The Jay "Marathon" is 2 weeks from today. Not sure why they call it a marathon since it is 33+ miles (53k for our metric friends). Calling it 'only' a marathon doesn't give this race the respect it deserves. I actually read a quote yesterday from the RD that said this was one of the hardest trail races in the WORLD! Now that's a bold statement. Maybe he could have mentioned that BEFORE I signed up :-)
It sounded like a good idea when I signed up for it earlier in the year. 2008 was to be my comeback year (having been out with injuries for most of 2007). I was also venturing into the dark side...you know, trail racing. Now I'm having my doubts about this race. The more I hear and read about it the more I think I'm in way over my head and most likely under-trained.
I'm desperately looking for a strategy that won't end in failure. The easy way (and I hear it all the time) is to say "I'm just going to have fun" or "I'm not going to race" or "I'm just going to take it easy". Probably all good advice but it's still a race and I just don't think I could take it easy. I'm sure the terrain is going to dictate what and how I do but I want to have fun AND push myself. The problem is I don't know how to do this on a race that most likely take more than 7hrs to complete.
Based on what I know about the course, this race is more of a very long technical hike then a running event, with monster hills, bogs, mud, sand and lots of water. Even the overall winner last year didn't break 10min mile pace. I haven't done an event (run, bike, hike or otherwise) that has lasted more than 2 1/2hrs for a very long time. Even with that I still feel I have decent endurance and can go slow and long....even really long.
I need to make sure I can control the blisters though. The longer the event the more likelihood I'll get blisters. I have yet to find a way to avoid them. This will be especially tough due to all the water. I had planned on using Moleskin on the known places but I wasn't sure how it would do with all the water. I just picked up a new product very similar to Moleskin but designed for wet conditions. I hope to test it out before Jay.