Preparing for Redbird Crest 100K

The big race is coming up this Saturday!

I've started packing.
I've bought nutrition.
I've picked up some sour patch kids.
I'm caught up on laundry.
I've planned the childcare and kid activities for the weekend.
I've made my spreadsheet to predict when I'll arrive at each aid station.
I've studied the maps and the elevation change.
I’ve prepared my husband to crew me (first time!). 
I’ve arranged for my friend Amy to pace me for the last 20 miles.
I've packed my hydration pack and included all of the mandatory gear in it too.

Pulling things together for the big day, and reviewing things from my 50-miler too.

The course is hilly and has some very steep climbs, including a monster climb starting at around 11 miles. There are some other substantial climbs too. Overall, this will be similar to Siltstone and Superior. I train on Siltstone. 

I’ll stick with my proven strategy for nutrition. One piece of nutrition (100 calories) every hour, plus electrolyte drink in the beginning until I can’t tolerate it anymore, plus salt after that, and water. I need to drink both water bottles worth of fluids every 10-12 miles or so. After 20-25 miles, I’ll add protein via aid station food, plus anything that looks good in the moment. Usually I do pbj sandwiches for the protein, but bacon will also do. And who knows what will look good at the aid stations!

I’m still working on clothing. Looks like a gorgeous day with temps starting near 30° and going up to 56-58 during the day. And then back down. At the 50-miler, I hadn't thought about the fact that my layers from the morning would still be wet when the sun went down! So I'll pack separate clothes to put on when the sun goes down.

My husband is not a runner. He is crewing me and he's never been to a trail race before, so I'm working on preparing him and writing up the questions to ask me and the ways to check on how I'm doing. My spreadsheet that predicts when I will arrive to each aid station will be useful for both of us, and he can tell me how I'm doing in terms of cutoffs and where I thought I'd be.

I decided to seek a pacer for this race because of how small it is, in such a remote area, and this is my first distance this long, and it will be dark at the end. Last I checked, there were less than 35 participants. That means that I would very likely be alone for most of the race, which is just fine, but when it gets dark, I'll be very alone in the woods. Every sound will resonate and my exhaustion level will turn that sound into big scary things. It gives me great comfort knowing that Amy will join me for this part, and she will talk and be upbeat and keep me focused on the right things. I know that it will help me when I'm feeling low, to know that she will be waiting for me at Sugar Creek. She joins me for the last 20 miles.

I'm considering whether I want to create a playlist on my phone just in case I hit a low that only music can solve. I've never run with music on the trail, but I know that many long distance endurance runners find it helpful to stick an earbud in when things get hard. Having that tool available to me might be helpful.

I still need to figure out what to eat for dinner Friday night before the race, and also what I want to eat when I'm done. I think it will be 2:30 a.m. or so when I finish, and I'll need real food even though I may not want it. I found it very hard to eat after the 50 miler, but it was definitely necessary. We will have an hour long drive back to the cabin, and I think that drive might be really miserable.

I'm excited, but this race scares me. I've focused more on strength and cross training during this training cycle and cut back on the rote miles. Will it be good enough? Will the stars align to enable a great race day? Will my gear choices be the right choices? Will my body cooperate? Will I remain injury free? Will I finish?

I can't wait to find out. 

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