March 21, 2011

Tapering for the Antelope Island 50K

Running Times published an article about Josh McDougal last month. In the piece, he repeats what he said to his coach moments before the start of his victirious NCAA XC Championship race:

"There's only one way this can end. You know I have to win this."

I ran against Josh a few times in high school, and have always admired his work ethic and running ability, so I liked this quote a lot. It also sums up exactly how I feel about the 50K race this weekend. Now, I'm by no means saying that the Antelope Island run is 1/1000th as important as NCAA XCs (it might not even be that close!). However, I've put in a lot of mileage this winter (with a few solid race performances to show I am on the right track), and this race will sort of "cap" the base-building training block. I think I can take down 5K/10K/Half PRs in 2011, and pop a good marathon as well. However, Antelope Island comes first. Its been on the calendar since October, and now its finally here (on Saturday). I have no idea how I'm going to fare over 31 miles of trails (the longest run I've ever done is 27 miles of pavement!), and I really don't care exactly how fast I run (Course Record is 3:48:11, although who knows what the weather and trail conditions will be like), but you can bet that I'm running to win this darn thing!

I've been sick for the past week, and "only" ran 109 miles. I've generally felt lethargic, but I guess that's been the sickness more than anything else. This week I'm taking it pretty easy and probably allowing my streak of 18 x 100+mile weeks to come to an end. I want to have some pop in my legs on Saturday, and not only be able to run fast, but hopefully recover quickly too.

If anyone is wondering about my plan in terms of eating and staying hydrated... well, I don't really have a good one. Starburst jelly beans are going to be the energy source of choice, and I don't think I'm carrying or stashing drink bottles anywhere. I'm just going to rely on getting some good old fashioned H2O at the aid stations.

I took this picture last June when Andrea & I went to Antelope Island. Hopefully there aren't too many of these guys out on the trails this weekend! :-)

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