Oh what to do. This seems to be the week of open letter advice quests; both RunnerGirl and Relenting Runner both asked questions of their readers so in the “if you can’t beat them join them style” here we go. But first the prelude.
As you may have read last weeks half marathon trail race was canceled due to poor air quality leaving me with nothing much on the agenda race-wise; I have the Calabasas Classic 5 + 10k, I was going to run both for a total of 9.3 miles, on November 11 and the XTerra Topanga Turkey Trot 15k on the 25th. I was cruising along the information superhighway when I crashed into Cal Ultra Runners, oh how very cool, a site geographically specific to me and other “nut jobs” as a friend of mine put it “who want to run a weeks worth of mileage in a day”, and lo-and-behold I found the Pacific Coast Trail Runners who have a race on November 18th around Point Mugu, where I was on October 6th. They have various flavors; 9k, 18k, 30k and 50k, now in mileage terms that’s 5.59, 11.18, 18.64 and 31.07 - catchy distances! Anyway this is where the dilemma unfolds, do I run the 30k or the 50k. I am not in a training plan at the moment, I have delayed the start of my 50m plan until the mid November, based on what happened this year I want to avoid the possible repeat of over-training and I would sooner go into the race a couple of weeks under trained than over-trained. So with that in mind I really have been running distances that feel comfortable. Coming off the back end of my ITB issues I got my long run up to around 20 miles before having the stomach flu and then avoiding exercise due to poor air quality from the wildfires, recent distances have been around the 12-14 mile mark three or so times a week with no real problems. I am confident that the 30k is doable but the lure of the 50k is great especially after missing the Bulldog 50k in August also what appeals is the following from the PCTR website:
...."PCTR events are designed to encourage the enjoyment of trail running and emphasize personal achievement."
So it's sort of a race, kind of, which means no real pressure. Based on my previous times projected finish for the 30k would be a 3-3:30 and for the 50k a 5-6:00 this may seem long but there is a significant elevation gain 3200' and 5490' respectively and it is a trail not road run. They, PCTR, are offering support stations but I am not sure about drop bags. I am so tempted…what would you do? Answers on a postcard...well actually in the comments section please!
P.S. My Nike+ buddy Monk_Monkey is running her first 50 miler this Saturday; the ORCC Autumn Leaves Run, so I am sending all my good luck to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, I know she'll do great!