Tomorrow is the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra and while I am looking forward to the race I know I am not going to perform as well as I did in the last ultra at CIEC. This is a function of a couple of different things.
For one, there’s the elevation which will slow me down significantly. Instead of aiming for the 60km barrier or setting a new personal best I’ll be looking to run something between a marathon and a 50K. The hills – up and down – and the stairs will be killer.
For another thing and as I mentioned yesterday, I am not well rested. While I have tapered this week and while I did come off a good week training before that, I have not got the sleep I wanted to get this week, I’ve had demands from family, and work has been very full on with a big project due this week and another one dropped on me mid-week.
What’s more, the afternoon start is a little different for me and I am going to struggle to manage that. I will have to pick up my race pack in the afternoon, get set to run, and then start at 5pm for a run that won’t end until 11pm. In terms of managing nutrition and rest, this will be a little more difficult than normal, especially when I have Jamie to look after during the morning, too, and he’s chock-a-block full of energy.
All that aside, though, and as I said at the outset of this post, I am looking forward to the race.
There will be plenty of people running the individual race and more running in the teams event, too. It will be nice to always have company going around the circuit and I’m sure it will be motivating to see someone a few meters ahead and set out to catch them, or pace off them for a few minutes.
There is also meant to be good weather. It is meant to be 27°C by the time the race starts – about the hottest it will be all day. This will be challenging in terms of hydration but regular drinking on each lap should help keep me hydrated correctly. It will still be warm when the race ends, too, so compared to the rain and the mud at CIEC this is an improvement.
I’m also going to enjoy having Jamie around, even if it is only for the first part of the race. He hasn’t seen me racing before as I was well ahead of schedule for the Lyon Half Marathon (he arrived where I should have been at the right time but I was way ahead of that pace) and he has been with his mum for the other ultras I have run. Cécile will be taking him home to bed before the race finishes but it’ll be nice to have him there for the start and for the first parts of the race – I just hope he doesn’t get to bored.
And so one more day – and hopefully a good night’s sleep – before ultra number three for 2016. It’s the last race I have on the schedule before the summer and my Thames Path run in the UK (more on that in a later post). If I can hit my goal distance I’ll fall into bed tomorrow night happy and the destroyed quads I’ll have from the climbing and descending will be well worth it.