusty SPIbelt (I’m considering wearing two!). What am I missing? This feels like not enough.
The Remaining Unknowns
Fueling and hydration: I’m expecting the race to take me a long time (7, 8 hours? Maybe more.) That’s longer than I’ve ever gone before. I don’t think that gu and Swedish fish are going to cut it. I’m still planning to take my regular running fuel, but if the aid stations have other offerings, I will probably take a chance on something out of the ordinary. This is a big no-no for runners, but since I’m planning to walk half or more of the race, I am hoping that solid food won’t derail me as much as it might in a traditional race setting. I’m still going to take Nuun with me, and I’m going to load up on water at eat aid station.
Terrain: This is the biggest question mark. I’m making a big effort to run in dirt and sand and on hills during my training, but I can’t replicate the conditions at White Sands entirely. The best I can do is prepare as much as possible and be willing to switch from running to walking when it becomes to difficult.
13 days, people! That’s less than 2 weeks! It’s practically time to start carb-ing up already!