I woke up a couple of minutes before 6am after a sound night's sleep. In 24 hours we'll be on the startline of the Whistler 50 Ultra. In the darkness I realized I had yet to pack my headlight.
Our visitor from Australia, Dessie, has already packed his gear, using a transition bag from one of his Ironmans when Minolta was still a sponsor (I think going back to 2001 when Germany's Normann Stadler and Canada's Lori Bowden won the Ironman Australia event).
My nutrition bag is ready. It has 4 Powerbar energy bars, 9 gels of the same brand, a Snickers and a bag of Twizzlers. I've also thrown in 6 Hammer electrolyte tablets. A can of Red Bull might be added, too.
Two of the aid stations on the course, 4 laps with the first 17km and the remainder 21km each, will provide plenty of food as well. Water will be provided at aid stations no more than 5km apart. (I am debating whether to carry a bottle of water in the first couple of hour, though. TBD today.)
The last month since the Victoria Marathon seems to have flown by. Tim and I each got a total of 4 easy runs in, all around 30 minutes. Daily walks were part of my routine, and I felt those were plenty after my two marathons in the past six weeks.
I am planning to race as hard as I can on the day tomorrow, and am expecting to feel great. Having said that, finishing is not the main goal should I find that my body hasn't recovered enough from the Bellingham Bay and Victoria marathons. For me, the Whistler 50 is a bonus race; since the start of the year I had hoped to be able to do it after the two marathons.
As always, I have various time goals. My conservative goal is to finish sub-8 hours, and based on reaching the 79km mark in 8:03 in the 100km I did a year ago that should be realistic (famous last pre-ultra words). My dream goal is to cross the line in sub-7, which calls for a pace of at least 5:12 per km or 8:22 per mile.
Most likely, it will be somewhere in between.
Since there will be no kilometre or mile markers, locking into the right pace will have to be done by feel unless you opt for a Garmin. While I have one, I am not planning to wear it tomorrow at this stage.
As for clothing, I'll be wearing 3/4 tights with compression socks. (Dessie said that he used to run without socks in the 70s, following the lead of his heros: "I thought socks showed weakness.")
I'll also wear a thermal long-sleeve top, with a vest on top in the early hours, a hat and gloves. In terms of shoes, with a course on hard-packed trails and roads, my New Balance REVlite 890s should do the trick.
I'll put a spare shirt, gloves, socks and pair of shoes in my drop bag, too. While there's only a 30 percent chance of rain, I'll waterproof the drop bag.
My iPod is coming too, with the same selection of music I used as in the 100km a year ago. I plan to save it for the last two laps.
We're all excited about racing the first edition of the Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra tomorrow.
A first for both Tim and Dessie in terms of distance, Dessie particularly liked one line in the Ultra Race Rules, another first in his nearly four decades of racing: "If the runner decides to drop out, it is MANDATORY that race management be informed of this decision, otherwise we will assume the runner is lost or eaten by a bear and will be searching for you."