First and foremost, and completely my fault, I don't feel I have trained enough. I missed many training runs due to different factors (illness, work, etc.), but mostly due to my own laziness. But where I lacked in quantity, I think I made up with quality. The Run Less, Run Faster program is quite excellent, and even after missing many runs, sometimes whole weeks at a time, I still felt good when I ran my last real long run two weeks ago. Part of it is the separate types of runs (long, tempo, intervals, the last one becoming an unsuspected favorite), but also the cross-training. I routinely ride my bicycle, and the trips to the pool proved a welcome and enjoyable change. So, overall, I haven't trained enough, but quality training might save me... from complete embarrassment.
The second reason is the weather, something I have no control over. Last year's conditions were ideal: sunny and cool enough not to dehydrate. This year however, the current forecast calls for some rain and possible snow, with maximum temperatures of 5. So it will be a cold one, and I'm not sure how I'll dress for it. Especially if it rains, a shell will be essential to stay warm, but I'm afraid to sweat too much under it. If I put clothes that are too warm under, I'll sweat like a pig, but if I underdress, I might freeze. It's going to be a tough to balance. For now, I'm thinking about wearing warmish tights, warmish compression shirt and outside shell. I've run in that gear at night last Monday and I didn't feel too hot or cold, although it wasn't raining. An option would be to bring a sleeveless fleece, and I guess I'll have to make the choice 20-30min before the start.
The final factor are my Vibram FiveFingers. I really like them, and I've been running with them for a number of months now, both on and off trail. On soft trails, they're amazing, and they perform similarly on technical parts as with regular running shoes, but they're not so great on gravel roads, and there are a few of them on the course. Also, I haven't run 30km on trail with them yet, so I'm not sure what to expect. Also, although I've adopted a barefoot-style of running, it still isn't as comfortable as running with regular shoes. I expect my calves and ankles to suffer quite a bit by the end of the course, and certainly the following days. But I really enjoy the feeling and will use the race to improve my technique.
So with all these factors weighing in, the best I can hope for is to finish in relative good condition. Equalling my second best time of 4:30 would be great, but I can't expect that it will be a walk in the park to do so. In any case, I hope to enjoy the race again this year, with encouragement from Yona Yona waiting for me at the finish line!
|The Champagne is for another occasion, and yes, I'll share the beer... perhaps!|