Saturday, I'll be running the 19th running of the FlatRock 50K. This will be my 11th 50K, but I also have two 100K finishes here. On one hand, I feel like I own this course, but on the other hand, it is a HARD course, and can rain hell fire and brimstone on you at will. My best time was back in 2003, when I ran a 7:53, and finished in the bottom third of the standings. Since then, I have finished in just over 8 hours, and as slow as 10+ hours.
My training fir this race has been lacking. I have this thing called work that has been destroying my running life. My 37 miler last week was encouraging, but I ended up with a sore knee. It's been about 10% better each day since, and I feel pretty iffy, but would not miss running FlatRock for anything. Sir Cargo is brave, and a worthy knight.
The race is an out-and-back, which works well for me psychologically. There are no places to bail out--except for the turnaround. Make the cut-off at 15.5 miles, and then whittle the remaining miles off.
The course is beautiful. I burn 30-60 minutes each year taking pictures. This year though, I'll leave my camera behind and focus on keeping my pace up to make the cutoffs.
Ascents and descents like this will test my knee.
I usually run alone--being a back of the pack runner. Should I get in a line of runners, it may make the time pass. But if not, I will probably break out my iPod and rock it out.
I have a secret weapon this year. Mile 25-30 are super tough. Going out, you have fresh legs and the loose craggy rocks are hardly noticeable. But on the return trip, they are hell. So at mile 25, I'll have a shot of this new "GU".
It might just erase some of the pain. We shall see! :-)
And the real draw--the bait that lures me to the finish line---> In keeping with my fruitarian diet, I will re-hydrate with a variety of fruit juices after my race.