Mr Deshawn Raw is a youtube comedian and hosts his own channel that my son and I enjoy. His video of "Get Turnt Up" seems to be a relevant theme as our training comes to an end and we begin to look towards the Buffalo Run races with anticipation.
Like Deshawn and "Geraldo" our excitement might possibly exceed our planning and preparation. Unlikely, but plausible. It's with confidence I can tell you that everyone has been putting in the work; waking up early, running long, honing nutrition, dialing in gear, and getting 'turnt up' as all of our focus turns toward these races (some of us are doing the 100 while others are doing the 50 mile). There will be no easily recognizable 'blue bags' or forgetting to 'look under the couch' in the form of not running enough or being mentally unprepared to go the distance. But there have been a few last minute adjustments made just to make sure.
It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that while I was fully prepared to run 100 miles I wasn't necessarily ready to maintain a steady pace on flat ground. Antelope Island doesn't boast a significant amount of elevation gain and loss, even for the 100 mile race (about 7200 vertical gain). My training - and I can speak for the rest of the gang - has been better suited for a race like Wasatch or Hardrock. Therefore, in the last two weeks I've tailored my training to include flat trail and road running. I know that MVH and the other boys have put in a similar focus, with positive results. After a flat 20 miler this morning I feel as though my legs are actually now ready to run continuously on flat ground over a long period of time. I hope the same for my refuse2quit brothers.
Running a lot of flat miles on the Goodwater Rim Trail, Little Grand Canyon
I also have been toying with potential support gear. I know I'm going to run with a handheld water bottle, it's just what I like to race with, but it's carrying the other gear that has me concerned. Buffalo Run will go 'cupless' this year, meaning they won't provide paper cups for fluids at aid stations. Instead, each runner must provide their own. Luckily, Ultraspire makes a great running cup that is made from plastic and it rolls or folds up. But you still have to carry it and I wasn't sure how I wanted to do that. Yesterday I settled on purchasing the Ultraspire Spry, a race specific vest that offers pockets on the front and a rear stow on the back, but no hydration reservoir. I can carry a bottle in the front pocket if needed, however. I tested it on my 20 miler this morning and was very pleased with the lightness and ability to carry what I need. Problem solved.
MVH has been honing his hydration and nutrition for this race. In several test runs and a recent 55k he has determined that he can run at least the front half of the 100 miler on gels and electrolyte drinks/water. While it is something I can't do (I need real food early in a race), I'm sure he has it dialed in and it will likely allow him to move more efficiently.
Josh has come out of the woodwork to do a few training runs with us. He whined that he's been pounding the pavement and doesn't feel ready for the 50 miler, but I disagree. I think those road miles will make him more than ready to run the flat Mountain View trail out and back. The hills on the west side of the island are low-key enough that I doubt he'll have any trouble cruising up them.
So what are we missing? Like DeShawn, will we forget our mask; that critical piece of gear (like a headlamp) that is so integral to being successful in an ultra-marathon or will we come readily prepared to storm in and ransack the island, walking away with the loot - mugs and belt buckles in this case? I'm confident that in just over two weeks everyone is going to kill it out there. As for me, I'm going to be spending the time before race-day getting 'Turnt Up"!!!