No, not the thing we are meant to do before a run, the weather! Just in time for the Great Glen Ultra too I might point out. It appears Scotland has finally caught up with the rest of the world and decided that it is summer after all and the weather over the next few days is looking warm and humid. Now I’m obviously not long into this whole ultra running thing, but my experience so far suggests that running an ultra on a hot and muggy day probably isn’t the best experience possible. Looking at the forecast for Inverness which is where the race ends, it actually isn’t looking too bad for Saturday:
The race is 72 miles long and the only question I have about it now is how long I will take. Of course, it is all subjective as to what happens on the day and I am doing my best not to pressure myself to achieving any particular time. It is 19 miles longer than the fling which took me 11h 45m for 53 miles. Assuming I perform similarly, then I would expect a 15h’ish finish.
Of course, I’d like to do better than that though. the fling was my first ultra and I had no real idea what to expect. On reflection there are so many things I would like to do better, but I am conscious trying to resolve them all is likely to lead to problems. For the GGU then, I am focusing on two things; pace and CP discipline.
Looking at pace, I am determined to try and keep a singular average pace throughout the day. Ideally about 6min\km. With 72 miles, or 116km, to do, the likelihood of me maintaining a pace over that time and distance will be a huge challenge and the key will be to set off slowly. I’ve read it so many times, people have told me, but doing it is a completely different thing. But the intent is there, my watch is set up to show me my pace and I want to try to get on top of this so I can go on to enjoy more ultras in the future. If I get my 6km\hr pace right, then I could be looking at a 12h finish time with CP stops included.
Speaking of CP’s, my performance at CP’s is a definite area for improvement. In the fling I ended up spending over an hour in CP’s overall. At the time, it felt right to stop and take a break at a couple of them. That was also partly due to the food I had in my drop bags. It’s hard to eat a sandwich on the move. This time, my diet will be 80% liquid and the 20% will be snack food to eat whilst on the move. The other thing is that, mentally, I wasn’t sure if I could cover the distance. Now I feel more confident that I can do this as long as I keep pace down and eat\drink enough throughout.
At the moment, my feet are up resting on a chair, my last run has been done and I’m feeling good. I’m trying to get as much sleep as possible this week as the 1am start on Saturday will be tough. Hopefully the nerves will allow me long, restful sleeps.