Well, I find myself 3 weeks out from my first race of the season - the Big Butts 50k in Clinton, Mississippi, a 31 mile trail run on a 6 or so mile loop through the woods. In late July. In MISSISSIPPI. Ugh.
So, after two weeks of barely running - I lost my mojo there for a bit - I am back at it. Before my hiatus, I was at about 45 miles a week. Then I dropped to near zero (maybe a couple of 3 milers, but that's it), then this week I was back up to 24 miles and feel GREAT! Normally I taper for two weeks before a 50k or 50 miler, and longer before a 100 miler. Because of my layoff, though, I may just end up running through the taper and taking a couple of days off immediately before the race to rest.
If I had followed my schedule as planned, this would be a 66 mile week. But, not wanting to do anything too terribly stupid (says the person getting ready to run 31 miles in 90+ degree heat), I am aiming for between 45 - 50 this week, and peaking the following week with closer to 60 miles. I will also try to run a good portion of those miles in the heat of the day to get ready for the race.
The Big Butts 50k (LOVE that name!) starts at 8:00 a.m. Most of the races I do start at 6:00 am, or even 5:00 a.m. to beat the heat as much as possible. Because this one is ridiculous from the onset, they choose to forgo the cooler morning hours and wait for the sun to be well up in the sky before sending us on our merry way. I am really unsure of how long this race will take. I am not sure of the terrain - it is trails, and the site says it is flat, but being somewhat familiar with the area, I am expecting rolling hills the whole way. I am also not sure how the heat will affect me over such a long distance. Extreme heat during races can cause all sorts of interesting issues, from the obvious dehydration to digestive issues, blisters, etc. So, my best guess is that I might maybe possibly be in the range of 6 1/2 hours? Maybe?? Who knows.
This is going to be a show up and run kind of race. I am going to line up at the start, then when they say "GO", I will run until they tell me to stop. I am not going to be calculating splits (although I will wear a watch, but solely for the purpose of tracking my nutrition). This race will be a great way for me to break over into my training for Cactus Rose - a VERY hilly (some from this area might call them small mountains) 50 miler in the "hill" country of Texas at the end of October. It's on, folks. I will officially be training from now until Rocky Racoon 100 in February. And, I can honestly say that I am really excited about that! :)