Still Moving Forward

Well, I’ve done it.

It’s one thing to talk about plans, and it’s another thing to commit to them. I’ve been talking about doing the 100K at Javelina Jundred this year, but up until yesterday, it was just talk. Now I’m registered, and it’s time to put my money (a pretty hefty race fee!) where my mouth is.

Training officially starts toward the end of June. I’ve been taking it fairly easy for a couple of months now and am starting to add more running days back into my schedule to get ready for it. Low mileage. I’m going to ramp up to this one nice and easy.

The great thing about Javelina Jundred is that it’s run out at McDowell Mountain Park, which (as I have mentioned before) is my home away from home for trail running. There isn’t any unusual terrain I have to do special training for (I’m thinking of you and your sand, Monument Valley), and there’s no crazy elevation gain I have to worry about. Running out at San Tan where I do most of my running will be perfect training.

Here’s the thing that’s going to make it rough: summer. It’s pretty warm now. It’s going to be downright hot this weekend and most likely every weekend after it for months. We’re going from a high of 95º last weekend to 115º for this one. Following through on this is going to mean some all-day slogs in that kind of heat. The faint silver lining on that big hot cloud is that running in the heat will make me good and ready to run through the afternoon on what is usually a pretty warm (80º-90º+) race day.

Here’s my plan. I keep hearing from people about how high volume training breaks them down and makes them more prone to injury. Obviously, I want to avoid that. As such, my plan to prepare is to stick with the training plan I used for my Monument Valley training. Rather than taking on a new training plan involving more miles and unknowns, I’m going to work on increasing the run intensity with more speed work and more hill work and keep basically the same weekly mileage. Since I have no pace or finish time goal other than making it in before the (very generous) 29-hour cutoff, I think this plan will have me ready to do that.

My expectation for finish time is somewhere north of 16 hours. If I hold my usual (“usual” as established from two 50K runs) ultra pace of about 15 1/2 minutes per mile, that will put me right at about 16 hours even. I’m not sure right now how realistic that’s going to be given the additional distance and probable heat, but at the same time it will involve a little less climbing than either of my 50Ks. So 16 hours would be nice, but I think realistically—and for right now, at least—I’m expecting closer to something in the range of 17 to 18 hours. I’m a big believer in Hofstadter’s law.

Now it’s time to start counting down the days, and we’ll see how this plan pays off.

The prize!