Now that I am somewhat in "taper mode" I have time to sit and play with numbers and come up with a pacing plan for Rocky Raccoon. Basically I have five time goals to beat. First of all come in under 24 hours, and then there are times in the 20 and 22 hour range that I would like to beat. Ultimately though the two main goals are to come in under 20 hours AND my actual goal time is under that at 18:45.
First of all, why under 20 hours? Why is that significant??? Well, Coach Weber told me a long time ago that to have a chance to come in under sub 25 at Leadville and get that big buckle a runner needs to be (or should be) in 100 mile shape in February and be able to come in under 20 hours at Rocky Raccoon. If you look at the ratios listed on RealEndurance.Com it states the ratio is about 1.23 for the RR100 time to the LT100 times. So 20 hours in RR100 comes out to be about 24:36 in Leadville.
So, long story short, that is why I need to hit under 20 hours in this race. It is basically just a follow up to last summer's races which were just efforts in trying to run faster and in the end to see if I am fast enough to even have the bandwidth to come in under 25 and get the big buckle in August 2012. For the most part everything last year indicated it is doable and I really don't expect the trend to decline. Yes I came in at Leadville last year at 27:59:11 but that was a conscious decision made around mile 65... last year was not going to be the year and that I needed to stick to the plan. So, here we are, weeks before my first 100 mile run of the year.
And things are looking pretty good, awesome in fact. An 80 mile week never looked or sounded as good as it does this week. I can't even imagine 60 miles next week and god help poor Melissa who will be having to deal with me that 40 mile week and the week prior to Rocky as I climb the walls and gnaw on my own flesh as I get antsy to go... Years ago I was pretty happy about being able to run a Marathon in March and being able to train up for that during the winter. I NEVER thought training for a 100 in the winter here in Colorado could ever be possible but I have done it for the most part. Yes... now the excitement is building.
To pull off 18:45, I have calculated the following splits.
20 Miles 3:22
40 Miles 6:45
60 Miles 10:07
80 Miles 14:03
100 Miles 18:45
That means the first sixty miles I have to average a 10:07 per mile pace and it slows down after that obviously. It is going to be a challenge to hold back the first 20 miles I know but I am going to have to do it. I guess my strategy is to go out slow but in the end just slow down less than everyone else. Sort of borrowing from Hal Higdon's philosophy, "The fastest sprinters are not always the fastest out of the blocks, but rather those who slow down the least in the later stages of the race."
Had a good track workout with J.T. this morning... I'll do another trail run this afternoon and I am looking forward to that as the weather is supposed to be great.
I'll take Asia on that one and it will be even more fun!