So this time tomorrow morning I’ll be running the first loop of the sixteen loops of the Town and Tube fat ass ultra. If all goes to plan then I’ll stop running a little less than 16 hours later with one hundred kilometers banked and the first ultra run of the year under my belt.

Goals

It occurred to me that, in doing this, I’ll also knock over a few other personal goals, too.

For one, if the loops turn out to be about 6.4km or 6.5km around then I’ll have run between 102 and 104 kilometers all up. For someone whose longest run ever was the 100km de la Somme, this is set to be my longest run ever.

For another, after 12 hours I will have run about 78 kilometers. Previous to this, my best result in a timed ultra at the 12 hour mark is a rather terrible 66 kilometers. Sure, I managed almost the same in about 8 hours on the Thames Path and managed the 100km de la Somme in less than 10.5 hours, but in a timed race this will be my best result over half a day. Luckily, I should put that all to bed in the Saint Fons 12 Hour in April but for the moment, I’ll take it.

But the main goal tomorrow morning is to start slow, maintain good pace throughout the day, avoid injury, and get it all done. Indeed, in terms of goals for the Town and Tube, I’ve gone with the following:

  1. Finish the 16 loops and record the 100K finish
  2. Control my pace in the first half so I have something left in the second half
  3. Manage my NSNG nutrition and my hydration to finish strong
  4. Avoid injury, finish feeling good

If I can do all of that, I’ll be very happy with the day.

Logistics

I’m planning on doing most of the logistics work myself using the two Camelbaks. I’ll start with the Ultra 10 with the two-liter bladder. That should be enough liquid to get me through to 12:00 noon and there are plenty of pockets to carry the food I’ll eat along the way. As I finish the 11:00am lap and close out a little more than a marathon, I’ll swap the Ultra 10 for the Circuit and it’s smaller 1.5-liter bladder. This should get me through to 4:00pm where I’ll swap it out for the Ultra 10 again to finish things off with a fresh bladder and more food.

Cécile has volunteered to crew for me but I can’t see it being very interesting. It’l be nice to see her between laps and even better that she’ll know when I will be there each hour. It’ll save on worries that she’ll be there early or getting there too late. Basically I should be there some time between 40 minutes past the hour and the hour proper. If I’m not, well, then the run is over for me, right?

Sleep and Wake Up

I’m relaxing tonight with Jamie and Cécile and watching the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie from 1995 – Jamie’s choice, not ours. I hope to be in bed about 9:00pm because and I’ll want to be up and preparing at 4:00am. I don’t need a lot of time to get ready outside and, of course, the start/finish is only a few meters from our front door so there’s no travel to worry about. I figure I will head downstairs at 4:45am, get prepared, make sure my hydration pack is sitting nicely, and head off on-time at 5:00am for the first lap.

Final Thoughts

It’s going to be a long day but I hope a rewarding one. I’m confident I have done everything I need to do to prepare for a 100K run this early in the season, and I am looking forward to testing myself in this different format of ultrarunning. If it goes well, I’ll be confident heading into the next training block leading up towards Saint Fons. If for some reason it doesn’t go well, I hope to learn a lesson that I’ll be able to apply moving forward.

I’m ready, I’ve done what I need to do, and I’m raring to go. Like always when facing down a big challenge, there’s only one thing to say.

Bring it on.

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