My First Ultra, The Anticipation

96 hours from how, I hope to be into the second half of Calico Racing’s Labor of Love 50k race in Lovell Canyon. Barring any complications, my plan, at this point, is to let gravity do the work during the descent. Turn over will be key. For me, attempting to hit the brakes, and slow myself down on downhill runs is where the pain comes in.

So, take my time on the way up the hill, hydrate and fuel up, take a quick break at the drop bag aid station (before and after the dirt section), assess any aches and pains that may be present, then head to the finish.

I have no real time goal for this race, as I never try to have a firm goal for my first race of any distance. However, a soft goal of sub-7 hours would be nice to accomplish. Finishing sub-7 hours would mean the standard marathon distance aid stations would still be up and running.

This race, above all others I have competed in thus far, will be my biggest challenge. Labor of Love’s 50k runs up a mountain, which will give me the most elevation gain ran during a race, ever. Add five “extra” miles onto the end of a marathon, and greater elevation gain than I have attempted before to make a challenging 50k.

Looking at the weather forecast for Saturday, I am hoping the temperature stays lower, perhaps with some cloud cover and a slight breeze. Perfect running conditions would be great, anything else is just another hurdle to overcome.

Calico Racing’s Progressive Slam will be three quarters completed, as long as I cross the finish line before the 12.5 hour cut-off, as well as the 4.5 hour cut-off to be past the 15.5 mile mark.

As I am on the road, I will be paraphrasing a quote from Jack Reacher. If you have seen the movie, there is a point where Reacher is about to fight a number of guys outside of a bar, he looks at them and says, “Remember, you wanted this.” That line has become a mantra during long, tough runs and races. I may second guess myself during the run, after I finish, any doubt or second guessing disappears.

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