Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Burning questions

One of the things I don't think a lot of people realize about running "races" is that aside from just the training, running and sweating there is also quite a bit of planning and strategy. Not only do you have to plan for what you think will happen, but also for what might happen. Blisters, weather and injury are just a few...

For example, here are some of the things I'm still contemplating for the Black Hills 100(k):

  1. Should I run with my Camelbak or hand-held water bottles?
  2. How far are the aid stations from each other?
  3. How am I going to carry some of my nutrition (gels, etc)?
  4. What is my nutrition strategy going to be?
  5. What will I put in my drop bag?
  6. What's the weather supposed to be like?
  7. What will I wear?
These just scratch the surface. You truly have to be prepared for anything in the Black Hills - it can be very cool in the morning and blistering hot in the afternoon. In the end, you have to trust that you've made the right decisions...one minor flaw in your race strategy and/or preparations can have a very meaningful impact on your race day. The day is long enough without having to overcome artificial or mental barriers caused by your own stupidity.

Then there's the other side of the coin - everyone always asks, "What do you think about while you're running?"  The answer(s) may surprise or bore you. Here is a run-down of some of the things that go through my mind:
  • Lyrics to some of my favorite/inspirational songs
  • Not falling
  • People who face true adversity/sickness and continue to persevere
  • What I'm going to eat after the race
  • Taking an ice bath
  • What my kids are doing
  • "Really!? I paid to do this?"
  • Seriously, don't fall
At the end of the day, it's the challenge and sense of accomplishment that I really get a charge from. So come hell or high water, I'll be prepared and all my questions will hopefully be answered by June 23rd.

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