This weeks theme: Excitement. The Dirty30 50K Race is in beautiful Golden, Colorado on Saturday 6/3/2017 at 7AM MDT. Live tracking here: https://www.opensplittime.org/events/2017-golden-gate-dirty-30
Julia and I ventured into Folsom Field on the University of Colorado campus to watch the BolderBoulder 10k. We spent a few hours welcoming our friends in as they completed the course and then enjoyed the excitement of the super competitive pro race. It’s magical to watch the pros on the big screen for a half hour and then hear the crowd erupt as they hit the infield track for the final 300-meters. I wanted to race so bad.
Bottle it up, my next opportunity to race is near.
More excitement: my final (and first) trail workout in this training cycle. Sure, it’s only been 4-weeks since I was a glorified road runner, and sure, none of the alternative training stimuluses that I dreamt were pursued. So, I’m feeling under-trained for trail running and uncertain about Saturday’s race expectations.
The workout: Power Hour on South Table Mesa trail. I purposely road my bike to work, in order to not log too many running miles. After work, I road home, traded in my bike for my trail sneaks, and headed out to the 18th Street trail climb up South Table.
I pushed myself for one hour.
After my standard traverse of STM, I veered onto a new (to me) trail, a descent down the Ancient Palms trail. This was delightful. It was beneficial to expose myself to an unfamiliar trail while maintaining an uptempo pace… great simulation for race day. It was tough to push through the last few slightly uphill miles on STM. I reminded myself that these miles would (hopefully) be harder than any race day miles.
I found a new role at November Project. Course Marshall? Referee? Score Keeper?Whatever you wanna call it, people let me scribble on their body for each PR Clover lap. It’s a challenge to keep track of your clovers during the 35-minute circuit, I usually just count my laps on Strava afterwards, but people were really enthused by the attention to each lap.
Troy has picked the Dirty 30 as his first 50K, and I may or may not have scared him by reminding him that he hasn’t done a long trail race before. For that, I am sorry, Troy! You’ve prepared yourself for race day, and you will embrace it. Thinking back to my first few ultras three years ago, I screwed up a lot of things, and now I am better because of those experiences. Troy asked me what advice I could offer. The best race prep I’ve found is to study and pick apart the course map. Know the trail names, the big climbs, the aid stations. Segmenting the course between aid stations provides a huge mental relief. A 31 mile course is long as hell. But 7 miles between aid stations is manageable. By breaking a 50k into 5 or 6 segments, you create incremental yet measurable PROGRESS.
Easy jog and coffee with the PlayGldn troupe. It was simple, it was great. Julia’s been bogged down with fear around Saturday’s race. I feel for her because she’s been riddled with running pains over the last few months that have kept her from consistent training. I’m doing my best for both she and I to channel the vigor of mountain running.
We both love trail and mountain running so much, but for some reason we’re intimidated by our personal expectations on this challenging course. The more we can embrace the simple thrill of the trail on race day, the better off we’ll be!
We watched a video promo of the Dirty 30 from 2 years ago, and I was in awe of Hamtron. Yes, Paul Hamilton won that race with ease. Smooth operator. Shirtless. Primal.
For my race, I need to channel the Hamtron. I need to compete. I need to have an animal instinct — embrace the Mule Deer! I want to be aggressive and powerful and RACE for 32 miles.
I read about this XTERRA race that was won by Josiah Middaugh in a heated competition from start to finish. I crave this adrenaline. Running on the edge of bonking or blowing up. Let’s do this.
I leave you with this: Anger hostility towards the opposition (earmuffs).