My Marathon and Ultra Season is finally upon me! It follows a long, difficult week at work, which distracted both my brain and my body from the race tomorrow, but not much I could do about it. I still managed to get my running in, except for a little 4-miler, which I'm still trying to give myself permission not to squeeze in sometime today. It can’t help me much now, anyway, and might even hurt. (See? I'm talking myself into skipping it!)
It’s also been tough to manage my diet well in the past 7 days. I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches, so that was a decent amount of carbs and proteins, but I’ll be doing pasta for lunch today and, maybe pasta and pork for dinner. (Hmm, what to thaw…?)
Of the four Ultras I ran in 2007, the Rock Cut Hobo Run was, by far, my fastest. I could hardly believe, that morning, how incredibly fresh and springy my legs felt on the first 15.5 mile loop. I was trying to run slow and still doing 8:30, 8:40 miles. Of the four Illinois trail ultras, it is certainly the flattest and fastest. I finished the first loop, last year, in 2 hours, 18 minutes. But going out so fast, combined with the warmer-than-usual temperatures which hit 80 before the race ended, all cost me, and the second loop took me nearly 3 hours.
Just like last year, I’ll be running the Chicago Marathon two weeks after Hobo again. So, I’m trying not to have any specific time goals. The big reason I’m going back to Rock Cut this year is to finish the first, official Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam, and they're not judging me on speed, just on participation and completion. Just like last year, where I really want to run fast is Chicago, so my goal will be to take it easy tomorrow. (Hopefully, Chicago won't turn out to be a steambath again!) The good news is, if I can hold an easy 10 minutes per mile pace from start to finish, I’ll still finish a little faster than I did last year.
Wish me luck!