Obviously I think it is good to have some racing experience under your belt but we all start somewhere, with out first race at a new distance. Recently I was reminiscing about my 70.3. I finished in 7 hours and 8 minutes. Could I have done better? Probably not. Not during that race. BUT, it was my first time racing that distance. It was unknown. I had no idea what I was getting into. With that race under my belt and some, ok A LOT of lessons learned my next 70.3 will not be so disasterous. And by disastrous I mean the run wont be so disastrous.
During my reminiscing I also fondly reflected on my first marathon. Oh my first....I will always cherish that 4 hours and 9 minutes. Everything about it was magical. Looking back now I know I could have gone sub 4 hours BUT it was new. My first! I was afraid of what was to come. I was scared of The Wall. Scared of mile 21, 22 and every mile after that. It was new, uncharted territory. I was conservative.
I've been thinking about my Race Strategy for Big Sur. It's not a new distance at all, but it is a tough course. The toughest marathon course I will have done to date. I think. Portland topped out at 150 feet elevation gain, OKC marathon had an overpass...Vegas full, I don't really remember a hill. Seattle AMICA 1/2 marathon had an elevation gain topping out at 200 feet. Mercer Island 13.1 might come the closest to being the hardest course but still that one only has a top gain of 250 feet. I know I have done some tough, tough courses while living in the PNW but....
I have been to Big Sur, actually lived in Monterey for a couple of years. I know Highway 1 well and the hills and the terrain of the course. It is hilly. I pulled up the elevation this morning so that I could see exactly what I am in for.
It actually doesn't look too terrible. Miles 1-5.5 are gravy...downhill. Mile 5.5 to 9 only slightly concerning with a bit of a climb. But then I see mile 10-12....
|I think there must be a bus from miles 10 to 12. Right?|
So miles 10-12 are just unmentionable. Then, the last half of the course just looks like chaos. The first 9 miles are all normal then it goes into some sort of desperate tailspin of craziness.....Clear Good vs. Evil going on here.
So it's technically not straight up for 26.2 miles but it is a "moderately difficult" course. I should be able to make the 6 hour race cut off. Right? Yes. I think so.
J-Ninja and I have been talking strategy for this race and, as of now, have decided it is a destination experience race. We'll take our time, enjoy the scenery, snap some pictures, enjoy the bands and shoot for a 5 hour finish, 5:30 tops.
But what about all our killer training? We don't want it to go to waist, now do we? Nope. So it only makes since to use Big Sur as a training run...yes, you read that right. A training run. But what in the world do you need to run 26.2 miles in training for?
Well, for a 50k of course.
We have been searching for a 50k to do a few weeks after Big Sur and found one in South Carolina. The idea is that we will be going fairly easy at Big Sur, leaving us able to continue training, or at least able to cover the distance, about a month later.
A 50k is 31.06 miles, so what is another 4.8 miles anyway? Truth is, I have no idea...this is new, unchartered territory. It's fun to do something new, to have a new challenge hanging in front of me!
What are your plans for a NEW race???