Some quick thoughts on the 12 hour Lemming Loop tomorrow…

Well – if nothing else it should be an interesting run…

If you have been following the blog you know my mileage / training has not been where it should be (I maybe have 2/3rds the mileage in this year that I had in last year at the same time).

I am also fighting a cold now that started to hit me yesterday but was going pretty strong today. Strong enough that I took the afternoon off work to medicate and rest for a while. Surprisingly I have found meds that seem to work on my actual symptoms and that don’t knock me unconscious as soon as I take them. This should mean I can medicate the cold and still do the run tomorrow without feeling like garbage.

All in all I am really not ready for the run tomorrow…but I am feeling strangely confident? I’m not thinking I am going to win obviously (that wouldn’t happen even if I was fully healthy and was properly trained…not a real fast guy…) but I feel like I can do well.

I learned a lot from doing the race last year and I think I can translate that into running tomorrow. My biggest issue last year was that after about 6-7 hours I started getting headaches when I ran – I could still walk fine but running was not good. That was a nutrition issue – my fuel was all sugar and protein with no real electrolytes (Gatorade doesn’t work for me and I didn’t substitute anything else to provide the salts that I needed). So I have some thoughts on getting those salts and balancing out the remainder of the nutritional requirements that should work. I will have to see how that goes tomorrow but all signs point to my plan working.

I am not as strong cardio wise or as fast this year as I was last but I think the endurance is still there so I will have to make sure I move to use that instead. That means doing run/walk cycles right from the beginning – and the run portions won’t be fast. Basically I don’t want to be out of breath at all tomorrow and I want to move at a pace that feels like I could do forever (which is what it will feel like by the end of the 12 hours).

My goals? With the lack of training and the cold virus running through my system, the realistic goal is to just keep moving for the 12 hours and if I can do better than 39.3 (1.5 marathons) then I would be ok but I have trouble seeing not doing more than that. However I would really like to do more than that. If everything goes my way I would love to hit 52.4 (2 marathons) but if I run into any issues at all it probably won’t happen. I would also be very happy to hit 50 miles – but as with the 52.4 even a small bump in the road could shut that down. Last year I hit 49.2785 miles – could I beat that?

Honestly – I don’t know where I will land but I am kind of excited to find out…

How do I intend to do this? I’m still waffling a bit on that – do I break it into 2 hour chunks and reset my mind after each 2 hour period. That might make it a bit easier to digest mentally. Similar to this might be breaking things down into a half marathon at a time?

The weather will probably play a role in how I break things up. It will start cool – just a few degrees above freezing, but with then warm up through the day to be a nice sunny 17C (62.6 F) with a decently strong breeze (but not too horrible). This means that during the early part of the day I will be wearing a few more layers than later in the day and that will mean stopping to swap some gear. But then it will start to cool down in the last few yours as well. So I suspect light jacket for 2-4 hours, short sleeves or light long sleeves for 4-5 hours and then finish out with a hoody or light jacket.

I will also need my headlamp for the first few hours, so one natural break will be stopping to ditch the lamp with my drop bag.

Beyond that as well I know my garmin will only last about 10 of the 12 hours so I have to keep my phone rolling the whole period for tracking purposes. With the gps app running, music, run/walk interval timer, etc I will need to stop every once in a while to grab a battery bank to clip into the phone to make sure it doesn’t die.

Bio breaks will come into effect through the day as well.

So, to try to shorten this story so I can get to bed, I basically don’t have a plan. I will play the first couple hours by ear – running at whatever feels comfortable in the dark (and hopefully avoiding falling a couple times like I did last year). I will then see how warm I am getting as the sum comes up and time a stop in there to switch out the headlamp, drop the jacket (if warm enough) and switch out the toque for a more normal running hat. I will also start the race without music playing – that should help me assess my breathing better and also should help me settle into an easier pace.

I will then reassess fairly frequently after that. Laps are 2.05 miles this year so every 20-30 minutes or so I have a chance to correct gear mistakes.

My hope is to be well above a marathon at the 5.5 to 6 hour point with energy still in the tank…and then see what happens.

So anyway – I have said a lot in this post and but not really that much either…this was me just trying to get my head straight for tomorrow.

Worst case scenario I am looking at is a nice long walk in the sun. Best case? A couple marathons?

I may find myself to trying to keep my brain busy so there may be some live tweeting (maybe laps completed each lap?) and maybe I will even try Periscope? Don’t know – I have never broadcast before but maybe ti will provide a good mental distraction.

So…good night…and good luck to anyone racing this weekend!

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